Vine Hugging

Have you ever hugged a 152 year old vine? This 152 year old beauty can be found in Cafayate, Salta, Argentina. The second photograph is the oldest known noble vine in the world that still bears grapes. The Žametovka vine in Maribor, Slovenia is nearly 500 years old and produces 35-55 kg’s of grapes each year.

An interesting way to harvest

Swiss ingenuity or ‘n boer maak ‘n plan :-) ! A monorail system is used to transport wine grapes out of the vineyards on the steep slopes in the Lavaux wine region of Switzerland. The Lavaux, is located along the shores of Lake Geneva, between Lausanne and Vevey


Wine and Cheese Are a Match Made in Heaven and Science Agrees

Wine and cheese is simply another variation of peanut butter and jelly, milk and cookies, and bacon and eggs — their flavors are best served together. As it turns out, science agrees.

A new study conducted by the Center for Taste and Feeding Behavior in France and published in the Journal of Food Science determined that cheese — including soft and hard cow and goat cheeses — improves the taste of sweet, dry, full bodied and fruity wine. “Thanks to our research we learned the duration of the perception of astringency of a certain wine could be reduced after having cheese and the four evaluated cheeses had the same effect,” Mara Galmarini, the lead researcher, told the Telegraph. “In short, when having a plate of assorted cheese, the wine will probably taste better no matter which they choose.”

So let’s break that down. Researchers asked 31 wine connoisseurs to take three sips of each and then rate all of the different kinds of vino. Then, tasters were asked to nibble on a little fromage before sipping that same wine. Testers repeated this process, crossing all of the cheeses with all of the wine. Across the board, all of the wines sampled were reported to taste better after testers enjoyed cheese. The verdict: All the cheese improves all the wine.

In addition to reducing the astringency of the wines (astringency refers to the effect of tannins on the mouth), some cheeses actually enhanced the drink’s aroma. The reason why actually makes quite a bit of sense — science says that wine and cheese work together harmoniously because of their complementary compositions. Cheese, a fatty food, has a lubricating effect, whereas the tannin in wine creates a drying feeling on the gums and tongue. Basically, cheese prepares and coats the mouth for the astringent effect of the wine, creating a fuller, softer experience.

So go ahead and sip wine this weekend — and don’t worry if you can’t offer up the most expensive of bottles. Like most things in life, you can fix that with some cheese.

[h/t: The Telegraph]

Global Wine Production Is Collapsing Thanks To Climate Change

You there, quaffing that Argentinian Malbec. Put down that glass of wine immediately and decanter it back into the bottle, because in a few decades it will be worth a heck of a lot more thanks to climate change.

Forget about all those super typhoons and megadroughts. Eject from your mind images of sea level rise, Arctic disintegration, and civil war, for a new report has revealed that as the world warms, wine production in certain regions will dramatically slow down.

The notion that the rapidly changing climate will detrimentally affect certain wine-growing parts of the planet was brought up by academics earlier this year, but now the wine industry has officially sat up and taken notice.

According to a report by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), the output of wine this year alone – the hottest since records began – was just under a measly 26 billion liters (5.7 billion gallons). This is the lowest production rate on record for the last two decades, and marks a global drop of about 5 percent compared to 2015.

Although warmer climes may benefit some parts of the world hoping to grow some grapes, already warm regions – particularly those in South America – are suffering from temperature increases too fast for their crops to adapt. Fans of a good Malbec and a complex Carménère will be horrified to find out that production this year in Argentina and Chile has crashed by 35 and 21 percent, respectively.

South Africa, another nation hoping sincerely for the unrelenting pace of climate change to calm down a bit, is also likely to report a 19 percent drop in wine production rates. Semillon lovers – read it and weep.

2016’s leading producers of wine, as measured in million hectoliters, where one hectoliter is equal to one hundred liters. OIV

On the other hand, despite suffering from a 2 percent drop in production, Italy is doing just fine from the balmy heat, having managed to conjure up the most wine this year. The country of Chianti is followed closely by France, Spain, the US, Australia, and China.

New Zealand will report a 35 percent increase this year, which places it near a record it set back in 2014. As Chile burns, New Zealand earns.

To be fair, it’s not just rising temperatures that are causing pandemonium for some plonk producers. The recent El Niño phenomenon, one of the most powerful ever recorded, brought both droughts and flooding to South America, and many crops couldn’t cope.

The situation is so dire that declining wine production rates actually formed part of the discussions at the signing of the groundbreaking Paris climate change agreement – in fact, the worst part about all this is that you can’t even drink your sorrows away as much as you used to.

[H/T: The Guardian]