I See Red…. Again

I was up at the Hunter Valley, in NSW a couple of months ago, doing  the rounds of the Vineyards, and checking in on all the cellar doors. Whilst there, I heard a  story that I thought was worth sharing.

My wife and I were at one of my favourite Wineries, Tyrrell’s,  sampling some of their fine reds, when we decided to do a guided tour of the winery.

The tour was fantastic, the guide was interesting, and like any good guide, quite quick with a joke and a one liner. Having never been through a winery before, I thought the whole process was quite fascinating, and it highlighted the difference between how a good wine is made, and how a spectacular wine is made.

However, the part that I thought you all may be interested in is the harvesting.

The grapes must be harvested at the precise time, to achieve the best results, and therefore the best wines. The harvest time is determined by the number of weeks since the vines have come into bloom. When a vine comes into bloom is based on seasons and temperature. Once those weeks have passed the grapes are tasted daily by the winemaker to determine the exact time of harvest.

During the tour our guide explained to us that due to global warming the harvest time has crept forward by roughly 2 weeks each year, as the average temperature increases. It was only 10 years ago harvesting was done in March. It is now done in early January.

Big deal, I can hear some of you thinking. Well actually it is.

If the trend continues, and everybody expects it will, there will need to be 2 harvests in a year, as warmer temperatures will be around long enough for the vines to produce fruit twice a year. Great, you may well think, twice as much wine. Alas, while there may be twice as much wine, the fruit that comes off the vines will be half the quality. The proof of this is in India, where they harvest twice a year due to the warmer climate. In India, their wine can be purchased at a bottle shop, here you would expect to find most of it at Bunnings, along with other paint strippers.

The industry is already preparing for this to happen, and are working on ways to artificially make the vines only produce once a year. Different sprays, fertilisers, and soil technologies are being looked at so that the quality of our wines are not destroyed by global warming.

I left Tyrrell’s hoping that every climate change sceptic in Australia is a wine lover, and wishing they also do a winery tour that explains what is happening, as the Tyrrell’s tour did. I also hope that other wineries are telling the same story, as in order to protect the industry, people need to have the knowledge, only then will they change their habits.

People can stick their head in the sand all they like, but when it interferes with my drinking, well that’s a step too far. Climate change is real, and whether it is caused by humans, or nature is irrelevant. If we can slow the process down, we’d be fools not to. Also, correct me if I’m wrong, aren’t we humans also a part of nature??

The logic behind this argument amazes me. People like Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones think that if climate change is part of nature, and not man-made, or human induced, then we should leave it alone. By that logic we would not put out bushfires, I also assume that if we found a way to prevent earthquakes and Tsunami’s, then they would be against preventing them. If a Comet or Asteroid was headed for earth, they wouldn’t spend money to have it shot down? This is the same logic they are using for global warming from what I can tell.

I couldn’t find any more up to date figures, however here are the facts from 2006-2007. Australian wine exports were worth $2.87Billion, the industry directly employed over 28,000 people, and the industry has been growing approximately 4.4% each year. The industry also brings in huge tourism dollars from both locally and abroad, and creates employment in a vast number of related industries, such as shipping, storage, packaging, and of course retail, to name a few.

Overall today, in both export and locally consumed produce, the Australian wine industry adds approximately $5.5Billion to the Australian economy.

Australia does so well with our wines due to one major reason, quality. If we lose our quality as a result of global warming, we can kiss the industry goodbye.

Idiots and fools like Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce, and Alan Jones may think that the industry is worth putting at risk to score political points, I don’t. I live in hope that these people will see the light, but I am also aware that it will no doubt take a tragedy, or the collapse of an industry to change their tactics, and that is a true shame.

Today, I know there is another rally outside parliament house protesting the government’s action on climate change. I hope they don’t have the offensive sexist signage this time.I don’t think these people are stupid, they have just been misguided by people ignorant of the facts.

It’s all enough to drive a man to drink….

