I heard it through the grapevine

Grapes.jpg Could vineyards be the “canary in the coalmine” for climate change impacts on agriculture? British wine writer Robert Joseph in the Guardian [UK] covers some of the ideas that emerged in last month’s Barcelona wine and climate conference:

For anyone who feels they have finally mastered the concept of postmodernist books and architecture, there is a new intellectual and linguistic challenge, in the shape of “post-classic” wines. The term was coined by the world’s leading viticulturist Dr Richard Smart, at the second World Conference on Global Warming and Wine in Barcelona last month before an audience of the great and good of the wine world and – via a carbon-saving video link – Al Gore. If even a few of the alarming predictions made by experts at that event prove accurate, many of the world’s most famous wines may either simply cease to exist or be altered beyond recognition over the next 50 years. The effect of climate change will not be restricted to wine – but for Smart, wine may be “the canary in the coal mine of agriculture”.

It’s an excellent piece, well worth reading even if your only interest in wine is drinking the stuff. (Declaration of interest: RJ is an old mate, and I have a small vineyard).

2 thoughts on “I heard it through the grapevine”

  1. 1) I’m in California, which would like to keep our vineyards here in Napa, Sonoma, elsewhere.

    2) The Wall Street Journal carried an article a few months a go about the expansion of the wine business in the Lake Okanagan area (B.C., Canada), due to the warming there over the last few decades. We ski up there several times/year, and are forced to test this hypothesis, and the wines are indeed getting good.

    3) http://www.winelandsofbritain.co.uk/
    The Winelands of Britain is a study by an Imperial College geologist who loves wines, and studied the ebb and flow of wineries over the last 2000 years in the UK.


    gives a map.
    Areas on North shores of lakes, if the osils are right, make good vineyards. he expects, sometime after 2100, that the Loch Ness Winery will be a winner.

  2. I can see the Nessie label now… and Parker Jr describing it as a monster of a wine.

    I know a few people trying to grow truffles in the Okanagan valley. I thought they were nuts, now I’m pretty sure they’ll succeed – at least for a while.

    (Incidentally, Richard Smart’s web site is here.)

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