There is no viticulture here, but a curious wine production. On the rocky island of Olkiluoto near the southwest coast at 61st latitude, several nuclear power plants are operated. In 2001, 150 vines of the red variety Zilga were planted near the site; the extremely frost-hardy vine comes from Latvia. The warm water from the cooling system of individual reactors flows through plastic pipes under a nearby field, like a lawn heater in a football stadium, keeping the ground frost-free all year round. Initially, it was assumed that up to 3,000 kilograms of grapes per year would be harvested; in fact, the first yield in 2003 was considerably lower, at just under 100 kilograms. The project is part of a government research program to make sensible use of the waste heat from nuclear power plants. Watermelons, corn and lettuce have already been grown on the heated area. Traditionally, wine-like drinks are made in Finland from various berries.
In the past, you needed a wealth of encyclopaedias and specialist literature to keep up to date in your vinophile professional life. Today, Wine lexicon from wein.plus is one of my best helpers and can rightly be called the "bible of wine knowledge".Prof. Dr. Walter Kutscher
Lehrgangsleiter Sommelierausbildung WIFI-Wien