Just quickly, my recommendation would be to get yourself a case of one of these superb Shiraz’s from Tyrrell’s and hide them for a few years, Old Patch Shiraz, Vat 9 Shiraz, and Johnno’s Shiraz. Here’s the link to their website: http://www.tyrrells.com.au/

72 comments on “I See Red…. Again

  1. The pro climate change protest attracted over 8,000 participants and received a small mention in the media. The anti-climate change morons numbered about 250 at the their convoy of incontinence and received a large dose of publicity.
    The same small group (rent-a-crowd) was signed into the Parliament by Sophie the Slag and behaved like idiots. Most Australians (Except maybe Queenslanders) can see through these idiots.

    By the way many serious historians claim that the Roman Empire went into serious decline when they ripped out their vineyards and planted wheat (after they lost Egypt). So it could be said that it’s all about de Nile.

  2. Can I suggest that if the dire prognostications of the Warministas are right then there will be a great opportunity to move the best of our wine making to Tasmania?

    Just keep in mind that during the Mediaeval warm period they made whine in England and it was considered very good?

    Climate changes so we will have to get used to it no mater what.

    Deal with it.

  3. Ah dear..Iain, agriculture has far more variables attached to it than just climate.

    It makes me smile in a wan sort of way when the Denialati say, Easy bubs we’ll just pack up and move elsewhere when the climate changes.

    This certainly worked umpteen thousand years ago when our ancestors could just pack up their cave bear rugs and move to warmer climes. I somehow think that the issue is just a smidgey bit more complicated these days.

  4. Min
    Those involved in primary production of any sort know that you have to cut your coat according to the cloth that you have, so places that once made one crop or pastoral pursuit profitable now no longer do so, its a fact of life in any farming enterprise.

    Further “just pack up and move elsewhere when the climate changes” is precisely what we may have to do anyway because none of the so called solutions are going to get up and even if they were to happen then they are according to Tim Flannery, not going to make any kind of difference for a 1000 years.

    The solution though is to give up the demon drink and stick to tea…

  5. ‘We’ll just pack up and move elsewhere when the climate changes.’

    As regional cooling has begun we can expect a lot more emigration from the UK. Last year fuel poverty in Britain killed 25,000 elderly citizens prematurely and over the past few years of freezing winters more people have died unnecessarily from cold than died during the Blitz.

  6. then they are according to Tim Flannery, not going to make any kind of difference for a 1000 years.

    Major misquoting there ian. Is it on purpose?

  7. Climate is only one aspect. Soil is just as important. While the suggestion of pulling up stumps and moving to a cooler climate can be entertained, it is unlikely that the same soil conditions would be available. For example, where else in Australia can you find the terra rosa soil of the Coonawarra which is perfect for cab sav? It simply cannot be replicated.

  8. Another factor is rain. Some like to push the fact that increased C02 is good for plant growth. This is true, but it needs additional rain in order to maximise this effect, else it has a detrimental impact. Rainfall will (is already) changing, shorter, more intense showers that more often wash away nutrients than enhance them is becoming the norm (as forecast in the reports).

    We might get small areas of more arable land, but overall, this coverage will decrease, not increase, due to the extremes in conditions.

  9. Yes indeed Iain, which is why it is so important that there are no further delays.

    BTW did you know that China has now overtaken the US as world leader in research into renewable energies..the Chinese don’t do things for no reason…

  10. You miss the point ian, without action, the planet will continue to increase warming unabated. With action, this warming will not increase at the same level, which means, change happens almost immediately. So it will make a difference almost immediately (by slowing the rate of warming).

    We will simply not return to our present levels for something like 1,000 years.

  11. No Min that is why in the absence of an effective global response (assuming you Warministas are right for the sake of argument) then anything that we do is entirely futile isn’t it?
    Just why should we spend the money on something that just won’t work in any way except as an expensive show of eco-piety ?

