Waarom je straks geen Amerikaanse wijn meer kan kopen

Foto AFP

De Verenigde Staten zijn de vierde wijnproducent van de wereld, en van de Amerikaanse wijn komt weer 90 procent uit Californië. Maar die regio kampt nu met watertekort. Wat betekent dat voor de wijnproductie?

The thick morning fog slowly lifts as we leave the Golden Gate Bridge behind us on Highway 101, heading northeast. We’re in the San Francisco Bay in northern California, and the landscape around us changes radically as we cross the long red bridge. The city’s pleasant modernity and the enchanting atmosphere of Baker Beach give way to bucolic scenery that recalls the faraway countrysides of France and Italy. Generations of emigrants from the Old Continent made the Napa Valley the marvel that it is today, building America’s wineries with their hard work and passion.

California produces 90% of American wine, and it’s the world’s fourth-largest producer after Italy, France and Spain, generating 250 million crates of wine a year (12 bottles to a crate). Production has risen by 22% over the last 10 years, and the state is now home to over 4,000 wineries, up from only 1,870 in 2003. Wine has fueled phenomenal economic growth, adding over $125 billion to national GDP and creating 330,000 new jobs in the Golden State alone.

The industry remains primarily a family-run affair, peculiar for a country built on economies of scale and large corporations. But much like every other Californian business, Napa’s vineyards are facing serious challenges resulting from severe drought that has brought rainfall to historic lows and worsened the state’s already hot climate. The drought’s effects are visible as we follow the 101, the bright green vineyards bordered by fields of progressively intense shades of yellow. It’s a sign that some crops have been abandoned in favor of grapevines and olives, northern California’s other major agricultural export.

Read the full article: As Drought Endures, Napa Wineries See A Glass Half Full
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