Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Say Goodbye to Chianti? Global warming and the demise of beloved wines

It may not happen in my lifetime, but a child born today may never know Chianti, Bordeaux or a boutique cabernet from Napa Valley. Why? Because those centuries-old (in some cases) wine regions may become much too hot for vintners to continue growing grapes for table wines.
Here's an excerpt from a study published this week in a journal of the National Academy of Sciences:
"The study predicts that by 2050, areas suitable for grape cultivation will decrease between 25 and 73 percent in major wine-producing regions. . . . Wines from traditional regions may also be more difficult to find in coming years. . . .Wine is very susceptible to changes in climate and temperature, Hannah said, because climate changes affect terroir, or the environmental conditions in which grapes are grown. This in turn influences the taste of wine."
On the other hand, some regions that traditionally have been too cool to produce a variety of wines, especially those made from red grapes, may be able to compete with the big boys. An article on Huffington Post about this trend mentions the surprisingly good wines from New Jersey, and I also think about the pinot noirs coming out of Germany, formerly only known for white grapes.
To read more, click here.

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