• All Share : 51629.23
    UP 0.41%
    Top40 - (Tradeable) : 45069.02
    UP 0.45%
    Financial 15 : 14393.56
    UP 0.56%
    Industrial 25 : 67697.77
    DOWN -0.10%
    Resource 10 : 32578.11
    UP 1.76%

  • ZAR/USD : 13.9849
    UP 0.23%
    ZAR/GBP : 17.1164
    UP 0.37%
    ZAR/EUR : 15.2599
    UP 0.13%
    ZAR/JPY : 0.1346
    UP 0.67%
    ZAR/AUD : 10.6724
    UP 0.32%

  • Gold US$/oz : 1265.7
    UP 0.04%
    Platinum US$/oz : 931
    DOWN -0.21%
    Silver US$/oz : 17.5
    UP 0.06%
    Palladium US$/oz : 622
    DOWN -1.27%
    Brent Crude : 51.9
    UP 0.99%

  • All data is delayed by 15 min. Data supplied by Profile Data
    Hover cursor over this ticker to pause.

Sun Oct 23 16:22:05 CAT 2016

Climate change: French wine growers could be over a barrel

AFP | 23 March, 2016 06:40
Woman holding bunches of grapes.
Image by: Thinkstock

Climate change has pushed French wines into uncharted territory, and could force producers to relocate or abandon the grapes that helped to make their vineyards famous, scientists say.

Since 1980, growing conditions in northern climes such as Champagne and Burgundy, as well as in sun-drenched Bordeaux, have fundamentally changed the "harvest equation" that defined these storied regions, they reported in Nature Climate Change.

"For much of France, local climates have been relatively stable for hundreds or thousands of years," said Elizabeth Wolkovich, co-author of the study. "But that is shifting with climate change."

Many ingredients go into great winemaking: soil, grape variety, slope, exposure to the sun, along with savoir faire in the vineyards and the cellar.

But exceptional vintages have historically also required an early harvest produced by abundant spring rains, hot summers and a late-season drought.

Droughts helped heighten temperatures just enough to bring in the harvest a few weeks early, said lead author Benjamin Cook.

"Now, it's become so warm thanks to climate change, grape growers don't need drought to get these very warm temperatures," Cook said.

Using records dating back to 1,600, Cook and Wolkovich found harvest dates had moved up by two full weeks since 1980 compared to the average for the preceding 400 years.

"If we keep pushing the heat up, vineyards can't maintain that forever," said Wolkovich.


If you have an opinion you would like to share on this article, please send us an e-mail to the Times LIVE iLIVE team. In the mean time, click here to view the Times LIVE iLIVE section.