All stable in Chile at least. The Chileans understand the risks of living in a shaky land and empathise with the New Zealanders and especially with the Japanese and the shattering dimension of their land’s torsion and the consequences.
It is interesting to observe La Nina’s other face on the Chilean shore of the Pacific opposite Australia. The winter here was exceptionally dry.
The Chilean equivalent of Coonawarra or Margaret River is Apalta a horseshoe of granitic mountains on the vertical scale of the Grampians and also composed of granite. The horseshoe surprisingly faces south over the flood plain of the unpronounceable Tinguiririca River. The vines climb up from the river’s northern bank to as high as the concave slope will allow man and tractor to stay out of the horizontal.
This beautiful mountain is renowned as the natural terroir for Carmenere, Chile’s own Bordeaux relic variety although it ripens some very good Cabernet Sauvignon which is a half brother of Carmenere, both fathered by Cabernet Franc.
The point of this ampelographical/geographical journey is that Apalta has had just 270mm’s of rain for the year 2010 against an average of greater than 600mm’s. The great balance of nature is strongly evident across the Pacific and for a while at least all of the rain is on our side.
In the short term the weather cycles are much stronger than the climate trends.