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Pinot noir grapes reveal 700-year climate record
PhysOrg.com ^ | 12-09-2011 | Chris Gorski

Posted on 12/12/2011 4:07:55 AM PST by Renfield

The French call pinot noir "the noble grape" and have long considered it a source of inspiration. Now it can also be appreciated as the reason for an extensive, localized climate record.

A study found a close match between pinot noir grape harvest dates in Burgundy, sea surface temperature trends and the Western European climate. The relationship could be used to forecast harvest dates months in advance.

Yves Tourre, from the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y. and the French meteorological service, Meteo-France, in Toulouse, presented research on the significance of a nearly 700-year record of pinot noir grape harvest dates to an audience of climate scientists Tuesday during a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

The records began with monks in the 14th century, and for nearly 700 years people in Burgundy kept records of the date when the grapes were first harvested. Until 2007, vineyards were required to refrain from harvesting their pinot noir grapes until it was deemed time by local jurisdictions.

Tourre focused on the record of this first harvest date from the 17th century to 2007 when the enforcement of the regulations ended. He said that now, at harvest time, "it becomes anarchy in Burgundy."

In the local area, winter temperatures showed very little trend of increase or decrease from the beginning of the record until 1988, Tourre said. Since that time, "winters have been milder," he said in his presentation.

The preceding winter greatly impacts the yield of the next summer's grape harvest. The growing period is roughly from April to September, or about 130-140 days, said Tourre.

Tourre looked at sea surface temperature records as they related to grape harvest dates and identified a horseshoe-shaped pattern of ocean circulation that occasionally appears in the North Atlantic and influences temperatures around Western Europe. When the surface temperature of the Eastern Atlantic ocean is higher, it translates to higher temperatures in France during the growing period for the pinot noir grape.

This spring, Tourre saw the pattern and therefore predicted that the 2011 harvest would be early -- and he was right. The harvest, no longer determined by official decree, began on August 20, in contrast to a typical date for the harvest to begin in September, he said in an interview.

The pinot noir may be special, but is also very sensitive, vulnerable to weather variability that interferes with the production of high-quality, high-yield harvests. According to the paper about the research, published earlier this year in Climate Research, increasing variability of weather may, over time, drive the grape out of Burgundy.

The pinot noir grape is unique, as its sensitivity makes it crucial to consider the acidity, skin thickness, and other qualities before harvesting is advisable. Because the grape is so fickle, Tourre said that this type of harvest record for other grapes does not provide similarly useful information.

According to Tourre, this year the high spring temperatures and combination of July rainfall and August sunshine helped the grapes mature to excellent quality. Tourre suggested in his presentation that people should buy a bottle of 2011 pinot noir to enjoy in 10-15 years from now.

The recognition of this pattern could become influential to area wine producers going forward.

"You can have people in Burgundy looking at the sea surface temperature to add another variable to determine the harvest," Tourre said.

In a subsequent presentation another scientist, Melissa Kenney from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said that as scientists they are all envious of a 700-year long climate record like that provided by the pinot noir grape harvest records.

"Hopefully, people are going to enjoy pinot noir even more now," said Tourre.


TOPICS: Agriculture; History; Outdoors; Science
KEYWORDS: agriculture; burgundy; climate; climatechange; dietandcuisine; france; globalwarming; globalwarminghoax; godsgravesglyphs; oenology; pinotnoir; wine

I enjoy wine and particularly love a good Pinot Noir.

1 posted on 12/12/2011 4:07:59 AM PST by Renfield
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To: Renfield

I seriously doubt the harvest record includes pH, acidity, etc as these tests have not been widely available until recently (100+ years).


2 posted on 12/12/2011 4:16:30 AM PST by Erik Latranyi
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To: Renfield; Berlin_Freeper; Horusra; Darnright; rdl6989; bamahead; Nervous Tick; SteamShovel; ...
 


Beam me to Planet Gore !

3 posted on 12/12/2011 4:37:26 AM PST by steelyourfaith (If it's "green" ... it's crap !!!)
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To: Renfield

4 posted on 12/12/2011 5:33:06 AM PST by Oratam
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To: Erik Latranyi

Sounds like they are just using harvest dates, not grape parameters, to correlate with other meteorological data.


5 posted on 12/12/2011 5:34:49 AM PST by GnL
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To: Renfield

This made me rush to my wine cellar for a fine 2012 Ripple still aging in a paper bag.
Remember, it’s not as bad as it tastes.


