As a grape grower, Matthias Oppenlaender has experienced the effects of wildly fluctuating weather patterns.
He’s lived through it the past decade.
Speaking at Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute on Monday, Oppenlaender, chair of the industry-led Ontario Grape and Wine Research Inc., took the audience on a tour of recent growing seasons, from the zero-tonne harvest of 2003, to the near-drought conditions of 2007, to last year, which, he said, was “probably the only perfect growing season I’ve ever seen in my lifetime.
“Things are happening out there that we didn’t see 20 years ago,” he said.
Oppenlaender’s comments followed an announcement that CCOVI would be receving funds to develop solutions to help the grape and wine industry adapt to climate change. Apart from fluctuating and increasingly volitile weather, the challenges presented by climate change include more species of invasive pests being introduced to the region.
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