Climate Change May Affect the Finest Wines in the World
Climate change is likely to make the wine producing regions of France and Switzerland too hot for traditionally grown grapes, and vineyards in these regions may then have to switch to hotter climate varieties, change long established methods, move or go out of business, suggests a new NASA study.
In much of France and Switzerland, the best years for grapes are traditionally those with abundant spring rains followed by an exceptionally hot summer and late season drought. This drives vines to put forth robust, fast maturing fruit, and brings an early harvest.
In the new study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the scientists analysed 20th and 21st century weather data, pre-modern reconstructions of temperature, precipitation and soil moisture, and vineyard records going back to 1600.
They showed that in the relatively cool winemaking areas of France and Switzerland, early harvests have always required both above average air temperatures and late season drought.