Walla Walla has several different micro climates depending on where you are in the valley. Winemaker Anna Schafer from aMaurice talks about how the vineyards higher up in the valley receive a different micro climate due to the inversion effect. This video interview is taken from the vineyards in Walla Walla Washington.
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Clip excerpt for the hearing impaired:
Anna Schafer: You get more rain up here, and you get more wind. And you generally get a bit more of a buffer for the freeze that will generally happen every 6 to 8 years in the valley. It is a hard freeze, it usually comes in the early part of winter and so we definitely do get some mitigation just being this high up. Which is pretty amazing. We appreciate it! It doesn’t always work, there has to be an inversion coming off the mountains, but when that happens and there is an inversion this is a freeze safe place.
Amanda Barnes: And you also get another inversion when it is very hot down at the bottom…
Anna Schafer: Yes, this is what we are experiencing right now.
Amanda Barnes: So can you tell us a bit how that works?
Anna Schafer: So when the valley floor, when heat rises off the valley floor, it really does draw the cool air from the mountains through and brings it down, kind of almost as a vacuum and it blows definitely from the mountains, all the way down to the valley. I mean you can feel it generally down there, but you can feel the heat way more down the valley floor than you can up here. Vines can actually perform photosynthesis up to 100 degree (F) up here. And don’t really shut down because of these strong breezes that you get, these strong cool breezes that you can pretty much set your watch to at 3 o clock! Here comes the wind!