Claim: climate change targeting wine grapes

Tempranillo (also known as Ull de Llebre, Cencibel, Tinto del Pais and several other synonyms) is a black grape variety widely grown to make full-bodied red wines in its native Spain.[1] Its name is the diminutive of the Spanish temprano ("early"),[1] a reference to the fact that it ripens several weeks earlier than most Spanish red grapes.

Tempranillo (also known as Ull de Llebre, Cencibel, Tinto del Pais and several other synonyms) is a black grape variety widely grown to make full-bodied red wines in its native Spain.[1] Its name is the diminutive of the Spanish temprano (“early”),[1] a reference to the fact that it ripens several weeks earlier than most Spanish red grapes.

Neiker-Tecnalia studies the effects of climate change on Tempranillo grape wines

Climate change is set to affect the quality of the wines of the Tempranillo grape variety, according to the conclusions of a piece of research conducted by the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development Neiker-Tecnalia, in collaboration with the University of Navarre and the Aula Dei (EEAD) Experimental Station of the National Council for Scientific Research (CSIC). Scientists from these bodies have studied the behaviour of the vines in conditions of climate change; in other words, higher temperature, increased presence of CO2 and greater environmental aridity.

The result is a must with a lower anthocyanin content, which leads to wines with less colour and therefore lower quality. The results of the research, led by the agricultural engineer Urtzi Leibar, have been presented at the conference of the European Geosciences Union (EGU), held in Vienna (Austria).

The research has been conducted in a greenhouse environment with vines of the species ‘Vitis vinifera cv. Tempranillo’. The three factors studied were climate change, water stress of the plant and soil texture. To analyse the effect of climate change on the grapes, some vines were placed in conditions of a greater presence of CO2, higher temperature and lower relative humidity, while other vines were situated in current climate conditions.

In addition to the CO2 and temperature changes, climate change is expected to cause a reduction in rainfall, with this rainfall being distributed across more extreme events. That is why the researchers subjected the vines to two different treatments. One with properly hydrated plants (20-35% of water content in the soil) and the other treatment consisted of plants subjected to water stress, and which were irrigated with 40% less water. As regards the soil, three different textures were studied with clay contents of 9%, 18% and 36%.

Among the most significant results as regards production and qualitative parameters, climate change was found to bring forward the grape harvest by nine days. This reduced the anthocyanin concentration, which resulted in red wines with less colour. It also caused an increase in the pH of the must. The pH level is a factor of interest for wineries, since it has to be low if the wines are going to be preserved optimally.

The water shortfall, for its part, delayed ripening –the grape harvest was carried out ten days later– and the growth of the vine was reduced. This fact also meant an increase in the pH of the must and a reduction in polyphenol content. Polyphenols are found in grape skin and pips and give wines aroma, colour and taste. As regards soils, the sandiest ones –with the lowest clay content– produced musts with a higher anthocyanin level, which yields wines with more colour.

Information of interest for the wine growing sector

The final aim of the study by Neiker-Tecnalia, the University of Navarre and the EEAD-CSIC is to make available information that will assist the wine growing sector in mitigating possible damage by the anticipated climate conditions or, where appropriate, to take advantage of the opportunities that may present themselves.

The climate is the factor that exerts the greatest influence on the suitability of a region for vine growing and wine production, since it directly affects the development of the vineyard and grape quality. Climate change is therefore an aspect that the sector needs to take very much into consideration.

The vineyard surface area across Spain amounts to 954,000 hectares, which is 5.6% of the total cultivated surface. The wine growing sector is an hugely important activity in terms of the economic value it generates, the population it employs and the role it plays in environmental conservation.

===============================================================

Note: Despite the claim, the grape has been planted throughout the globe in places with diverse climates such as Mexico, New Zealand, California, Oregon, Washington State, South Africa, Australia, Argentina, Portugal, Uruguay, Turkey and Canada.

It grows best at relatively high altitudes, but it also can tolerate a much warmer climate according to: researcher Sid Perkins “Global Vineyard. Can technology take on a warming climate?”. Science News http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-118376057.html  (29 May 2004).

- Anthony

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88 thoughts on “Claim: climate change targeting wine grapes

  1. “with diverse climates such as Mexico, New Zealand, California, Oregon, Washington State, South Africa, Australia, Argentina, Portugal, Uruguay, Turkey and Canada.”

