A new study has found that global warming will make it difficult to raise grapes in traditional wine country, which will force production to shift to other regions. The study has found sharp declines in wine production from Bordeaux, Rhone, Tuscany, California's Napa Valley, and Chile by 2050 as warming climates make it harder to raise grapes in traditional wine country.
Researchers are now predicting a two-thirds fall in production in the world's premier wine regions due to climate change, with the biggest decline expected in Europe. However, they also anticipate that wine production will make a large push into areas that were once considered unsuitable for wine making, which could mean a greater variety from northern Europe, the northwest U.S., and even the hills of central China.
Lee Hannah, a senior scientist at Conservation International and an author of the study, says:
"The fact is that climate change will lead to a huge shakeup in the geographic distribution of wine production."
Researchers are anticipating huge changes in the regions that produce good grapes. Hannah notes:
"It will be harder and harder to grow those varieties that are currently growing in places in Europe. It doesn't necessarily mean that [they] can't be grown there, but it will require irrigation and special inputs to make it work, and that will make it more and more expensive."
One of the most finicky varieties of grapes are white grapes, which are sensitive to very subtle temperature shifts, rain, and sunshine.