Climate change and wine

Climate change and wine Image

Regularly we get asked about two important external topics in wine… Brexit and Climate change! One is more predictable than the other so let’s stick to Climate change…

This has been a hot topic over the past few years and it definitely isn't one that we (or even more so the wine-maker) can ignore. Wine-makers are like farmers, it is their job to work the land, notice weather patterns and to work in harmony with them. Like our local farmers their livelihood depends on producing that crop.

What does varying weather patterns mean for wine?

Last years hot summer and this year's uncharacteristically warm Easter has had the biggest effect on wine-makers. Warmer summers means earlier-ripening fruit. The problem here is that the grapes sugar levels go up, the acidity comes down and the grapes do not always have the time to reach full ripeness… therefore the wine produced can be unbalanced.

Perhaps the most worrying effect of the ever-warming climate is the impact of milder winters. Winter and the frosts that come with it is an important part of the growing cycle of a vine. Not only does it allow the vine to go into dormancy – a well-earned rest from a year of stress and growth – but the frost is also vital for keeping vines healthy. Without a frost there is greater the chance of disease; therefore a greater the risk of damage to the crop; a greater the risk of a bad vintage; consequently the more precarious your position as a winemaker.

Whether it's extremes of weather, or the slow(ish) build of changing circumstances, there's little doubt that the changing climate is having its effect on the world of wine. Warming temperatures may well be opening up the possibility of new growing regions, but for many who have been making wine all their lives, the situation is becoming more challenging all the time. Of course, winemakers have their ways and means of adapting or counteracting where they can, but we are moving into uncharted waters.

Luckily for us we work with very talented Farmers / Wine-makers who truly do know how to work in harmony with their land to bring about the best results. We have a growing number of Organic and Sustainable wine-makers who are doing their bit to become Carbon Neutral (and maybe even negative), producers who operate their wineries fully solar powered and those who use the local animals (wooly weeders) to weed their land.

Great wines to try from Organic anc Sustainable producers...

Ontañón Ecológico Rioja  Ferghettina Franciacorta Brut NV  Adobe Réserva Sauvignon Blanc

Ontañón Ecológico Rioja   Ferghettina Franciacorta Brut NV  Adobe Réserva Sauvignon Blanc

It's certainly an interesting time to be a wine lover! For more information about these hands on producers and the growing number of both Organic and Sustainable either pop into the shop or search for 'organic' and 'natural' wines on our website. 

Last Updated: 02/10/2019
Author: Sarah Hattersley
Sarah Hattersley

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