2013-04-04

Could Climate Change Make Scandinavia The Next Great Wine Region?

As weather patterns change, can we expect the same flavor from the same grapes grown in the same places? The wine industry doesn’t think so, and it’s already making contingency plans.

If there’s a certain wine that you can’t imagine living without, drink up now while you still have the chance.

Climatologists predict that climate change will drastically affect the world of wine, as warmer weather turns famous wine regions too hot or dry, completely changes the flavor profile of wine from certain areas, and creates new wine-growing regions altogether, as territory formerly hostile to vineyards, like parts of Scandinavia, warms up. Discovery News reports:

"Can any region continue to grow the exact same varieties and make the exact same style of wines? If what we know today is correct, that is highly unlikely," said Gregory Jones, oenology professor at Southern Oregon University.

Some parts of the world that could benefit, according to Discovery:

"Tasmania, parts of New Zealand, southern Chile, Ontario and other parts of Canada, England and the Mosel and Rhine areas in Germany."

Parts of the world that could suffer? France and other Mediterranean wine-growing countries. In fact, dryer and hotter weather throughout the Mediterranean has already affected some wine growers, who may find that their wines are "full-bodied and more alcoholic, at the expense, some say, of finesse."

So what can growers do to adapt with the times? Move their vines higher up into the hills to search for cooler weather, for starters. And researchers are exploring the hundreds of warm-weather grape varietals that they know next to nothing about, with the hope that genes for heat tolerance could be bred into classic wine grapes.

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