LOCAL WINERIES FEEL THE HEAT:

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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