Keeping An Eye On The Weather In Sicily Via Cusumano’s App

The jet stream screwed us. Well that’s what Sky News is putting our unseasonably wet weather down to. Unfortunately, it’s screwing everyone, so mainland Europe is having as weird and wonderful a time as we are, with blistering sunshine some days but storms and hail the next – probably not ideal conditions for winemaking.

Unless you get your ya yas out from watching weather bulletins all day or are a dab hand at reading satellite weather reports, you, like I, have probably only paid cursory attention to the travails of winemakers in France or Italy when they tweet or blog about upcoming inclement weather.

One winery that makes it very easy and, dare I say it, almost fun to keep an eye on the weather in their region is Cusumano in Sicily. The folks at Cusumano haven’t just created an impressive website but have gone one step further and developed quite a slick free app for the iPad (see screenshots below). Yes it still has the ubiquitous naff music that you find on many a winery’s website but that’s where the mute button comes in handy.

In reality, the app is nothing more than a marketing gimmick and is pretty similar to the website, but if you are the sort of geek who leafs through your copy of The World Atlas of Wine when opening a bottle of Nero d’Avola, this will take your anti social behaviour (not the ASBO kind, mind you!) to the next level. For instance, when I recently tried the Benuara 2007, I was able to use the interactive map to see images of the vineyards up close, examine the characteristics of the terroir…and…yes, you’ve guessed it…find out what the weather was like at that exact moment in the vineyard (a toasty night temp of 27 degrees if you believe the screenshot below). Obviously the images aren’t live feeds and therefore it’ll always look sunny no matter what the live weather readout is, but I think you’ll agree that it’s still pretty nifty stuff. It really puts the efforts of many winery websites to shame when all you get from them is a scatty summary of a vintage that last saw the shop shelves five years ago.

The app well worth a download despite the odd glitch and the wines I’ve tasted from the winery aren’t too shabby either.