By 2050, Napa Valley is poised to become the new winegrowing armpit of California if predictions for global warming patterns are accurate. Yesterday on his blog, The Gray Report, W. Blake Gray summed up a recent conversation he had with the wine world's leading climatologist, Dr. Gregory Jones of Southern Oregon University. Despite the fact that the Napa Valley has had two of its coolest vintages in recent memory in 2010 and 2011, Jones says that, "A climate that will be as warm as Napa will be in 2050 would be a table grape region today."
Fresno, which is currently one of the state's leading table grape producing regions, had an average high of about 102 degrees Fahrenheit and an average low of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit in August 2012, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. By comparison the average high for August in Napa hovers in the mid 80s Fahrenheit and gets down to the mid 50s at night, according to The Weather Channel. So, yeah, that's a lot of new degrees for Napa.
The good news, though? According to Jones, his climate change projections suggest that Idaho's Snake River Valley — which is prone to frost and currently home to most of the state's potato production — may have a very promising winegrowing future ahead.
· Leading climatologist: "Napa will be a table grape region" [The Gray Report]
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