    Strange that you spell out three US states, but not the relevant states/provinces of Australia, Argentina, Mexico, and Canada. There are enormous variations in climate in all those countries. Even Canada. And the climate of the south coast of Turkey is different from the mountains in the North East.

  2. ‘The research has been conducted in a greenhouse environment’

    Annnnd THAT’S where it FAILed for me.

  3. When getting rid of the MWP was important, it was unimportant to note that wine was produced at one time in the UK. Now an experiment that ignores the fact that the grape being studied is grown for wine in widely divergent climates is being used to show that AGW is going to hurt wine. The climate obsessed are so self-deceived, and deceptive.

  4. Another grant hunt.
    I visit a part of Spain to the south of the Navarre region, where Rioja is produced, and there the wine is from tempranillo grapes grown in drier hotter weather than that to the north. The wine is deeply coloured, full of flavour and very alcoholic (14.5%). It costs 1euro a litre which is much cheaper than those from Rioja which is unaffordable for the average Spaniard.

  5. “Climate change is expected to cause a reduction in rainfall”??? Isn’t that at odds with all the ‘warmer air leads to more rain’ we are told about? I wish they’d get a consistent story at least.

  6. Yesterday I walked past a newly planted vineyard near my home in the sw UK. It’s the first such attempt that I’m aware of in the immediate area, and will be interesting to see how successful it becomes.

  7. Of course they will change with a changing climate. All grapes do. +/- an inch of rain or +/- half a degree over the growing season changes the flavor. Hell, PICKING THE GRAPES AT NIGHT makes the wine have a different flavor!

    It’s kinda what makes wine so awesome. It’s always different every year. Some years its spectacular.

  8. So we gave the plants “40% less water” and they didn’t do quite as well….
    Obvious question – given this appears the best they could come up with – did they spend all their time drinking the produce rather than studying it??

  9. Please stop with the uk and vinyards. there have been wines produced in uk for millenia. today I bring you this info from Ryedale Vineyards:
    “Set on south facing slopes at the foot of the picturesque Yorkshire Wolds, Ryedale Vineyards is the most northerly commercial vineyard in England. Stuart and Elizabeth Smith planted in 2006 and have been producing award winning wines since 2009.”

  10. Finnish climate is cooler and favor early harvest de facto. In parts of the sunny south there are sandy hills of accumulated glacial till. The whole country is saturated with fresh water – high quality in these till areas and available also slightly acidified with humus in the lowlands. In addition, in the name of agricultural self-sufficiency, Finns invest public resources into agriculture and related EU negotiations. Perfect for high quality wine production with ideal anthocyanin and polyphenol content, right? Yet no one talks about Finnish wines. How come?

  11. I don’t understand.
    Because, here in Spain, every year, the wine experts publish a guide with the best wines of the year. Some are good, some are average, some are excellent, some they just ignore. And with the same wine, the same grapes, the same methods of wine making, there are differences from year to year. The very hot and dry years, have a smaller yield than the rainy years, but it is usually of a better quality…
    So the wine lovers buy the production of those promising years in bulk, before it even gets bottled… Which means, that, for the wine at least, warming climate should be good. Even if there was less of it. and it were bit more expensive as a result.
    Good beer is cheaper, and much better than inferior wine , and would be a good substitute.

  12. I conducted a similar experiment here in the West Midlands of UK. I used a Black Hamberg grape at about 2 foot tall to begin with. I did this because it was CC rattling in the background and the Romans apparently did it 200 miles North of me. It was grown outside and grew for 6 years becoming only leafy. So at the 6th year I warned it…grapes next year mate or your gone. A few bunches duly arrived a year later and a blackbird took the lot!

    The weather here in the W. Midlands of UK is the very varied type and can be 3 at once..rain,snow,sun. I can smell the sea often. There are vineyards around here (worcestershire) and have been for quite some years. So as far as I am concerned the weather is similar to when the Romans where here and will flip – flop as required, My experiment was dumb really, because the soil was cr*p. My grape plant remains though, so I can get to taste at least one grape….maybe?

  13. One wonders how this crud gets published…

    “The research has been conducted in a greenhouse environment with vines of the species ‘Vitis vinifera cv. Tempranillo’. The three factors studied were climate change, water stress of the plant and soil texture.”

