Climate Change affects all industries. However, some consequences are more visible than others. One example is the wine making industry with traditional vineyards moving further and further North to take advantage of the best growing conditions.
When planting new vineyards wine producers are keenly aware that most grapevines will produce fruit for 25 to 50 years. With the increases in global temperatures and more to follow many producers are finding it necessary to move away from traditional areas. In planning for the future a number of French vineyards have purchased land in Southern England. This boom has led to over 50% of the UKs produce originating from French varieties of grape.
Several Champagne houses are now looking to purchase areas of land in Sussex and surrounding areas. Not only is land significantly cheaper than in France, but as the climate warms the growing conditions become ideal. These factors have contributed to a doubling of the UK wine industry in the last 9 years.
The French wine industry won’t be the only one to suffer as a result of climate change. South Africa and Australia both face difficulties. For these countries climate change projections show potential for severe droughts decimating wine stocks. While Australia look south to Tasmania for potential new planting grounds, South Africa does not have the same luxury.
As wine producers migrate what are the options for the future? In 10 years will the bottles adorning the shelves of your local supermarket be predominantly English stock? Will any Champagne actually come from the Champagne region of France?