Wine or whine: Grape expectations on climate change

Wine or whine: Grape expectations on climate change.

Wine or whine: Grape expectations on climate change. Image: Lisa-S /

Researchers are sounding the alarm about the potential disappearance of famous wine regions in Spain, Italy, France, and Greece if global temperatures rise beyond the 2°C threshold.

Their warning comes after reviewing over 200 studies on how climate change affects grape production.

Published in the Nature Reviews Earth & Environment journal, the report says that if temperatures go up by more than 2°C, 70 per cent of current winemaking areas could be at risk.

About 29 per cent might face extreme climate conditions, making it hard to produce top-quality wine.

The fate of the other 41 per cent will depend on how well they adapt to the changes.

Researchers from the University of Bordeaux and the University of Burgundy say rising temperatures could put 49 per cent to 70 per cent of current wine regions at risk.

Places like coastal Spain, Italy, Greece, and southern California are especially vulnerable, facing more droughts and heatwaves that could wipe out their vineyards by the end of the century.

While some adaptation strategies, like growing different types of grapes and trying new rootstocks, might help in the short term, they might not be enough to keep wine production profitable in at-risk areas.

However, warmer temperatures could create opportunities for grape growing in places like the UK, northern France, Washington State, Oregon, and Tasmania.

The researchers stress that keeping global warming below 2°C could save over half of the world’s traditional vineyards, highlighting the urgent need to tackle climate change’s impact on winemaking.

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Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.