What’s going on here?
Wine grapes are a sensitive crop. Shifting weather patterns due to climate change will mean that we see huge differences in where our wine comes from.
What does this mean?
The ‘wine map’ is expanding. Wine usually grows 30 – 50 degrees North and South of the equator. Now, wine is being produced in Norway, as far North as 61 degrees! Nordic wineries are becoming trendier but the boom is not without challenges. Countries such as Norway are not known for their wine production (yet!) so many people are unconvinced and put off by its origin.
In usual wine-producing countries, the effects of climate change are also felt. Warmer temperatures ripen the grapes quicker and increase the alcohol content. In fact, the average percentage of alcohol in wine has increased by 2% in the last 30 years because of climate change. These wines taste heavier, which is affecting their popularity amongst consumers.
Why should we care?
While new opportunities are opening in Northern European countries such as Belgium, Norway and Sweden, others are struggling. In the South of Spain , for example, farmers are moving to higher altitudes for cooler temperatures, but they are met with poor soil quality and water scarcity.
By 2100, 56% of current wine regions are predicted to no longer be suitable for production. This will have a profound effect on people’s livelihoods, especially smaller producers who may not have the money to survive a low harvest.
· Donkey and Goat is a California winemaker seeing the effects of climate-induced forest fires on their production. Find out how they are creatively changing the way they produce wine to adapt to low harvests.
· This initiative is using specific strands of yeast to balance the acidity of wines affected by rising temperatures.
· Make sure to check out last week’s article about how farmers are adapting to climate change by returning to ancient methods