Jo Burzynska writes in the New Zealand Herald about research suggesting that the high levels of UV experienced by New Zealand could be a factor in the distinctive tastes of our wine.
It might also boost the healthy-giving properties of wine by triggering vines to increase their production of polyphenols, a natural antioxidant.
An excerpt: (read in full here)
“”Scientists are interested in the effects of UV on plants because New Zealand receives about 45-50 per cent higher levels of ultra-violet radiation compared with similar latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere,” says Professor Brian Jordan, who’s been leading research into the effects of UV radiation on grapes and vines in an ongoing study at Lincoln University.
“He’s been looking at sauvignon blanc grapes and confirmed that UV affects the biochemistry of grapes and their resulting wines. This may lead to changes in the properties of the wine, such as its texture and the way it ages.”