6 posted on 12/12/2011 5:35:19 AM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: count-your-change

What’s the word ?
Thunderbird !


7 posted on 12/12/2011 6:06:38 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Don't forget Fred Sanford's famous blend of Champagne & Ripple - “Champipple”.
8 posted on 12/12/2011 6:11:20 AM PST by Apercu ("Obama is graffiti on the wall of American History")
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To: Apercu

I have a 30 year old bottle of T-bird, given to me as a gag gift. I wonder if its ready ?


9 posted on 12/12/2011 6:23:59 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Renfield

10 posted on 12/12/2011 6:46:03 AM PST by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open ( <o> ---)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

I like a good wine, the pinot noir is a bit pricy for the better bottles. I have never understood the appeal of buying an expensive bottle and not drinking it for 15 years. I might not be around, who knows? I have had some 10-15 year old bordeaux, and honestly it just loses some of the fruity taste and mellows out, not sure it’s better than when it was released, to my taste.


11 posted on 12/12/2011 6:48:10 AM PST by nobamanomore
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To: nobamanomore

Wife ordered several cases of wine at Christmas gifts from WSJ Wine. What a debacle !

They have mixed up the orders, failed to deliver because they’re “out of stock” for a particular wine (even though they continue to advertise in WSJ and on line) and their 800 number clerk is a dick.

A warning to everyone on this board: DON’T BUY FROM WSJ WINE.
They couldn’t find their backside with both hands...


12 posted on 12/12/2011 7:24:07 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: All
Read the conclusion of the actual report -

http://www.int-res.com/articles/cr_oa/c046p243.pdf

- and see the usual “could” and “may” scientific words that tie it into Climate Change.

They really had to extract a connection...:^)

13 posted on 12/12/2011 7:34:06 AM PST by az_gila
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
I have a 30 year old bottle of T-bird, given to me as a gag gift. I wonder if its ready ?

I suggest you call the Bomb Squad to uncork it...

14 posted on 12/12/2011 8:12:02 AM PST by tubebender (I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.)
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To: Apercu

Don’t forget about Fred’s mint jipple. LOL!!!


15 posted on 12/12/2011 8:20:14 AM PST by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: tubebender

It’s a screw-top...


16 posted on 12/12/2011 10:47:53 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Or “Four Roses for better wine noses”. Oh dear.


17 posted on 12/12/2011 11:39:35 AM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

I thought of that as I waited 40 seconds for my reply to post :(


18 posted on 12/12/2011 12:51:19 PM PST by tubebender (I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.)
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To: Renfield; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...
Note: this topic was posted 12-09-2011. Thanks Renfield.

19 posted on 03/24/2014 5:40:42 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: count-your-change

“This made me rush to my wine cellar for a fine 2012 Ripple still aging in a paper bag. Remember, it’s not as bad as it tastes.”

I prefer Boone’s Farm myself. Actually, I wonder if it even exists anymore.


20 posted on 03/24/2014 7:09:51 PM PDT by flaglady47 (Oppressors can tyranize only w/a standing army-enslaved press-disarmed populace)
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To: SunkenCiv

With 700 years of records, wonder why he cherry picked from (sometime in) the 17th Century, onward.

I’m also glad they had reliable sea-surface temp data for the period, even though they conveniently discount those same Admiralty records for other purposes as not accurate, etc.

Oh, and that, “...until 1988, Tourre said. Since that time, ‘winters have been milder,” hokey schtick is getting rather old.


21 posted on 03/24/2014 7:17:08 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: Apercu

Don’t forget Fred’s famous Ripple and Creme de Menthe cocktail, “I call it Cripple”.


22 posted on 03/25/2014 3:39:16 AM PDT by skepsel
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Mind your language please. There are ladies present.


23 posted on 03/25/2014 1:57:19 PM PDT by Bigg Red (1 Pt 1: As he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct.)
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To: Bigg Red

Yup.


24 posted on 03/25/2014 4:25:10 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Rip it out by the roots.)
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To: nobamanomore

I am a fan of pinot noir. A good pinot noir is a masterpiece. I am going to get a case of 2011 vintage from Burgundy and set it aside to have open one each year on my birthday beginning 15 years from now...that case will take me through my 104th birthday anniversary :)


25 posted on 03/25/2014 4:53:07 PM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea (I am a Tea Party descendant...steeped in the Constitutional Republic given to us by the Founders)
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