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Wine Lovers Can Cheer Climate Change – For Now


Wine lovers are among the few beneficiaries of climate change, with warmer weather producing a series of exceptional vintages in France. But their good cheer could be short-lived, according to a new study.

An unusual combination of warmer weather without drought conditions is leading to earlier harvests – generally associated with better quality vintages.

But if the trend continues too long, the current run of outstanding grape harvests could end, one of the researchers warns.

“At the heart of a good wine is climate,” Harvard’s Elizabeth Wolkovich told reporters. “So the grapes are a very good canary in the coal mine.

“You want to harvest when the grapes are perfectly ripe, when they’ve had enough time to accumulate just the right balance between acid and sugar.

“For much of France, there have been times when it’s difficult to get the exact harvest date growers want because the climate wasn’t warm enough that year. But climate change means the grapes are maturing faster.”

The scientists looked at French records of vintages dating back more than 500 years to prove that grapes are being harvested two weeks earlier on average than they were in the past.

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