    As for China, they are very adept at making a quid out of the fears and worries of you Latte sippers 😉

  12. Tom R
    YOU miss the point which boils down to “Resistance is Futile ” so we will have to adapt no matter what and I think that its better not to waste money of futile schemes that won’t do anything to alter the climate just so that we will have more resources for adaptation if and when we need to do it.

  13. What Flannery said

    In the radio interview, Professor Flannery said: “If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow, the average temperature of the planet’s not going to drop for several hundred years, perhaps over 1000 years.”


    What u said

    not going to make any kind of difference for a 1000 years.

    See my explanation again for why you have [deliberately?] misquoted him.

  14. The Chinese know that the future lies in clean energy sources.

    Exactly Min. Although their true reasoning may not be altruistic (many think it is purely to obtain self-sustenance(?)) the outcome is the same.

  15. “And Iain re the Chinese making a quid..exactly. The Chinese know that the future lies in clean energy sources”

    The sad part is that they are making a quid from what we led the world with.

    They are making a quid because of support in this country, they were forced to move off shore.

    First we relied on the sheep. Now we rely on what we dig out of the ground.

    A sad outcome for a country capable of greatness but shackled by politicians with no vision.

    As for reducing carbon emmissions, it will no make the world cooler for 100 years. It will stop it from getting hotter.

    Not a bad outcome.

  16. Tom, the Chinese have always been a practically mind people who know that the future lies in renewable energy sources. A goal of the Chinese throughout history has always been to maintain independence from Western influences – they don’t mind making a quid out of us via selling us their exports but they would much much rather than they didn’t have to rely on us for their imports.

  17. CU, basically far too many political palms greased by the likes of Twiggy Forrest for $s to be put into research into alternative energies.

  18. I wish I knew exactly the journal I read it, but nonetheless, waiting in a doctor’s room early in 2007 was filtering through a wine magazine about a report commissioned by the wine industry about the effects climate change would have on them.

    The report was handed to the Howard Government where it found it’s way straight to the rubbish bin.

    Do you think the industry was happy about that? Bet your bottom dollar they weren’t.

  19. “For example the suitability for planting varieties that are best suited to a cool climate such as Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc may be reduced in most parts of Australia, though may increase in Tasmania”…

    With regional cooling approaching it’s more likely they will opt for the status quo.

    I’ll follow this up and get back with something more concrete.

  20. That’s not true.

    You assert that with such certainty – a statement that goes against all credible science – a-bloody-mazing 🙄

  21. Tom R
    You win today’s hair splitting trophy ! besides the fact that he did essentially say what I claimed, you are doing a very good job of ignoring the very big caveat in his statement, namely (in bold below)

    “If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow, the average temperature of the planet’s not going to drop for several hundred years, perhaps over 1000 years.”

    So what he was clearly saying was that in his best possible scenario we would have to wait the best part of a millennium to see of our efforts would bear fruit. How likely do you think his in his best possible scenario is to be the case?

    Catching Up
    when I said that the Chinese are good at making a quid it was may intention to suggest that they are good at seeing the potential from the AGW alarmists to sell them “green” products at a discount price even if the way that they are made are in fact far from green and sustainable.

    And will we be able to measure the difference that Gillard’s carbon tax will make to the environment?

  22. ‘goes against all credible science – a-bloody-mazing’

    Yeah its a disgrace.

    This from a wine grower at Margaret River.

    ‘There is no doubt that the climate is changing. Here in Margaret River, where I have been logging temperatures since 1994 and it’s getting cooler. If this continues I may have trouble ripening my late grape varieties. The year 2006 was a case in point.

    ‘The first grapes of the modern era were produced in Margaret River in the late nineteen seventies. So, we have had thirty years of grape growing and the only years when we have trouble ripening the crop were 2006, and then again in 2010. That tells you something.’

