It’s clear at this point that climate change represents a grave threat to the West Coast of the United States. As temperatures steadily rise, the risk of droughts and wildfires climbs ever higher, which threatens people’s homes and their livelihoods. There’s no sense in denying it any longer; climate change must be fought.
It also must be adapted to. As businesses look to stay viable amid an ever-changing climate, they’ve had to adjust their long-term strategies to account for climate-related threats. One great example of this, according to The Verge, comes from the wine industry, where grape growers and wineries are looking at new ways to stay competitive.
The impact of climate change on the wine business is real. For example, Tom Eddy, a winemaker in Napa Valley, told The Verge that he lost about 80 percent of his wine to wildfires in 2017, leading to a loss of about $2.5 million. This has been a problem all over the world—not just in California but up the West Coast in Oregon and Washington, and in international markets like Australia, Chile, Portugal, and Spain. Winemakers everywhere are seeing a need to tweak their business models.
“Some of my colleagues think they can change a few management practices but otherwise pretty much stay with business as usual,” said David Graves, another winery owner in Napa. “I don’t think that is a wise strategy.”
So, what can they do, then? A few viable strategies have begun to emerge. For starters, grape growers can change up their preferred locations, steering clear of areas that are particularly vulnerable to wildfires. They can also grow different varieties of grapes, opting for those that are less likely to be spoiled by droughts or smoky conditions.
There’s no sense in hiding from climate change anymore; wineries need to make the necessary adjustments. The bottom line is that the future is unpredictable, and no grape grower or winemaker can know when the next climate-related disaster might hit. The only thing they can do is be ready.