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!
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