One of the hot topics at VINEXPO 2017 IN BORDEAUX was called FIRE AND RAIN – Climate Change and the Wine Industry.

Climate change and the wine industry: individual efforts to combat emissions are multiplying, but broader industry wide leadership is lacking. Climate change is a critical issue for winemakers and the greater the temperature increase, the higher the cost of adaptation will be. However, while some winemakers have put environmental issues and CO2 reduction at the center of their production strategy, many more have yet to realize how dramatically climate change risks reducing the quality of their wines. 

This week Paul Franson included excerpts in his weekly NV Register column. “Kathryn Hall from Hall Wines held up the Napa green environmental certification as a model for community action. Napa Valley Vintners’ goal is to have all Napa Valley vineyards certified by 2020.”

“Hall admitted that the ‘green’ decisions didn’t always make financial sense in the short term. The Halls decided on a sustainable vineyard as a matter of personal ethics and the desire to find the most authentic expression of their terroir, citing careful stewardship of the land and terroir as the starting point for fine wine,”

How ironic that the Hall’s recently approved Walt Ranch Vineyards (approved but awaiting decision on a court challenge) will be removing over 14,000 mature trees combined with a rape and pillage of the landscape to achieve their business goal of ‘fine wine’. Is this the authentic expression of the Atlas Peak terroir she refers to?

It’s disturbing that while many in Napa profess to love our trees and acknowledge how wonderful our oak savannas are/were, the trees are removed with impunity when they get in the way of bigger plans. At some point we will only be left with a mural of a tree on the freeway wall in Yountville, “In Memory of a Tree.” As the song says:

They took all the trees
And put ’em in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half to seem ’em
Don’t it always seem to go,
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Til its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot