So having finished a couple of Blogs on some of the major regions in Australia and New Zealand one thing is obvious…. Climate is one of the most important factors when it comes to Grape Growing. But what are the factors that dictate what grapes do well and where? Well if you google climate and wine most of the results relate to climate change and how it will affect grape growing… claims of Germany becoming the major region for nice reds, Burgundy will start growing syrah, and the best Sparkling wines come from surrey in South England not Champagne… may someday become true, but as long as wine is being produced somewhere then we’ll be OK! By the looks of it scientists actually think Wine regions will be pushed more to the Polls, so we could see appelation Norway controlle someday.So with all these wine producers being forced to look further afield what are the key elements they will be looking for in their new wine regions? Well temperature is the most important climatic element- obviously- so our wine producers will be looking for a nice sunny destination! Grapes need roughly 1,400 hours of sunlight throughout the year to ripen properly, and fill them with natural sugars. Now the longer the grapes take to ripen the better because then they are full of flavour. So they’ve got the sunshine, and the grapes are growing well but they need to be slowed down… What else do our wine growers need to ensure high quality wine? Fog! Fog will moderate the temperatures in the Vineyard- it will cool the warm days, and warm up those cold nights and mornings. And that’s why places located close to the ocean or on high altitudes are so good for our much loved grapes. One more major thing to consider is Rainfall- too much of this and it will dilute the sugars in the grapes, and kill of the flavour… but because soil types are also very important (maybe soil types will be my next blog….) they can help out if a region is getting too much or too little rain- like Nelson in New Zealand, doesn’t get a whole of rain, but they clay soil retains water so it kinda balances things out! But essentially Vines need no less than 22 annual inches of rain for them to survive. So lets have a look- 1,400 hours of sunlight, some fog, and rain (but not too much…) Well that really rules Ireland out of ever being a major wine producing region… Even if this Climate change thing takes off!