    I am going back to watching “Flying High” on TV, as this movie has more credability than this “report” IMO.

  14. The research has been conducted in a greenhouse environment with vines of the species ‘Vitis vinifera cv. Tempranillo’…….

    To analyse the effect of climate change on the grapes, some vines were placed in conditions of a greater presence of CO2, higher temperature and lower relative humidity, while other vines were situated in current climate conditions.

    How much co2, how fast was it added, how warm was the greenhouse? Is acclimatization possible over the next 86 years with the grape variety?

    Abstract
    Heat and water stress induce unique transcriptional signatures of heat-shock proteins and transcription factors in grapevine

    Grapevine is an extremely important crop worldwide. In southern Europe, post-flowering phases of the growth cycle can occur under high temperatures, excessive light, and drought conditions at soil and/or atmospheric level. In this study, we subjected greenhouse grown grapevine, variety Aragonez…….. [Tempranillo]

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10142-013-0338-z

  15. To
    Ex-expat Colin.
    Have you been to Buzzards Valley At Bassets pole?
    Just down the road from Sutton Coldfield crematorium..
    There is a Vine yard there.
    Make all there own wine.
    Only trouble is They planted it facing the wrong way.

  16. Like most things in life.
    Care and attention is required.
    I grow grapes in my back garden in West Midlands.
    I get Black grapes every year.
    Just prune and feed them chickin pucky.

  17. You know what? I’m involved in a nasty estate quarrel (battle’s a better word but I’m trying to keep it civil). Believe me, this won’t be the first time where I’ve posted a comment where I’ve written, “Now, I know what you’re all thinking, whatever does a (insert word) have to do with (insert word)?” So, I won’t trouble you with saying that again concerning an estate battle and wine grapes because, well, I’ve, um, just done so.

    Anyway, estate battles (oops, quarrels) are particularly nasty because all loving siblings (who are happy the other siblings have eyes they can gouge out) are fighting each other for a treasure pot of very limited size that they know if any other siblings get their hands (ok, greedy little paws) on it will do exactly what they themselves would do. Which is suck it dry.

    Paul Ehrlich or John Holdren (or, insert every other name in addition to Holdren’s in the Obama administration – or, in fact, in just about any other Western government) style environmentalists are much like siblings in an estate battle (er, quarrel). They think we are all engaged in a global estate division but unlike a normal estate, where the beneficiaries pretty much know (assuming, of course, that the executor lets them) its size, these environmentalists, while they are convinced that the global estate is also of a fixed, limited size, they actually don’t have a single smidgen of a clue as to what size that is.

    So, like the loving fellow siblings they like to tell us common folk that they are, these environmentalists are aligning with the estate executors (otherwise known as world leaders) to conspire to get as big a piece of the pie as they can. Environmentalism is nothing other than a fancy word for estate distribution.

    Now, all the other bodies, groupings, societies, organizations, etc., after having witnessed the environmental movement (and its Death Star – global warming) for a couple decades have been led to believe that they better get on that inheritance list, and pronto, before all the other bodies, groupings, societies, organization, wine grape growers (see, I finally got to the subject), etc., suck the economies of the world dry.

    That’s what all of this research is all about. And that’s why it’s all government funded.

  18. I am probably off topic here.
    But to Ex pat Colin I also grow Tobacco
    I roll my own Cigars and make my own smoking Baccy.
    ( Its Totally legal ,Not a lot of people Noww thatt )

  19. So not only is this grape grown in Canada but Thailand too. This grape looks like it more robust than previously thought (except lab conditions).

    http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2013/11/14/international-tempranillo-day/

    Other grape varieties can be found in all sorts of places such as on the Morocco and on the equator in Kenya. At this rate grape vines will soon be considered weeds. ;-)

    Smithsonian
    More Wines from Unexpected Places
    Good, locally made wines can now be found in such unlikely locales as equatorial Kenya, the Texas Hill Country, and temperate and rainy Japan
    ……Kenya. For decades, travelers to Central Africa were content to spend their days watching some of the most spectacular animals on the planet. As of recently, tourists can also go wine tasting, for vineyards are now growing in Kenya, almost smack on the Equator, on the shores of Lake Naivasha. The industry here dates back to 1985, when an experimental winery released 4,400 bottles of the nation’s first grape wines. Since then, local wine culture has not exactly flourished but has continued in a wavering, uncertain path. Several wine labels have appeared, and the industry has been troubled by everything from tropical diseases, muggy air and seasonal rains to the difficulty of correctly spelling complicated grape names.

