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What Climate Change Means For The Wine Industry

Global Warming Will Affect The Quality Of Our Wine

Dr Elizabeth Wolkovich, who took part in a research published in the journal Nature Climate Change, explained in a recent article from the guardian that higher temperatures in France are producing exceptional vintage but that the run will come to an end if global warming continues at the current rate. Indeed, with temperatures getting warmer in France, grape maturation is accelerated and earlier harvests are generally associated with higher quality wines. However, several data points tell us there is a definite threshold we will cross in the future where higher temperatures will not produce higher quality. She pointed out that a foretaste of what might be to come occurred in 2003 when a searing heat wave led to the earliest French grape harvest ever recorded. In that year, grapes were picked a full month ahead of their usual time. However, the wines they produced were mediocre.




So climate change will transform the world’s wine map. World renowned regions producing high quality wines may soon become unsuitable for raising grapes. A 2011 study led by Dr Yves Tourre, from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, suggested that a combination of natural climate variability and human-induced warming could force pinot noir grapes out of many parts of Burgundy. Other reports indicated that Bordeaux might lose its cabernets and merlots. One controversial study published in 2013 predicted that by 2050 some two-thirds of today’s wine regions may no longer have climates suitable for the grapes they now grow.

Researchers predict a two-thirds fall in production in the world's premier wine regions because of climate change

This makes up for a huge paradox in the wine industry. On the one hand, global warming is to blame for the temperature rising which in turn will affect the quality of our wine, but on the other hand, most winemaking practices use chemical-based pesticides and fertilizers that contribute to the greenhouse effect. And taking into account all the other industry-related impacts on climate change, we are the ones to blame.


So, what’s a wine lover to do? To minimize our ecological impact, the best option for the environment is wine that is organic. Not only does organic farming minimize greenhouse-gas emissions, an organic vineyard also supports a thriving ecosystem of birds, bugs and other critters, while a conventional field has been cleared of anything but the precious grapes.


We were able to interview The Wine Butler, who has shared with us his favourite naturally produced, organic wines so that you can indulge and de-stress without causing unnecessary stress on the environment.


“Here are my top 3 wines for this summer. All the wines are made organically (of course), low in sulphites, suitable for vegans, and most importantly absolutely delicious. We don’t want you waking up the next morning with a killer headache, which is why i’ve chosen wines that have been made without the use of any chemicals or nasties that are regularly found in conventional, non-organic wines.”

‘Gran Cerdo’, Spain - A fresh, crips and dry white from Spain that is organic and also suitable for vegans. This is the kind of white that goes with everything food wise, which is why it works so well as a wedding white. The alcohol comes in at 11.9%, so you can drink it without worrying about passing out later.


‘Vol de Nuits Rose’, Provence - A fully biodynamic rose made by a husband and wife team who are all about quality over quantity. If you’re having a summer wedding then this is the go to rose for sure. Suitable for vegans.


‘Ciello Rosso’, Nero D’Avola, Sicily - A juicy and fruity red full of red berry flavours. A great summer red that can be served slightly chilled, and is also suitable for vegans.