Wine making

Food and wine

Wine grapes

Terroir or pure guesswork?

What is the best vine to grow?

It was Prime Minister Harold Macmillan who when asked what was the most difficult thing to cope with in his job is alleged to have responded ‘Events dear boy, events’. Vine growers need to think in a similar manner. Thirty years ago, if anyone had planted Chardonnay in Britain, they would have been regarded as mad- 'everyone' knew that the climate was too cold and the growing season too short.. Now, climatic changes and the increasing demand for sparkling wine have made both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir extremely viable, especially in the southern counties.. But for how much longer? France is increasingly getting too hot for its traditional grapes.In fifty years, this could also be true of southern Britain There was an article in the Guardian recently about vines in Sweden, where the growers are looking for a vine that will suit their climate. Currently, they grow Madeleine Angevine. Soon, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot? Given the speed at which climatic change is occuring faster than the experts predicted, and that viticulturalists need to look at least 10 years ahead to repay their investment, it may well come to that. A Scottish Riesling from the Great Glen may well be only a few years away!

Return to Main page