India's First Wine, Food and Hospitality Website, INDIAN WINE ACADEMY, Specialists in Food & Wine Programmes. Food Importers in Ten Cities Across India. Publishers of delWine, India’s First Wine.
Skip Navigation Links
About Us
Indian Market
Wine & Health
Wine Events
Retail News
Contact Us
Skip Navigation Links
Wine Tourism
Book Review
Photo Gallery
Readers' Comments
Video Wall
Media Partners
Ask Wineguyindia
Wine & Food
Wine Guru
Gerry Dawes
Harvest Reports
Mumbai Reports
Advertise With Us
US Report on Indian Market Released
Top Ten Importers List 2015-16
On Facebook
On Twitter
Delhi Wine Club
Study: Global Warming warns Impact on Wine Production

Posted: Thursday, 11 April 2013 16:23

Study: Global Warming warns Impact on Wine Production

April 11: The latest study on global warming predicts that the land suitable for viticulture in current major wine-producing regions could be reduced by 20 per cent to 70 per cent by 2050, with California, Tuscany, Australia and France taking big dips whereas parts of North Europe, New Zealand, China and Tasmania may be the major beneficiaries, with the detractors claiming it does not factor in the remedies being considered.

The study conducted by the US National Academy of Science and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences earlier this week featured contributions from researchers across the globe. It predicts different impact in different countries. For instance In Chile, the area suitable for viticulture is expected to decrease by 25-40% but in the Mediterranean climate of southwestern Australia, the drop could be as high as 70 percent. A drop of 55% in the Cape region of South Africa is anticipated.

"Climate change is going to move potential wine-producing regions all over the map," explained the study's lead author, Lee Hannah of Conservation International, in a statement.

According to the report by Huffington Post, the area suitable for wine production in California could shrink by as much as 70 percent by 2050 due to global warming. California currently accounts for over two-thirds of the total US wine production.

While the study portends impending doom for the low-lying viticultural regions along the West Coast like Napa and Santa Barbara, there's some good news for other areas whose climates are currently not well suited for grape growing.

As the climate warms, the authors believe it may become possible to grow wine grapes at latitudes much colder and farther north than is currently possible--namely in the Yellowstone to Yukon area stretching northward from Montana and Wyoming, through much of Western Canada and even southeastern parts of Alaska.

South Australia's Coonawarra, Barossa Valley and Clare Valley, as well as Margaret River in Western Australia are among the areas that would be affected. However, according to experts the study does not take into account moves to adapt to the changed weather conditions, a sentiment expressed by many winegrowers in the areas supposed to be affected since the negative impact came to be known during the last decade. For instance, Dr Douglas Bardsley, a researcher from Adelaide University says the outlook might not be so bad."Actually viticulture can be quite resilient in the face of change," he reportedly said, citing regions like McLaren Vale have put in place measures like recycled water schemes to protect the land. Planting new grape varieties from drier climates such as Spain could also be a solution, according to Dr Bardsley, who says winegrowers are usually able to cope with change.

The Study on the other hand, has good news for New Zealand - at least for its viticulture; it found New Zealand's potential growing area could rise by 168 %. New Zealand's climate is forecast to warm by at least 1°C by 2050, while the average rate for the world has been put at more than 2°C.

The study concedes that their findings are only the tip of the iceberg. Several crops other than grapes will also be affected, according to the researchers, some with positive impact while others will be affected negatively.

The authors urge wine growers to take proactive action to combat some of the effects of climate change, such as implementing less water-intensive growing techniques or investing in new varietals tolerant to warmer temperatures. They suggested that vintners in places like France, where wines are typically identified by region, start marketing a switch toward identifying them by varietal instead, so that the customers may become more familiar by the time they are no longer able to grow the grapes they have been growing for generations.

Some of the effects during the last decade or so are already evident. In a meeting at Vinitaly a couple of days ago with Mr. Thomas Augschoell, Head of Export Marketing Support in the Chamber of Commerce of Bolzano, regarding the effect of global warming on wines of Alto Adige - the northern most region of Italy making excellent white wines, he said ‘we used to have problems with red wines due to improper ripening in the cold temperatures but in recent years there has been noticeable warming and red wines are already of higher quality.’ He expects the climate change to be very positive for red wines from the region. The study has already predicted a reduction of the suitable area in Tuscany.

A recent proclamation by the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla (Bowles) that English sparkling wine was better than Champagne may have been said out of emotions or as a politically correct statement but producers in South England also believe that if the global warming persists, her wish could indeed become true as the soil here is very similar to Champagne; unfortunately, the weather is not.

Scientists say climate change could also change the way our wines taste - and bring a shift to new varieties that perform better in warmer weather. The forced shift to newer grape varieties that may grow better in well established areas like Bordeaux may do well in the new climate regime but it would have a big psychological negative impact on the drinkers who are used to certain grape varieties as the strength of the region. There is going to be a shift in the growing of varietals during the next 4-5 decades, expect the researchers.

While India is at too nascent a stage to be part of such a study delWine has already written before, warning the producers that they must prepare themselves against the change. They need to work with their viticulturist consultants and if they can get their act together, they should work together with government bodies like the National Research Center in Pune to co-relate the study and map it for Indian conditions. Certainly the cooler climate areas would be able to withstand the vagaries better. But the pruning techniques and the varietal mix that is the most suitable etc, would come into play much before 2050.

Subhash Arora

Tags: Napa, Barossa Valley, Vinitaly


Want to Comment ?
Please enter your comments in the space provided below. If there is a problem, please write directly to Thank you.

Generate a new image

Type letters from the image:

Please note that it may take some time to get your comment published...Editor

Wine In India, Indian Wine, International Wine, Asian Wine Academy, Beer, Champagne, World Wine Academy, World Wine, World Wines, Retail, Hotel


Copyright©indianwineacademy, 2003-2020 |All Rights Reserved
Developed & Designed by Sadilak SoftNet