Viticulture's Tipping Points ...

If dry farming and other desert-farming techniques are not positioned as the international default position, I fear that the looming collision between the economic, legislative and ecological tipping points will make it happen for us …. We won’t have the choice.  

If dry farming wine grapes is physically and ecologically impossible, then diversification is the next step. Crop diversification is already in the mind-set of many of the producers I have spoken to – especially those in South Africa. Many of them are already experimenting with 5 or more new crops. Agave … seems to crop up in many conversations – pass the margaritas, please!

And sadly, from the most arid wine regions, tales of migration and cessation are already being heard. For a 200 year-old wine estate in Tuscany, for example, this is an unpalatable prospect, for never in the history of viticulture has the wine industry been so intricately and intimately  entwined throughout our economic and cultural identities. Transitioning to dry farming is the first step in slowing the migration process and allowing existing regions to stay where they are for longer …