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/more-wines-from-unexpected-places-77915847/?no-ist

  20. RoHa says:
    May 1, 2014 at 3:24 am
    ______________________
    Grapevine industry exists in many more places than was listed, but their presence is not often known. For instance, some years ago (1980′s?), many existing grapevines in France were wiped out by disease and the French came to Oklahoma and bought all of the replacement rootstock they could find. Rootstock from the Texas/Oklahoma region first saved the French wine industry in the mid 1800′s during the “Great French Wine Blight”, There is still a thriving grapevine industry in Oklahoma, but the wines produced are little known because of arcane state laws which prevent their effective distribution.

  21. Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter) says:
    May 1, 2014 at 3:31 am
    ‘The research has been conducted in a greenhouse environment’

    “Annnnd THAT’S where it FAILed for me.”

    Me to! Does anyone actually prefer grocery store bought greenhouse/hothouse tomatoes over vine ripened, picked from grandmas garden, bursting with flavor and juice tomatoes? No, I didn’t think so….

  22. Bloke down the pub says:
    May 1, 2014 at 3:37 am

    “Yesterday I walked past a newly planted vineyard near my home in the sw UK. It’s the first such attempt that I’m aware of in the immediate area, and will be interesting to see how successful it becomes.”
    ************
    As I understand it, growing grapes for wine in the UK is really nothing new. The Medieval Warm Period made the UK mild enough to grow grapes as far north as Scotland from what I’ve heard.

  23. My brother grows five cultivars of grapes on grafted rootstock in north west Dorset. It’s his hobby & his initial yield once the vines were established 10 years ago was 600 bottles per annum. Five years ago, the weather turned against him & his yield plunged to 80 bottles last year. However, he is nothing if not resourceful & instead of lamenting his fate, he decided to blend all his stocks from the earlier harvests & started producing sparkling rose wine by the champagne method.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champagne_method

    This secondary fermentation in the bottle is time consuming, but he has been very successful in producing a very decent brut bubbly. He did something that warmists cannot conceive of; he adapted to the change in the weather & actually makes a better product now than when he was producing reds & whites. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

    ‘scuse I, but the sun is over the yardarm. It’s time to open another bottle.

  24. My bogosity meter on this “study” pegged. Creating a fictitious environment with the pathetic excuse that it’s what “could” happen, and then examining the results of that fictitious environment isn’t science.
    Furthermore, negative results from the “experiment” were not only expected, but were a requirement. We are watching nothing but a repeat of Lysenkoism on a massive, worldwide scale.

  25. They need to run the same test on different varieties of grapes. During the drought of 1977 (a very DRY year in California’s history) the wine industry produced some highly valued wines. Rieslings that were normally $15 per bottle were being sold for upwards of $200 each. Because of throw DRIER CONDITIONS combined with the LATER HARVEST the Brix (natural sugar level) was much higher and produced a white wine that was still good over 20 years later. We opened our last bottle for our 15th wedding anniversary in 1999 and discovered that at 22 the wine was still superior

  26. I’m going to have to pay attention to the Autocorrect feature on my tablet. “Throw” above was autocorrected from “the” for some reason

  27. I’d just like to point out that there are extensive vineries south of London at Lurgashall and Box hill which produce some fine white wines including a Methode Champagnoise that in tastings in a good year rivals the real stuff.

    I believe the Romans managed to spread production further north into Norfolk and Suffolk.

    It doesn’t look like I’m going to be around to see a good Scottish chardonnay but perhaps my some of you whippersnappers will…or not. http://www.winelandsofbritain.co.uk/book.htm

  28. @Twobob says:
    May 1, 2014 at 5:13 am
    If I said I am a real ale man that would perhaps explain my vineyard non visits. I tried tobacco sometime back and screwed up on the drying….molded off. Got close though. If this numb nut bunch in politics force any further I’ll refine all of that. As I did in Saudi Arabia for home brew of all types (beer/wine). I got very popular with some arabs of course. Siddiqui (Sid)…no thanks!

