Australia is so hot even the grapes wear sunscreen
I may not have absorbed a lot of the good advice I got when I was younger (floss every day; sit up straight; don’t make that face or it’ll stick), but I did absorb a lot of one thing: sunscreen. As someone who loathes sunburn but loves being outside, my only real choices were a) wear a lot of sunscreen or b) move to the Pacific Northwest (spoiler: I did both).
Faced with the record-breaking heatwaves of a Down Under summer, Australian grape vines are as at-risk as a Urry on an average day at the beach. But while Aussie vintners don’t have the luxury of following me to Cascadia, they CAN take a hint from camp counselors everywhere and liberally apply SPF to their crop. At least one vineyard is doing just that, according to the BBC:
The quality of the vintage depends not only on the sun and the soil, but the temperature. Very hot weather can inflict serious damage, and too much heat can cause the berries to shrivel or suffer sunburn.
“You put sunscreen on your kids when they go out in the sun, so we put it on our grapevines. That just goes on like a normal spray,” says Bruce Tyrrell, the chief executive of Tyrrell’s Wines.
Australian grapes could use all the zinc oxide they can get. Temperatures in wine-growing regions of Oz already reach 113 degrees, and climate change brings the promise of even hotter days. All that leaves only one question: Would you prefer your Yellowtail in Coppertone Cabernet or Sauvignon Banana Boat?