Undoubtedly, some of you have heard about the drought hitting Spain and Portugal this year. Today, I found an article on the BBC that discusses the long lasting effects the dry weather will have on farms throughout Portugal. Although horrific for many crops, with the right conditions, the opposite can be true for grapes. The heat and stress of the weather can, at times, force grape vines to produce more concentrated grapes, as exemplified during the 2003 vintage in Europe. However, in 2003, most areas were fortunate enough to receive ample water the previous winter (the most critical time in terms of rain), whereas we have not been so lucky this year. Rainfall did not come in any significant quantity during the winter months, leaving many to wonder if the vines might eventually shutdown.
It sounds like this year might provide some interesting, if not sparse, pickings throughout Europe. All we can do now is wait and see.