  29. Clovis Marcus says:
    May 1, 2014 at 6:15 am

    “It doesn’t look like I’m going to be around to see a good Scottish chardonnay…”
    _______________________
    That’s all fine as long as production of their fine liquid bread is not hampered.

  30. England’s vineyards are not just a thing of the past, but they apparently grew much further north according to Dr. Michael Mann. Figs and olives grew in southern Germany as well.

    “The best British vineyard stays”

    http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2010/may/21/english-wines-vineyard-stays-uk

    Medieval Climatic Optimum
    Michael E Mann – University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA

    It is evident that Europe experienced, on the whole, relatively mild climate conditions during the earliest centuries of the second millennium (i.e., the early Medieval period). Agriculture was possible at higher latitudes (and higher elevations in the mountains) than is currently possible in many regions, and there are numerous anecdotal reports of especially bountiful harvests (e.g., documented yields of grain) throughout Europe during this interval of time. Grapes were grown in England several hundred kilometers north of their current limits of growth, and subtropical flora such as fig trees and olive trees grew in regions of Europe (northern Italy and parts of Germany) well north of their current range. Geological evidence indicates that mountain glaciers throughout Europe retreated substantially at this time, relative to the glacial advances of later centuries (Grove and Switsur, 1994). A host of historical documentary proxy information such as records of frost dates, freezing of water bodies, duration of snowcover, and phenological evidence (e.g., the dates of flowering of plants) indicates that severe winters were less frequent and less extreme at times during the period from about 900 – 1300 AD in central Europe……….

    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public_html/shared/articles/medclimopt.pdf

  31. “the “Great French Wine Blight”, ”

    Phylloxera Aphids, America’s gift to the French.

  32. This grape study could be no less credible if Lewandowsky had authored it.
    It has everything: deception, distraction, a pre-determined outcome, contrived evidence, cherry picking- in other words, a typical product of the climate hype industry.

  33. Care some Indian or Egyptian wine with your lobster? The Indians have been at it since 4th millennium BC apparently.

    Wine-Pages
    Egyptian wines of Sahara Vineyards
    The world of wine is ever-expanding. Just 30 or 40 years ago, wines from Chile or New Zealand were almost unknown on UK shelves. Today there are dozens of new and improving regions in some historically unlikely corners of the globe. Wine-pages has tried to cover the frontiers of new wine production, with recent reports on wines emanating from China, Peru and India amongst others.

    Recently, I was contacted by Karim Hwaidak, owner of Sahara Vineyards In Egypt. Karim has planted 30 different grape varieties on an area of 600 acres in the Egyptian desert close to Cairo, with the guidance of Spanish enological and viticultural consultant Professor Jose Lluiz Perez……

  34. @Jaako, It is so dang hard to tell my wife to pick up a

    1.5l of Koivakangas Jäkäläkäpälät
    vs a Napa Red!

  35. We have an entire successful wine region in Colorado, on the West Slope, and they grow pretty much everywhere else too, except the mountains.

    If I were a grower, it would be useful to know which temps and conditions led to the best grapes. But since vineyards keep that data themselves, I’m guessing they already knew what this study concluded.

  36. On the one hand the expect droughts and flooding from AGW should cancel each other out and the deposits of drowned polar bear carcasses along the Spanish coasts should be good for the soil. The year round weekly Cat 6 hurricanes should not affect SW Europe very often and will also help keep down the malarial mosquitoes. So in all, I’m pretty bullish on the Spanish wine market.

  37. @Bloke down the pub at 3:37 am
    Yesterday I walked past a newly planted vineyard near my home in the sw UK. It’s the first such attempt that I’m aware of in the immediate area, and will be interesting to see how successful it becomes

    Is that because of CO2 climate change…. or taxation climate change?
    All I have is a hunch and anecdotal evidence, but I think a lot of recent vineyards exist primarily to convert land into a lower taxation category. You can lose money on the grapes but come out ahead on the property taxes. US 290 East of Fredericksburg, TX to Austin shows a distribution of wineries that seem to be more spatially dependent on the highway than the geology … As I said, it is just a hunch that taxes play a part in the recipe.

  38. Central Washington State has a wine industry with an active research station (WSU) near Prosser and cooperating growers that know how to grow grapes in hot, and dry, and cold locations. As there is almost no natural precipitation growers adapt with irrigation** and some with misting when extreme temperatures start to impair vine performance. With often no snow to insulate vines in cold winters water is withheld to cause the vines to harden-off (“deficit irrigation”). As with other living things, cold is a bigger problem than higher temperatures.

    http://wine.wsu.edu/research-extension/vineyard-establishment/

    __
    ** not allowed in some countries

  39. Not sure if you can get much more extreme of a climate for this example than Kansas. Seasonal temperature variation on the Great Plains is extreme and so is precipitation. Despite all of this, eastern Kansas was one of the, if not the largest, grape growing regions in North America prior to prohibition. Since the 1980s the wine industry has been making a major comeback in Kansas and in 2010 4 out of 20 Jefferson Cup awards went to Kansas wineries. It’s too bad this study just showed all of this must be a figment of my imagination because grapes can’t handle hot climates with irregular rainfall.

  40. Climate change is indeed destroying our beautiful world and its nature. We should all play our part protect our world and our future generation.

  41. What rubbish! They increased the heat, lower the humidity and add co2…. They would get the same results just with a heat adjustment,leaving the rest. Co2 increase reduces water need so these have self canceling effects. Murky reasoning at best.

  42. Ok, this is utter garbage. From my experience, wine makers prefer arid climates anyway. That way, they can control the amount of water and timing of water the vines receive. Not to mention that CO2 is good for plante. This was strictly a “study” that was spacificaly designed to produce the disired results.

  43. The average daily temperature in the Burgundy region of France runs from 30 F in winter to 76 F in summer. In Napa valley, the averages run from 38F to 93 F, considerably hotter than Burgundy. I thought the Napa wines were quite good, often better than many French wines, but I guess not. Because the temperature is higher, they couldn’t be, could they?

  44. Who cares? Now, if barley and hops are affected, then we have a real problem on our hands.

  45. In the grand book of kow tow list of damage claims sector by sector and group by group let it be noted that vintners and wine researchers have registered for future redistribution of cap and trade tax revenue. Next

  46. Babu
    May 1, 2014 at 8:50 am
    says:
    ‘Climate change is indeed destroying our beautiful world and its nature.’

    I’m sorry, Babu, but it’s not. Look deeper. What does destroy is politics and force. And so it has ever been. Look at a battlefield sometime.

  47. Nor Cal view … ever since the PDO flipped our springs have tended to be chilly and the true onset of climatic summer (e.g. no more mid latitude systems, marine layer at / near the coast, etc) has shifted to ~ the Solstice. That is 4 to 6 weeks later than it was during the 80s and much of the 90s. The other stressor due the PDO flip has been of course less precip overall. Yield is lower but the grapes tend to be more interesting due to the stress factors. YMMV.

  48. The real secret with Tempranillo is to find the Italian girls with the purple bottoms. And if this article wasn’t posted under humour it should have been ;)

  49. A few comments, some general, some at specific prior comments. (Ans as to my qualifications, apart from the Ph.D. in History, I am also a Certified Wine Educator. So, I know some things.)

    First of all, I agree that the study is bunk, but many of the criticisms here are also bunk.

    1) As to the complaints about the ‘Greenhouse’. This is part of what makes the study good. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature. It’s called ‘control.’ Stressing a plant with extra CO2 and less water (which can ONLY be done in a controlled environment) and then comparing it to a plant grown outdoors would have been invalid. Growing them all in the same conditions, with the only differences being those things that you are trying to measure is a valid scientific experiment.

    2) SOME grapes generally like cooler climes, SOME like warmer, SOME do well in either, but with different results. Tempranillo is a grape known to be hardy in many climates (much like Chardonnay), but it will produce different flavors and colors (just as different soils will produce different flavors and colors). The study appears to have trying to isolate what results would be given a specific different condition. As far as THAT goes, it’s a valid study. HOWEVER, (and I haven’t finished reading it, so I may be out on limb here), if their conclusion is “THE ENTIRE WINE INDUSTRY IS UNDER THREAT BECAUSE OF CLIMATE CHANGE!!!!” then they’ve simply taken a valid study and irresponsibly turned it into a cause for more Chicken Littles.

    3) England has made wine for centuries. England has never made good wine.

    At more specific prior comments:

    @ ffohnad What rubbish! They increased the heat, lower the humidity and add co2…. They would get the same results just with a heat adjustment,leaving the rest. Co2 increase reduces water need so these have self canceling effects. Murky reasoning at best.

