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Saving the wine, one grape at a time, from the perils of late-season frost caused by climate change

Suzanne Choney. 

 

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Rudi Hofmann spent years working in the wholesale wine business before deciding to follow his dream to own a vineyard and winery. About 20 years ago, he started BioWeingut Hofmann, and took up wine growing on 37 acres along the steep, terraced banks of the Traisen River in eastern Austria. The area’s claim to fame, in particular, is Grüner Veltliner, a white wine grape noted for its fruity and full-flavored taste.

And while wine drinking may be for relaxation, wine growing is not. It involves long hours, hard physical labor, keeping a constant eye on the weather, and combatting problems such as pests, mildew and fungus. In recent years, because of climate change, a new threat has surfaced: Late-season frost.

 
With late-season frost, caused by climate change, if grapes are flowering, it’s not a matter of losing some of the crops – “You could lose everything,” says grower Rudi Hofmann. Photo courtesy of Rudi Hofmann.

“Frost itself has always been a problem,” Hofmann says. “If the crops are in their early stages and there is frost, you’re only losing some buds of the vine blossoms; you don’t lose the whole harvest. Due to climate change, vegetation is starting earlier and then if you have frost in the spring, and you have grapes flowering – then you could lose everything.”

 

Read the full article HERE

 

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