Italian Grapes Make Early Debut
Spooks Wine Country
Be it global warming, or just an unusually hot summer, Italy is experiencing its earliest grape harvest in decades.   (Shutterstock.com)
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(Newser) – This year's grape harvest in Italy will be unlike any one in living memory—for starters because it's happening in August. Because of sky-high temperatures and scanty rainfall, grapes are ripening three to four weeks ahead of normal schedules. Some grape growers blame it on global warming, but scientists warn not to be too hasty.

It could just be part of the weather cycle, and it's not necessarily a bad thing for the grapes—or the wine. One grape grower said that the hot, arid summer shrank his harvest but upped the quality of the grapes, intensifying the natural sugars. But it's disconcerting, at minimum. 'What the hell has gone wrong with the world?" asks one wine veteran.