    If all you were talking about was green leaves, fine. But were also talking about FRUIT here, so CO2 most certainly does NOT reduce the need for water.

    @ DHR The average daily temperature in the Burgundy region of France runs from 30 F in winter to 76 F in summer. In Napa valley, the averages run from 38F to 93 F, considerably hotter than Burgundy. I thought the Napa wines were quite good, often better than many French wines, but I guess not. Because the temperature is higher, they couldn’t be, could they?

    Napa Valley grows dozens of different grape varieties, while in Burgundy they grow exactly 3: Chardonnay and Aligote (white grapes) and Pinot Noir. While Pinot Noir is grown in Napa, it is very, very rarely made into a wine that is anywhere close to the quality of Burgundy. Napa is far too hot. If you go west over the ridge into Sonoma, and specifically the Russian River Valley, temps are cooler and Pinot Noir does a bit better. The best American Pinot Noir comes from Oregon. Only Oregon wines can compete with the quality of Burgundy. If you want to compare Napa to anywhere in France, you compare it to Bordeaux. Comparing these regions, preference is a matter of taste. If you like fruit bombs, Napa is superior. If you like subtlety and good food-pairing, Bordeaux is unequaled.

    What the study largely misses out on is (as usual) ADAPTATION. Grape vines are some of the most adaptable plants on the planet. In the Rhone region in France (specifically Chateuneuf-du-Pape), where there is virtually NO top-soil, vines are known for producing tap roots as much as 12M deep. (Yes, as much as ~40 feet). Plants ADAPT. When they need more water, they dig deeper.

  50. They have done observational, rather than experimental, studies on this very issue in the Priorat region – rating sugar and alcohol and so on, as outcomes dependent upon indicators of local weather.

    The case was made that some aspects of well-cultivated wine, with good climate conditions, is more healthy than wine that has not had the optimal conditions.

    I cannot quickly find my notes – maybe this weekend I will post a name or two of those doing the research.

    Their bottom line is that we cannot have climate change since it is demonstrated that it will harm wine, not only making it less pleasant, but interfering the health effect of these wines.

    They believe, with I believe three years of data, that they have documented the horrible effects of the global warming upon wine. At least in Priorat region.

    –As noted, the weaknesses are many in this line of thinking.
    Grapes respond to variation in weather. You will not have good grapes if the weather is consistent year after year.

    The way I see this, the variation is the fun and excitement – what an intriguing, complicated world God has made for us! Partly to show us how magnificent he is, and partly to show how much he loves us. As well as other reasons beyond our ability to comprehend.

  51. **“jimmaine says:
    Synopsis:
    Global Warming is destroying our grapes.
    All you rich people must give us money to help save your wine”**

    After briefly going through the article again – the alarmist crowd always wants to blame CAGW for everything, and make it a justification for anything they want to have, even though they know deep inside it is just an illusion – yes, it appears to be nothing but sour grapes to me.

    I’m sorry, I just couldn’t help myself – it had to be said.

  52. “Frodo says:
    May 1, 2014 at 12:48 pm”
    Good point/pun …. only thing to say to those folks is
    “Would you like some cheese to go with that whine”
    (or,as the old commercial went, “We will serve no whine before its time”)…

  53. Patrick says:
    May 1, 2014 at 4:33 am

    I am going back to watching “Flying High” on TV, as this movie has more credability than this “report” IMO.”

    I’m trying to find a channel over here in Germany for “Break”, as that seemed to do really well against that alarmist climate show…:)

  54. I meant to add that French winemakers have a saying: “In order to make good wine, the grapes must suffer.”

  55. Dr C says:
    May 1, 2014 at 11:42 am

    A few comments, some general, some at specific prior comments. (Ans as to my qualifications, apart from the Ph.D. in History, I am also a Certified Wine Educator. So, I know some things.)

    First of all, I agree that the study is bunk, but many of the criticisms here are also bunk.

    1) As to the complaints about the ‘Greenhouse’. This is part of what makes the study good. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature. It’s called ‘control.’ …………

    Can you answer my questions earlier questions?

    How much co2, how fast was it added, how warm was the greenhouse? Is acclimatization possible over the next 86 years with the grape variety?

