Oregon used to struggle to ripen Pinot Noir, and a few years in every decade yielded thin, watery, not-so-good wine from grapes that didn't ripen enough or got badly rained on. Vintage really mattered, and harvest was more often in October than September.
Nowadays, even when there's a remnant Typhoon, as there was last September, the grapes still ripened, and the problem was more from rot and dilution than with ripeness. Oregon doesn't really have bad, undrinkable vintages any more. Our Pinot Noirs are increasingly lush and rich, rather than taut or austere.
What we have are an increasing number of warm and early vintages. The harvest this year is so early it caught Jim Bernau of Willamette Valley Vineyards by surprise. He'd scheduled a trip to New York this month, sure he'd be back in time when the grapes started coming in.
The weather this fall and summer is not the same as climate, of course, but the fact is, the Willamette Valley is getting warmer and the pattern in date of grape harvest and in ripeness levels is a reliable indicator that we're seeing climate change here. NPR even had a story on this a couple of years ago.
And it's not just grapes. The ski operators notice it in snowpack levels.
the retreat of meadows.
Next Sunday the 21st, 350.org is sponsoring the People's Climate March in New York City.
The Unitarians, along with several other churches, are hosting an Earth Party from 2:00pm - 6:00pm at the Eco-Ball in Riverfront Park.
You are cordially invited to bring your children, your friends, your blankets, picnic baskets, bubbles, hula hoops, musical instruments, lawn games, and environmental goodwill to our (hopefully annual) Earth party. Join us in Salem's Riverfront Park on Sunday, September 21 from 2-6 pm at the Eco Ball as the UUCS Social Justice team and friends celebrate and explore local sustainability and environmental stewardship on the International Day of Peace, September 21.Consider attending. Conservatives and Progressives are calling for a carbon tax, but the bi-partisan politics remains difficult. Just making the crowd +1 bigger will help to make the case that individually and collectively, we need to act.
While many of our good friends will be traveling to Portland, San Francisco, and even New York City to join in the historic People's Climate March, we think it's important to support this effort here at home with a little eco-educating, some old-fashioned community building, and an afternoon of fun! Join the conversation and keep up to date on the latest Salem eco news by participating in our Salem Community Earth Fair group. All are welcome.