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Wine Saved By Sunscreen? - Yup

by kelly / April, 15 2015 01:30

You are probably confused by my title.  I was too when I first heard about sunscreen helping to save vineyards and ultimately wine in Australia.  It's true, see even grapes need some sunblock and sun protection.  Of course the idea of sunscreen showing up in my wine doesn't sound tasty but I'll explain more about how it all goes down and how you still end up with great wine.


The sun in Australia is strong due to a hole in the ozone layer above the country and as one of the countries with the highest skin cancer rates, Australians are active sunscreen wearers.  Plants and crops need sunblock as well as they can get sunburnt in heat waves.  We actually wrote about how plants make their own sunscreen a while back - check out the article here.  If grapes get sunburnt they are more susceptible to rotting after a rainstorm.  Additionally, sunburnt grapes can leave wine with an unpleasant burnt sugar flavor.


So before a heat wave is anticipated, vineyard farmers will spray their crop with a special kind of sunscreen.  This special sunscreen is made with a clay that is safe to use on food. No worries, after the harvest the grapes are washed before the fermentation process.  


So there you have it, the next time you drink some wine from Australia - think about whether it's been sprayed with some sunblock.

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