That bottle of Bordeaux you put aside may become even rarer in the next few decades as climate change could reduce wine grape production in traditional parts of the world and move it elsewhere, researchers say. Danish Cabernet, anyone?
Wine grape production’s sensitivity to climate makes it a good test case for what could happen in the next several decades. And the land suitable for viticulture in current major wine producing regions could be reduced by 20 percent to 70 percent by 2050, depending on the amount of greenhouse gases produced, the researchers said this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
An increasingly affluent global population is likely to create more demand for wine and ensure that wine grapes will continue to be grown in current areas as much as possible and be grown in new areas as well, the researchers said.
The researchers say they expected a “major global redistribution of suitability” for wine grape production regions. That has significance for what happens to water resources and animal habitats, Lee Hannah, an author of the study and senior scientist for climate change biology at Conservation International’s new Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Ecosystem Science, said at a news conference on the paper.
That could mean that wine grape production moves from regions such as Mediterranean France to higher latitudes, including Northern Europe and the western U.S. At present, Mediterranean regions, with dry and warm summers and cool and wet winters, are especially suitable.
“The actual extent of those redistributions will depend on market forces, available adaptations options for vineyards, and continued popularity of wine with consumers,” researchers said.