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Winemaker slaps sunblock on grapes

As temperatures continue to rise in Australia, winemakers are increasingly turning to sunscreen in order to protect their grapes.

While it might be more commonly used to prevent your skin turning a nasty shade of red, it seems grapes too can benefit from the well-worn “slip, slap slop slogan” made popular by the 1980’s Australian ad campaign.

As reported by the BBC, winemakers in Australia have taken to putting sunscreen on their grapes to prevent them from burning in the Australian sun following one of the hottest years on record. While a certain amount of heat can help ripen grapes, too much can cause grapes to shrivel.

At Tyrrell’s vineyard in the Hunter Valley, where temperatures can exceed 45C (113F), spraying grapes with a sunscreen solution has become common practice.

Bruce Tyrrell, the chief executive of Tyrrell’s Wines, told the BBC: “Your vineyard gets this funny white-blue colour, and you look on the berries and there is a little coating on them. It is just like putting sunscreen on and it gives it some protection.”

Climate change is likely to make heatwaves more common in Australia, according to scientists, with winemakers left to tackle rising costs associated with changing climates.

Earlier this week a bushfire ripped through thousands of hectares in the Adelaide Hills region destroying at least half of one winery’s vineyards – a blaze that was described as one of the worst in three decades.

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