The past year certainly showed us the world can turn upside down in a hurry, and the wine world is no exception.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have been disrupted in lots of ways. It hammered hospitality industries, winery tasting rooms, restaurants and bars. Ultimately, wine shopping saw a dramatic shift towards online instead of in-store. However, now the industry is foreseeing certain shortages in the 2021 vintage for a variety of reasons:
- Fires in Australia and the US West Coast devastated some areas so badly that it’s likely we are going to miss some of the great wines usually produced there.
- New Zealand’s climate was also highly changeable. First, there was warmer weather that spurred on bud break, next came a late frost that damaged tender budding tissue and then came a heat wave with dry conditions throughout the growing season. The world’s second-largest producer of sauvignon blanc may see production cut by one third.
- From Bordeaux to Burgundy to Champagne, this spring saw a late frost affecting up to 80% of French vineyards in almost every region. A March warm spell caused early bud break, then came the killing frost. The 2021 vintage may be one of the smallest ever, perhaps half of what is normal. The French government has declared an agricultural disaster.
We may feel in control, but just a few years ago the big issue was overproduction and crashing prices for grapes, now Mother Nature has decided to force another change. So, just between us squirrel friends, we think that it’s best to stock up now whilst we still can, so we don’t miss our favorite wines for a whole year.
Cheers to full wine racks!