  23. in his best possible scenario

    True, I accept that. But you, however, said that his claim was that action was ‘not going to make any kind of difference for a 1000 years. ‘

    That was demonstrably wrong. It is not ‘splitting hairs’. It is misrepresentation. That is what you were doing, misrepresenting what was said, and, coincidentally, doing it in exactly the same manner as the denialiti did.

    And you then expect to be taken seriously. Fat Chance!

  24. Min
    Cheap PV panels for a start Min , also wind turbines electronics to invert DC output to AC and control its feed into the grid, you name it and the Chinese are making it, and as anyone who does some basic checking will tell you environmental standards in China are crap
    Tom R
    Ok if you think what I have said is “demonstrably wrong” then you will have no difficulty in demonstrating precisely how I am in error here

  25. My understanding was that we cannot do anything about what is already in the atmosphere. It will remain there up to 100 years.

    What may are leaving out, if we do not prevent more emissions, the harm will rise. We cannot revert those emissions once they are released. We cannot undo the damage.

    The only option we have is to prevent further emissions.

    The scenario is bad if we are stupid enough to change our behaviour.

    There are no second chance.

    “You win today’s hair splitting trophy ! besides ”

    No, it is not hair splitting. It is the full statement. It is the full facts.

    The statement that many claim that nothing can be done, is the reason why we have to stop polluting.

  26. nope, just the statement. Science been done to death. Little sense in going over it again.

    Sorry, I find that boring and a waste of time.

  27. Take him up CU – el gordo doesn’t understand the word “science” 🙄
    Just look at his most recent piece of scientific “evidence”:

    This from a wine grower at Margaret River.

    This is typical of the “evidence” he always presents to support his assertions – that or totally discredited denialati CRAP…

  28. Sorry Bacchus, I cannot be bothered. It will only be what we had previous.

    Putting words in another’s mouth and twisting what they say is another matter.

    The science is just a diversity tactic and is not relevant.

  29. Iain Hall is actually worse – he deliberately misrepresents what he knows the science says – like I mentioned previously, post-natal abortion is the only cure for the BS that the likes of Mr Hall espouse…

  30. Bacchus, that statement is stupid.

    The man is only interested in baiting.

    I find him a little arrogant. I could be wrong.

    The word he should have used was infanticide.

  31. No CU – it is me who is advocating post-natal abortion for Iain Hall – 60+ years post-natal in this case 😉

  32. Bacchus as for the science, when someone can convince me the majority of scientist, world wide have joined together to produce lies, for money, I might take interest.

    If I was a scientist and was greedy, I would go where the money was.

    I would go to those willing to pay anything to back up their arguments, the denialism and their wealthy backers.

  33. Sorry Bacchus, I thought I had seen similar from him. Would you let him be born.

    Sorry, I know they do frustrate one.

    Like the reports on the news that the Government is still divided on the asylum seekers. Did not pick that up in account of what occurred Thursday. The cabinet and caucus seem to play a big part in the decision.

    There does not seem to be any outcry on the final result.

    What is a fact, Nauru is not a goer with anyone except for Mr. Abbott.

    Sorry once again for my mistake. That is what I get for watching the TV and not focusing properly.

  34. Bacchus, since the Clean Energy Bill is on its way to becoming law and onshore processing is now the goer, what will they be complaining about next.

    I think they are on a loser with the poker machine proposals, even with their many millions of ads. I do not think the public support is there for the Opposition. It is hard to defend relying on gambling addicts for community sport.

    There have been to many record profits for the mining companies to get traction as they did before.

    What is left.

  35. I think anything that threatens the wine industry should be taken seriously and acted upon immediately. We’ll worry about the validity of the threats later.

    ‘Save the wine’ should be the first motto.

  36. Gee Bacchus & Catching up you two are great examples of the “tolerant left” aren’t you?
    wishing me dead though? Hmm that is a sure sign that you know that you have lost the argument!!!!! 😆

    Look its all well and good worrying about the wine growers but what is more important, especially for you Latte sippers, is what sort of a future the coffee growers face, now correct me if I’m wrong (as if I need to prompt you on that 🙄 ) but won’t the places where coffee can be cultivated expand in a warmer world? Hmm that sounds like an upside to me!

