How climate change is altering wine production around the world

As climate change alters ecosystems and scientists, experts and administrators come together to avert a global catastrophe, some industries will have to adapt to the new conditions in order to survive.

Viticulture is one of these sectors.

The recent French forest fires destroyed 73 wineries and 5 cooperatives on several hectares of land. But forest fires are just one of the many problems for wineries.

Rising sea levels, erratic rainfall, flooding, rising average temperatures, disruption of weather conditions, can all contribute to severely affected grape production and the wine-making process.

For winemaking, a process that can be affected by minute factors like the acidity of a particular batch of grapes, climate change is proving to be a tall order.

As a result, many wine producers are turning to cooler climates. Average temperatures in many traditional wine regions continue to get too hot to continue to sustainably cultivate grapes that can be used in wines.

Other changes include using new grape varieties that are much more heat resistant or using grapes that ripen earlier in the year before the summer heat is in full swing.

Governments are already working to find ways to minimize the impact of climate change on this profitable and labor-intensive sector. Scientists have proposed innovative changes such as canopy management, drip irrigation techniques, deficit irrigation strategies, adoption of winter cover crops, among others. But more research is needed to truly understand the full impact of climate change on wine production.

While traditional areas are now too hot for wine production, previously cooler areas have now become suitable regions for wine production. In regions like Argentina and Chile, producers are moving to the coast and the mountains.

While the viticulture of the south of France could consider settling in the Alps or the neighboring Pyrenees. At the same time, the UK is becoming a better producer of wine.

Of all the things he’s brought in, better quality UK wine production may be the most sacrilegious act of climate change for the French after all.


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