Climate change is something that has been discussed and debated across many different industries throughout the years, but is the European Union – the world’s largest wine producer – about to feel the effects of this change?
According to a report by EurActive France, European vineyards and winemakers alike should be prepared to see a drastic change in their wine production over the coming few years.
The Threat of Climate Change
Changes in climate have already begun, and many winemakers have already experienced a shift in both the production and the resulting quality of the wine; some reporting higher alcohol content in their 2015 wines after experiencing an unexpected and unusually hot summer.
Due to the higher temperatures, the grapes became infused with a higher sugar content. Subsequently they were harvested early and generated a wine with a much higher alcohol content than usual.
Does This Spell The End of European Wine?
Winemakers predicted that a hotter climate, accompanied by drier weather, will challenge even the most experienced producers. And although these conditions may make it more difficult, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the continent will no longer be a successful wine producer.
What Does the Future Hold?
For European wines to continue to be successful there will have to be some adaptations introduced into the growing process in order to support the vineyards. This could range from extra watering, in order to prevent the roots of the plants from drying out, to moving the vineyards to a more hospitable area.
This shift in climate could mean that some of the most renowned wine-making countries could soon be under threat; particularly those with already warm climates – such as Italy and Spain.
It is also predicted that many countries in the North of Europe will be increasingly able to produce wines, including right here in the United Kingdom. As the climate changes, Britain could become more appropriate for the growth of grapes than the hotter, drier climates creeping up from the South.
Grapes used in wine production are usually quite sensitive to changes in weather and, as such, producers are considering their future. With more pressure to continue to produce wine – and more steps needed in the growing process to support the vineyards in their production of useable grapes – it has been predicted that prices of wines from these regions may increase drastically as climates continue to change.
As such, we think there has been no better time than the present to stock up your wine cellars with delicious European wines. And although we will still have access to these wines, we are definitely set for a drastic change in the taste and production of some of the best known European vineyards.