One of the finer points of the global warming debate is whether wine grapes will lose their spot as the county’s number-one crop if the warming continues. A study published in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences used computer projections of California’s climate changes through 2100 to predict that, among other things, global warming will impair wine grape production “except in cool coastal vineyards.” The Santa Barbara County Vintners Association Executive Director Jim Fiolek was less than hysterical about the effect on the industry, noting that even if temperatures in the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley rose 13 to 16 degrees, the pinot grapes there could be replaced by cabernets.

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