Wine Can Get Sunburned?

Wine can’t. But wine grapes can. With climate change beginning to be observed in many warmer wine regions, winemakers are increasingly concerned about sunburned grapes. Like human skin, the grape skins can wrinkle, thicken, and get more leathery in response to too much direct sun. When such grapes are made into wine, the wine can often have a rustic, rough feel—exactly the opposite of what most winemakers hope for. To protect grapes from too much sun, wineries often grow grapes so that the clusters are partially shaded by the vines’ leaves.  It’s a tricky call, however, because too much shading could mean the grapes wouldn’t ripen properly and the resulting wine could taste like canned green beans.

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