Food - Drink
Why Most Wine Production Could Be Lost In The Next 50 Years
Changing Wine Geography
In 2013, Dr. Lee Hannah of Conservational International reported that climate change will cause traditional wine regions to become uninhabitable to wine grapes by 2050. With a predictive map, Hannah detailed the coming changes, with red indicating uninhabitable areas, green areas remaining viable, and blue representing emerging regions.
High Heat
Record high heat has already made some regions inhospitable. Some grape varietals like pinot noir, pinot gris, and pinot blanc can’t withstand more than a 3.6-degree change – a threshold that has already been exceeded in some areas – leading some producers to adopt sustainable practices like using heat-resistant varietals to try to mitigate climate change.
Higher Latitudes
Mitigation will only go so far, and migration seems to be the obvious alternative. When it comes to wine, elevation and latitude are key components for optimal production, but as climate change intensifies, wine-makers are moving north from traditional regions to areas like Denmark, England, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Scandinavian countries.
Emerging Wine Regions
While many of the new, northern regions rely on cold-hardy grapes and hybrid crosses that produce flavors customers deem strange, there have been great strides in the industry. Denmark designated its first PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) for wine in 2018, and regions like British Columbia regularly produce award-winning wines.