Climate Change's effect on Wine Regions


Today in the year 2013 weather conditions have become more warmer and unpredictable. It can be said that global warming, caused by humanity or just natural occurrences, has the potential to affect wine regions around the world in a huge way. It already has had significant effects in the recent past and looks to become the dominant issue in years to come.

Extreme dry soils of Provence
Extreme dry soils of Provence

There has been an average increase of two degrees Celsius in the last 50 years for the main wine regions of the world. But also following this increase in temperature is the increase in wine quality. It is also forecasted that 50 years from now there will be another two 2 degrees celsius increase in global temperature. This is going to dramatically change or even ruin hot climate wine regions such as Portugal and Spain. However this temperature increase will open up new opportunities to areas such as Skåne in Sweden and Southern England.

Klagshamn Vineyard Sweden
Klagshamn Vineyard Sweden

Hot regions will have their grapes over-ripe causing grapes to be lacking in flavour concentration. Other regions, which could be said to be cool/warm climate, will have to change what grape varietals they plant and make wine from. The increase in temperature could become critical in areas such as California, Rioja, Barolo, Chianti and parts of Australia especially in the Hunter Valley.

Dusty Vineyards Barossa Valley
Dusty Vineyards Barossa Valley

The future temperature increase could lead to harvest periods being brought forward, reduced water availability, and of course the increased pest management. If the future projections are correct, winemakers and viticulturists around the world could be in for hard times adapting their vineyards and wines to take into account these climate changes.

 

Below are a few links to websites which provide more information about what is to be expected in the future for the wine industry.

 

Decanterclimatechange

 

PracticalVineyard&Winery