The Crush March/April 2024 - 1

Volume 50 | Issue 2 | March/April 2024
Article by Ted Rieger
Building resilient vines and vineyards in the face of
extreme weather and climate change is an ongoing
industry challenge, but there is also a need to build
human resilience among vineyard owners, managers,
and workers in the face of economic, business, and
personal health challenges. A session at the 2024
Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, " Viticulture X
Games: Extreme Weather Winegrowing, " provided
an opportunity for attendees to evaluate climate,
professional and personal challenges. Using a different
type of session format, attendees interacted and shared
ideas in roundtable discussions with industry peers.
Session moderator Dr. Stephanie Bolton of the Lodi
Winegrape Commission (LWC) listed recent extreme
weather events in California including drought, heat
waves, wildfires, freezing events, floods, and even a
hurricane in 2023. She observed: " If you're feeling
stress, anxiety, depression, or exhaustion it may
be because we are living in a more chaotic world.
Interaction between people can help promote calmness,
composure, confidence, and strength to improve our
resiliency. "
Climate Change and the Global Wine Industry
Mark Krstic, Managing Director of the Australian Wine
Research Institute (AWRI), discussed climate change
and extreme weather from an Australian perspective
where grape growers have confronted heat, drought,
and wildfires. Not just a wine industry concern, Krstic
cited the 2024 World Economic Forum's " Global Risk
Perception Survey " which placed " Extreme Weather "
as the top risk over the next 10 years. Noting that
climate change is contributing to global warming,
extreme weather events, and their frequency, Krstic said,
" Achieving optimal ripening of winegrapes is becoming
more of a challenge in some locations. " Warming
also affects vineyard ecosystems in relation to vine
health, and outbreaks of pests and diseases. " These
conditions impact harvestable yields,
and grape and wine quality, " Krstic
2024 Unified Wine and Grape Symposium
Viticulture X Games: Extreme Weather Winegrowing Session
Business and economic factors also create stress for
farmers and ag workers related to market supply and
demand, grape prices and profitability, labor availability
and costs, rising input costs, and concerns about water
availability and sustainability. " It often seems like it's
becoming harder to find profitable and sustainable
returns for grape growing, and this adds to psychological
stress, " Krstic said.
Krstic suggested doing risk management from a business
standpoint and doing business planning with the
vineyard team as well as regionally with neighbors. He
advised using good short-term and long-term weather
forecasting services, and sensor technology to collect
in-season vineyard data for management responses.
Canopy management and crop loads may need to be
adjusted based on the growing season and market
demands. As part of business planning, he advised,
" Look ahead and go through possible scenarios of 'What

The Crush March/April 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Crush March/April 2024

The Crush March/April 2024 - 1
The Crush March/April 2024 - 2
The Crush March/April 2024 - 3
The Crush March/April 2024 - 4
The Crush March/April 2024 - 5
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