Global warming affects wine

by Alberto Martínez

We are all aware of the importance and consequences of global warming, but now another concern has added over this sensitive issue, global warming affects wine, consequently the wine producers and of course, consumers.

In the Third World Congress on Climate Change and Wine, held a few days in the city of Marbella (Spain), it reached many important conclusions about the future of wine at the imminent global warming. Among these, the most shocking news related to wine, was that global warming would increase wines level of alcohol.

But it was not the only news mentioned in this conference, they also discussed that some red wines would lose their color and flavor, the acidity of Wine itself would also be lower and in the case of light wines the opposite would happen. These unmanageable changes will affect many of the own qualities of each wine.

The strains were also topics of discussion, concluding that the “indigenous” grapes are those that resist best to these vagaries of nature. Ernesto Franco Aladrén (representative of the Cariñena Apellation and Head of Unit of Enology of Agricultural and Food Transfer Centre of the Government of Aragon), explained that strains such as Grenache, Moristel, Parraleta or Alcañón, have been gradually replaced since the early 80’s by Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon, he emphasized that there must be a thoroughly work done in the recovery of “indigenous” grapes.

Ignacio Fernandez (Head of the Economics and Law at the International Wine Organization – OIV), explained that the local varieties together with innovation and some measures taken in the cropland, could save or at least adapt to changing temperatures to come. However he spoke about very extreme weather scenarios that could be harmful to the production of wine and wine production itself.

Fernandez ended his exposure with a phrase that calls us to reflection and that summarizes the imminent danger is going on in the wine industry: “If we do nothing, we will reach unsustainable production levels”.

These assertions of the erudite, call us to reflect, not only those involved in the matter of wine, but to the entire population, since in our hands is to stop these climatic disasters.

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