Australian Wine Industry Devastated by Climate Change

Rows of vines can be seen at sunset at Yalumba's Jansz estate in the Tamar Valley, located in the northeast of Tasmania June 4, 2014. REUTERS/David Gray
Rows of vines can be seen at sunset at Yalumba’s Jansz estate in the Tamar Valley, located in the northeast of Tasmania June 4, 2014. REUTERS/David Gray

Australia is experiencing climate extremes in the Eastern and Western agricultural regions making vineyard owners very nervous.

Eastern Australia, one of the countries longstanding regions for producing grapes is experiencing torrential rains. Rainfall is way above average in the region. Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia had its highest rainfall levels on record greatly affecting the local Hunter Valley Wine Region.

Grapes are very susceptible to a number of diseases caused by excessive moisture causing them to rot. Loss of the grape crop could devastate the local economy. Australian wine exports were up last year making them the fourth largest exporter of wine.

On the opposite shore of the country, heat and draught, are leading towards wildfires. Vineyards are putting sustainable practices in place such as drip irrigation to conserve the water supply. Some vineyards are looking at long term solutions including growing different varieties and moving to locations with more favorable climates.

Scientists report that we can experience more of these weather shifting extremes stemming from climate change.

Image (c) David Gray

 

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