Posted: Jul 15, 2017
This is not good news
Wine lovers, try not to run to the nearest off licence to stock up on vino, but there may be good reason to panic.
As well as rising sea levels, melting glaciers and severe droughts, there’s another seriously unwelcome effect of global warming that you should know about.
According to a recent study, rising temperatures mean we could be heading for a wine shortage when it comes to hotter European countries.
An article in the Temperature Journal says a slight increase in climate in the Mediterranean region may result in labour and productivity losses in the European wine industry.
The study looked at winemakers in Cyprus who work in temperatures that can reach up to 36C.
During a period of monitoring, the researchers found that there was a 15 per cent decrease in the amount of time that workers could tend to their vineyards, because they had to stop for extra, unplanned breaks to drink water and sit in the shade.
As well as a loss of labour, the changing temperatures could destroy some of the world’s most cherished vineyards.
Climate is one of the key controlling factors in grape and wine production, and a change in temperatures in a particular region can spoil a vineyard’s quality.
Wine composition is largely dependent on both the mesoclimate and the microclimate, and so for high quality wines to be produced, a climate-soil-variety equilibrium has to be maintained.
This means that esteemed vineyards are under threat as the world’s climate slowly warms.
There is a silver lining for us Brits, however.
This year, Norfolk emerged as the unlikely region to produce one of the world’s best white wines, according to the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards.
The county’s Winbirri Vineyards Bacchus 2015, which costs a wallet-pleasing £13.95, was named the best white wine made from a single grape variety - scoring 95 points out of a possible 100.
The award-winning wine is grown at the Winiberry Wines vineyard, which is based on the edge of the Norfolk Broads National Park.
In recent years, the county’s climate has revealed itself as surprisingly ideal for growing the Bacchus grape, thanks to its dry autumnal conditions.
By Liz Connor
July 13, 2017
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