Australia’s 2019/20 bushfire season has gone down in history as one of its worst. Fires, which started in June 2019, have since burned an area of around 18.6 million hectares and claimed the lives of 34 people. Fires were burning in all six states, however, the damage was concentrated in areas within South Australia, Victoria, and New South Wales.
Both the grape and pomegranate seasons in India are coming to an end. After the unpredictable weather during the monsoon season, some issues with yield and quality came up. For Indian fruit exporter Iridica Agro and Sons Enterprises, the busy times of the grape and pomegranate seasons are almost over.
It's a problem plaguing grape-growers worldwide - in an ever-changing climate, how can they protect their crops from the undesirable effects of wildfire smoke exposure. A recent study by a team of UBC Okanagan researchers has led to the development of a preventative strategy for protecting grapes from volatile phenols - flavored compounds present in smoke that may be absorbed into ripening grapes and subsequently impact wine flavor.
It was late October when Adrian Sparks caught sight of the first smoke rising from the hilly horizon. Within days the haze evolved into drift smoke, which grew thicker as the mountain behind the Mount Pleasant winery in the Hunter Valley caught fire. “It was full-on,” Adrian says. “There was smoke all through November and December. A clear day would still be hazy.
Chile has been having a good grape season so far, and has been able to take advantage of the California season ending early and the Peruvian Ica-region season starting late. “We’ve been able to enter a fairly empty market – much emptier than it was last season,” says Christian Corssen of Compañia Frutera Santa Maria, who exports their grower’s grapes throughout Chile.
Australian wine producer Tyrell’s has said it has decided to “severely” reduce its 2020 vintage, by as much as 80%, due to fears of smoke taint. Although not directly affected by the serious fires in Australia, the “continued presence of smoke” in the Hunter Valley since late 2019 means that many of the vineyards may have been affected by smoke taint.
It is mainly the weather that is to blame - sometimes too hot, sometimes too wet. But the demand leaves something to be desired as well. ABC Fresh is specialized -among other things- in grapes and was wiling to comment. "It's not going as well as expected. The demand is not particularly intoxicating. That applies not only to grapes but generally one does not have yet the impression that next week is already Christmas. Some days it is all right, on others it is a real "coma".
Above par northeast monsoon (winter monsoon) season and downy mildew disease have left the grape growers of Vijayapura district in dire straits. About 40% of the crop cultivated in the district has been damaged due to excessive moisture, cold weather, and the downy mildew infection. The crop loss in the region is pegged at Rs 356.
This is the third time in five years that the grapes in Sanjay Pathade’s 16-acre land have turned black and rotted away at a nascent growth stage. The 48-year-old from Jambutke village in Nashik district’s Dindori taluka had undertaken a second-round pruning of his vineyards in mid-September in preparation for a good harvest by late-January.
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