Tags: French | Wine | Improving | Climate Change | Weather | Grapes | vineyard

French Wine May Be Improving Due to Climate Change

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By    |   Tuesday, 22 Mar 2016 09:28 AM

Wine from France has had some very good years recently, and it may be due to climate change. A study reported by the Harvard Gazette says that earlier warm weather has resulted in better wine production from vineyards in France.

Earlier harvesting generally results in better wine. The study found that grape harvesting now occurs two weeks earlier. NASA researchers and Elizabeth Wolkovich, assistant professor of organismic and evolutionary biology at Harvard, studied vineyard records stretching back to the year 1600.

The study has some bad news. Data indicates, according to Wolkovich, that as weather continues to warm, "higher temperatures will not produce higher quality."

"It's become so warm thanks to climate change, grape growers don't need drought to get these very warm temperatures," said climate scientist Benjamin Cook, the study's lead author.

The study uses 2003 as an example of when the warm-weather threshold of quality might be reached. That summer produced a deadly heat wave, but the wine quality was mixed.

The study covered multiple vineyards throughout France, and the researchers found it to be a valuable look into climate change. Most records only go back a century, said Wolkovich, when climate change is believed to have already taken effect.

Key to this study was many years of available historical records, since vineyards have been producing wine for centuries.

"These are some of the longest human records we have where people are actually writing down data year after year," Wolkovich said. "Our data goes back to 1300."

"Grapes have allowed us to see that we have fundamentally shifted the climate system through our actions," Wolkovich said.

Grapes in Oregon have also been affected by climate change, according to a report in the Capital Press. 

Oregon's niche in winemaking is its harvesting during cooler weather. The "heat content" of oceans, says the report, will affect seasons and reduce the window of vineyard harvest time.

The wine industry in Australia is facing extremes in rainfall and drought due to climate change, according to Reuters.

Those extremes have jeopardized the Australia wine industry's rebound from recent years of lower exports.

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Wine from France has had some very good years recently, and it may be due to climate change. A study reported by the Harvard Gazette says that earlier warm weather has resulted in better wine production from vineyards in France.
French, Wine, Improving, Climate Change, Weather, Grapes, vineyard
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2016-28-22
Tuesday, 22 Mar 2016 09:28 AM
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