Climate change is producing great wine vintages

Connoisseurs of fine wine should be drinking a toast to global warming, according to new research.

Climate change is producing great wine vintages

They say every cloud has a silver lining. In the case of climate change, the welcome news is that higher temperatures in France are producing exceptional vintages.

But scientists warn that if the trend continues too long, the current run of outstanding grape harvests could end.

Records dating back more than 500 years show that wine grapes across France are now being harvested two weeks earlier on average than they were in the past.

Elizabeth Wolkovich, from Harvard University, who took part in the research published in the journal Nature Climate Change, said: “There are two big points in this paper.

“The first is that harvest dates are getting much earlier, and all the evidence points to it being linked to climate change.

“The bad news is that if we keep warming the globe we will reach a tipping point.”

Lead author Benjamin Cook, of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said: “Now, it’s become so warm thanks to climate change, grape growers don’t need drought to get these very warm temperatures... After 1980, the drought signal effectively disappears.

"That means there’s been a fundamental shift in the large-scale climate under which other, local factors operate.”

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