  37. Iain, I am very sorry to give the impression that I wanted to see you dead. This is very wrong of me.

    I would have no one to disagree with, if all that had alternative views were dead. That would be awful. What could I write about.

    Just one thing, why do you think that those on the left have to be tolerant.

    Why cannot the left be just as intolerant and nasty as the right.

    Tolerance like love and compassion is as scarce as hen teeth in todays political climate. Wanting to destroy one’s opponent does not lead to turning the other cheek.

    We, or at least I, do not claim to be a saint. I do not even claim to be always right.

    I do claim to have opinions and beliefs that I believe in.

    My apologies once again, I do not wish you dead.

  38. Thanks for that Catching up 😉

    Look I comment at blogs for fun and the challenge of debate about the issues, as I suspect do most other players of this blogging game so I look forward to crossing swords with anyone who can give me a run for my money.


  39. That is OK Iain. I visit the sites for enjoyment also.

    I also have another quest, that is to counteract the false impressions that has been created in the community of the present governent and Opposition.

    I want to encourage people to think and not to accept whatever they hear or read with question.

    I want both sides of the fence to be treated equally.

    I respect the views of all. I expect that respect back.

    No side of politics have all the right answers. No side is a hundred percent wrong.

    I, myself lean to Labor. There is no way I could ever vote for Mr. Abbott. Mr. Abbott does frighten me. This is not true of all Liberal leaders. There have been some I can respect.

    It is not good for either party to be in power too long.

  40. Yes Catching up I agree with you that its not good for any party to be in power for too long but the difference is that it took more than a decade for the Coalition to reach that point, where as Labor are there already after less than four years…

  41. And Abbott is there already, and reached that point before he took the Liberal party leadership, and is not even in power.

    Says a real lot about just how bad Abbott is and the complete lack of talent he lords over.

  42. Oh and Howard reached the point well before his decade but the whipping up of fear and the demonising of a group of hapless and desperate peoples saw him continue on well before his use by date.

  43. Iain, yes you maybe correct but Mr. Howard was not travelling much better early in his reign, same goes for Mr. Keating I believe.

    It was seen as sure thing that both would lose the next election. Both survived to go on for a much longer rule.

    Now before I have words put into my mouth that I expect the PM to survive, that I do not but no one knows what will happen in the future.

    The PM could go next week. Who knows.

    I still believe it is not how long one is in power that counts, it is what you do there that counts.

  44. Finally this Labor government that you say has been in power too long after four years has done far more and has successfully achieved much more than Howard did in any of his four years, and Howard by any measure had a very easy decade in power only having to whip up fear on the back of global events and do very little else to remain in power.

  45. ME, we seem to be of like mind. I do not know why there is so much interest and focus on the PM losing the next election. it is like some see winning elections as the only thing that matters.

    There was another Labor PM who had a stable short rule but change much in this country. Who should be and is proud of what he achieved.

    Hard to think of a Liberal that achieved as much.

    Some or I should say most, are ridiculed for being of left leaning. Why is this so, when some of the biggest real economic reform since WWW ll have been done by Labor PM’s.

    I should add, that all the big infrastructure endeavours can also be sheeted home to Labor PMs and Premiers.

    What did Mr. Howard give us. A regressive GST on all but fresh food that replaced a wholesale tax, that at least taxed luxuries at higher rate and left services alone. Who gained the most, the higher income earners of course.

    A Liberal PM who served longer than Mr. Howard, gave us less. A man who wasted the post war boom. A man who gave us horror budgets on a regular basis. A man who ruled as Mr. Howard did, by creating fear in the community.

    I believe I am a little sick of the political shit that is dished out by some.

    Yes Labor leaders have been unpopular but in spite of this, they are builders and reformers.

