Climate, how does it affect wine?

Climate change, we all heard of it. But does it have anything to do with the global wine industry?

Actually, it has everything to do with the wine industry. Wine, as we know it today, would not be how it is, if the climate did not change this much. The regions of the world are influenced gravely by the climate it is in. A while ago, Wine Folly wrote an interesting blog about how the climate change is going to affect the wine industry and the regions of the world by 2050. In this, there is also indicated what regions fail to thrive and which are going to thrive by the time of 2050.

As you can see on this picture, there are many regions indicated as red. This indicates that the region will be too dry and it will be very difficult to grow wine grapes. Green tells us that the region will be fine for this, blue will be new potential growing areas.

The funny thing to see is that the Netherlands could be a potential new wine region.

The wines

A wine producer in La Mancha, Mureda, makes beautiful wines under the name of DrĂ¡gora Tinto. This Tinto is mostly made of Tempranillo, which is resilient to heat and drought. But this drought is very bad for the grapes when they are maturing on the vine. In terms of viticulture, this producer must change quite some things to enhance the quality of the grapes in the future, by 2050.

The changes can be to irrigate, fighting the drought that might happen. This is easier here in Spain than in France, due to appellation laws. France has one of the strictest appellation laws in the world, making it difficult to change viticulture techniques.

On the other side of the Mediterranean Sea, we end up in Piedmont. Here, it is Nada who makes wines. This region is situated in Northern-Italy, bordering France and Switzerland. Guiseppe Nada makes red wines here, and as you can see, the colour is in the region red. Indicating that it will be difficult to make wine here. The changes that Guiseppe Nada could make, is to change the grape varieties they grow in the designated area. Seen the fact that terroir is so very important for the expression of the grape, this would be a good option. Terroir, as you might know, is the combination of the following factors:

  • Climate
  • Soil
  • Grape variety
  • Geographical Location
  • The winemaker

The thing about terroir is that some winemakers agree with the fact that it is very important for wine, others are sceptic.

Food for thought

The world is constantly changing, therefore it is very important to respond to this and not sit still. The world of wine is also changing, one cannot expect that a wine tastes the same in 50 years as today. Wine will always be a surprise and an adventure, how much knowledge someone has, it will always be a surprise.