Saturday, August 4, 2007

Climate Change and Wine

...Climate change is having an effect on vineyards all over the world, of course, not just those around Stellenbosch. Climatologists at the University of Oregon say their models show the amount of U.S. land suitable for growing wine grapes could be reduced by as much as 81 per cent by the end of the century if current trends continue. Australia's wine industry is in crisis, plagued by brutal drought, and the growing season too hot in recent years for many varieties to be harvested.

Climate change has meant good things for other wine-growing areas. English farmers are planting Champagne vines, and Austria's red wines, oenophiles say, are much improved by the hotter growing seasons of the past few years. British Columbia's climate is getting better and better for wine growing, and the warming is good for Nova Scotia's nascent industry, too.

But not for South Africa: It's getting too hot, and too wet (at the wrong times) in the key wine-growing region, and the flagship but fragile sauvignon blanc has been the first, but not the last, to suffer.

...The greatest predicted change was for southern Portugal (2.84 degrees), with the lowest predicted change expected in South Africa (0.88 degrees).
From the Globe and Mail