Why Climate Change Is a Boon to French Wine

Photo (cc) by andrewmalone

Global warming has found an unlikely – and possibly short-lived – friend: French wine.

According to a study recently featured in Nature Climate Change journal, researchers revealed that warmer temperatures in France have compressed the standard growth cycle for wine grapes. Those early ripening grapes are more likely to have the perfect balance of sugar and acid – which is key to producing a higher-quality wine.

“Before 1980, you basically needed a drought to generate the heat to get a really early harvest,” the study’s co-author, Benjamin Cook, a climate scientist with NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, told NPR. “But since 1980, it’s been so warm because of climate change that you can get the hot summers and really early harvests without needing a drought.”

The study is focused on more than 500 years of harvest records in France.

Unfortunately, while wine enthusiasts may be enjoying some exceptional French vintages now, in part due to the earlier harvests caused by global warming, it’s a trend that won’t be positive in the longer term.

“If we keep warming the globe, we will reach a tipping point,” study author Elizabeth Wolkovich of Harvard said in a statement. “The trend, in general, is that earlier harvests lead to higher-quality wine, but you can connect the dots here … we have several data points that tell us there is a threshold we will probably cross in the future where higher temperatures will not produce higher quality.”

Climate change does seem to have a varied impact on different winemaking regions across the globe. While France may be enjoying some higher-quality wine grapes as a result of earlier harvests — not all winemakers are so fortunate.

Lee Hannah, a University of California, Santa Barbara-based climate change biologist with Conservation International, co-authored a 2013 study that warned that grape growers may eventually need to move their vineyards to higher elevations and latitudes to escape the higher temperatures resulting from global warming.

Hannah told NPR that the increases in temperatures and drought conditions in California have many worried that winemaking regions like Napa and Sonoma Counties could become too hot to produce quality wines.

“People have been very worried about what this latest drought could mean for wine production in California,” Hannah explained.

Are you a wine lover? What do you think of the potential impact climate change has on wine quality? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
Drivers Give These 5 Car Insurers the Highest Marks
Drivers Give These 5 Car Insurers the Highest Marks

One company claimed the top ranking in several categories.

10 Ways Retailers Trick You Into Spending More
10 Ways Retailers Trick You Into Spending More

Think you’re a savvy shopper? Find out how retailers persuade you to dig more deeply into your wallet.

7 Reasons You Should Not Pay Off a Mortgage Before Retirement
7 Reasons You Should Not Pay Off a Mortgage Before Retirement

Here’s why it often makes financial sense to carry a mortgage into retirement.

17 Amazon Finds Under $20 That Will Organize Your Life
17 Amazon Finds Under $20 That Will Organize Your Life

We’ve rounded up must-have products to help you get your ducks in a row.

10 Colleges That Offer Free Tuition for Seniors
10 Colleges That Offer Free Tuition for Seniors

These schools let retirement-age students study, tuition-free, while earning college credit.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value
7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You can add value to your home without hiring a contractor to do expensive renovations.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.