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La Morra Journal: In Italy’s Drought-Hit Vineyards, the Harvest of a Changing Climate

But she was mostly unbothered by the heat, saying that while her employees might not be able to go on vacation in August in the future, the quality and culture of the area’s wines would survive.

“The dinosaurs didn’t go extinct in 20 years,” she said with a smile.

Not everyone is so optimistic.

In Barbaresco’s wine store, set up in a deconsecrated church, Michela Adriano, a young winemaker, said that while some skeptics thought 2017 would be recalled as the vintage of climate change hysteria, some leading winemakers were thinking hard about how to adapt to the new abnormal.

Angelo Gaja, perhaps the area’s most famous producer, has spoken often about the potential consequences of climate change on the area and its wines, Ms. Adriano noted.

And Mr. Reverdito, who has hung green nets to protect his own nebbiolo grapes from hail, said the nets had the added benefit of reducing damage from the scorching sun.

He exuded the same passion for his wines — comparing them at times to beautiful women — as other small producers in the surrounding hills.

But he feared that the lack of interplay of warm days and cool nights, of summer and autumn, threatened to overproduce the sugar and alcohol of a Barolo wine that should be elegantly composed, like “a symphony.”

“There is no more balance,” he said, lamenting the vanishing of the seasons. “And this is a disaster for us.”

Correction: August 22, 2017

An earlier version of this article misstated the device that measured the temperature in a Barolo vineyard. It is a thermometer, not a barometer.

Source: NYT > World

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