    They are handy to have around in war time too. Unlike Liberal PM s, who take pride in leading us into unpopular wars. Howard and Menzies also shared this achievement.

    I am proud to lean to the left. Why not?

  46. Tim Lambert has another excellent post up highlighting the oo’s complete mendacity in regards to reporting on climate related news.


    From his article, I got this link to Media Watch, which explains succinctly just how wrong ians ‘interpretation’ of what Tim Flannery said to dolt, and how dolt tewisted it so idiots could believe what they want.


    Cutting emissions is like not piling more blankets on a child that’s too warm in bed. With luck, the child won’t get hotter still.

    But to make the child cooler, you have to take blankets off. And when the blanket is excess greenhouse gas already in the atmosphere, that’s something humans can’t do.

    Succinctly put.

  47. Tom R, it does not seem to matter to some that no one is talking about reversing the temperture rises that have occurred.

    The same people find it hard to understand. it is about not making things worse.

    It is about reducing emissions, not temperatures that exist.

    If we do lessen our emissions, the temperture will rise.

    Yes, we cannot bring present temperatures down.

    That makes it more important that we do not add to the problems by increasing emissions, that lead to higher tempertires.

    You cannot make the bath water cooler by stroking up the fire. It just gets hotter.

  48. The same people find it hard to understand.

    I get the sneaking suspicion that they understand perfectly CU 😉

  49. The grapes used for wine also like a warm environment Iain, thats the point. They are coming close to producing twice a yaer, which while it may sound good, means instead of 1 good quality crop, we would end up with 2 crap ones…
    I don’t know how this works with coffee beans, but you may find they have the same problem… then there would be no Latte’s, only instant, and I ean International Roast quality instant….
    The world as we know it would end… 🙂

  50. then there would be no Latte’s, only instant


    (spoken as a (perhaps not accurately) labelled ‘latte sipper’) 😉

  51. “I get the sneaking suspicion that they understand perfectly ”

    Tom R, I am always complaining about others assuming they know what I am thinking.

    I must not be arrogant enough to assume what others think. I have to accept at face value what they are saying.

    They could not possibly be lying, could they.?

  52. Möbius Ecko @7.17
    As much as I think that yours is a witty retort if you really want to talk about opposition leaders who reached their use-by date early we could talk about ones from Labor like Crean , Beasley or Latham… Sadly for you the peoepl who matter, namely the voters, seem more than likely to give Tony Abbott more than enough votes to take the Lodge much to my delight and your chagrin

    Catching up @ 7.19

    Yes I know what you mean about PMs not travelling well at the beginning of their term, but Rudd got in on a landslide which even saw Howard lose his seat and within one term we had Labor clinging to power at the whims of the Greens and two independents, which says heaps about Labor’s continuing decline.
    Ton R @
    Sorry but I don’t rate Tim Lambert at all and Media Watch is far from impartial either but I will point out that it is all rather academic because there is absolutely NO chance that Flannery’s best case pre requisite of total global commitment to emission reduction is never going to happen. Which means that Bolt is entirely correct to suggest that anything we do to mitigate climate change is absolutely pointless.

    Catching Up @ 844

    I tend to think that the ever increase cost of energy is already driving the desire for more efficiency without the need for a huge money churn of a Carbon tax Ala Gillard/Brown Personally I hate the dishonesty of the claims that her tax will make “green” energy “cheaper” which it won’t do at all it will make ordinary energy more expensive to lessen the gap between the already expensive alternatives.

    Wixxy @ 9.08

    I get what you are saying about quantity vs quality for wine making but the fact remains that no matter what our government does to TRY to make a difference to the climate it is not going to make any noticeable difference so the only hope for wine lovers like your own good self may be in trying the products of different makers and buying up a goodly amount of decent vintages of the ones you love now while they are still to your liking. Also I’m with you on the yuckiness of “Intentional Roast” coffee, I’d rather drink my own pee than that !!!

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