Wine Regions Shifting

Napa Valley in California is one of the world’s most successful wine growing regions due to an extraordinarily favorable climate which helps produce world-class vineyards.

We’ve been posting recently about the impact of global warming upon tourist destinations around the globe and how warmer temperatures are literally transforming places like Glacier National Park, Greenland, Mt. Kilimanjaro, and many others. Can you guess where I’m going with this?

Yep, global warming is also affecting the wine growing regions of our world.

According to a fascinating article in the LA Times, wine making is a very fickle process easily impacted by climatic change. Writer Corie Brown goes so far as to describe vino as the “canary in the climate-change coal mine.” As temperatures warm around the planet, she explains, they will “shift viticultural regions toward the poles, cooler coastal zones and higher elevations.”

In other words, as Napa becomes too hot in the next 50 years, future oenophiles may find themselves heading elsewhere. If trends continue, those searching for the best Rieslings (produced today in Germany) may have to travel to Sweden while Germany itself might take over production of the famous red wines traditionally found further south.

Even today the impact is being felt. Wines produced in warmer climates such as Spain and Australia are struggling. Those produced in England and Canada, however, have improved with the warmer weather.

Will it all come out in the wash? Will we have the same great wines in the future but just produced in different parts of the world? Or will we all just have to drink beer?

I don’t know. In the meantime, check out the LA Times article–especially if you’re a serious wine connoisseur.