  56. Does anyone know where the abstract can be found? Full paper even better. I want to see their greenhouse conditions and if it resembles what is projected for the rest of this century.

  57. I keep reading research but no paper. When is the paper due out? Until then there cannot be much further comment on the following – water and soil. What about the co2? What about the temperatures?

    ….. The three factors studied were climate change, water stress of the plant and soil texture. To analyse the effect of climate change on the grapes, some vines were placed in conditions of a greater presence of CO2, higher temperature and lower relative humidity, while other vines were situated in current climate conditions.

    In addition to the CO2 and temperature changes, climate change is expected to cause a reduction in rainfall, with this rainfall being distributed across more extreme events. That is why the researchers subjected the vines to two different treatments. One with properly hydrated plants (20-35% of water content in the soil) and the other treatment consisted of plants subjected to water stress, and which were irrigated with 40% less water. As regards the soil, three different textures were studied with clay contents of 9%, 18% and 36%……

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-04/ef-nst043014.php

  58. Let me clarify, they say -

    “In addition to the CO2 and temperature changes,…..”

    What changes? 500ppm? 900ppm? 1,500ppm? 22C? 30C? 45C? 50C?

  59. “David Schofield says:
    May 1, 2014 at 3:37 am
    “Climate change is expected to cause a reduction in rainfall”??? Isn’t that at odds with all the ‘warmer air leads to more rain’ we are told about? I wish they’d get a consistent story at least.”

    Oh no, CAGW theory says that places needing rain will get less (like vineyards and duck ponds) and places that want less rain will get more (like beaches and baseball stadiums).

  60. @Jaako
    “Yet no one talks about Finnish wines. How come?”

    No-one believes there are any.

  61. RoHa says:
    May 1, 2014 at 4:10 pm (replying to)

    @Jaako
    “Yet no one talks about Finnish wines. How come?”

    No-one believes there are any.

    But, but, but … I Finnish wines all the time. But, after I finnish them, they aren’t there any more so perhaps your phrasing is true: Finnished whines are through.

  62. @Alan Robertson.

    Chile and South Australia escaped phylloxera, but that does not explain why the article specified a few US states but did not mention specific states in other countries.

  63. Steve from Rockwood says:
    “The real secret with Tempranillo is to find the Italian girls with the purple bottoms.”

    I am a good global citizen, so clearly it is my duty to take on the arduous task of a full, comprehensive, survey of the bottoms of Italian girls in order to solve this problem. Since this will involve great personal inconvenience, I have to request a modest grant to fund the programme. $500,000 will be a good start. Where do I apply?

  64. Spaniards even know they have always made the lousiest wines in Europe. To complete this study, they need non-Spanish tasters to decide.

  65. Quite a few posters above echo my sentiments about the, er, scientific quality and sincerity of this research.

    But Viejecita was the first comment I read that matched several of the burrs under my saddle.

    “viejecita says: May 1, 2014 at 4:22 am
    I don’t understand.
    Because, here in Spain, every year, the wine experts publish a guide with the best wines of the year. Some are good, some are average, some are excellent, some they just ignore. And with the same wine, the same grapes, the same methods of wine making, there are differences from year to year. The very hot and dry years, have a smaller yield than the rainy years…”

    I love growing many things, including grapes; add to that that I enjoy wine and have splurged on several books about different wine types and the factors of the terroir and weather on harvests.

    “…The research has been conducted in a greenhouse environment with vines of the species ‘Vitis vinifera cv. Tempranillo’. The three factors studied were climate change, water stress of the plant and soil texture. To analyse[sic] the effect of climate change on the grapes, some vines were placed in conditions of a greater presence of CO2, higher temperature and lower relative humidity, while other vines were situated in current climate conditions…”

    Just how many greenhouses? How many control groups? How much CO2? How much ‘additional heat’?

    Somehow this strikes me as treating plants cruelly to prove confirmation bias

    Sugar content and ripeness drive harvest dates; many vineyards try to maximize the sugar content by only harvesting before damaging conditions, e.g. frost, rain, high winds, migrating flocks of birds…

    Hot dry conditions, best during the ripening process made for smaller berries and more concentrated flavors. Too little rain over the entire season can cause minimal berries that look like tiny dry raisins. It also puts a damper on the entire plant as buds left for next year’s growth is dependent on how many pounds of old vine is pruned off, starting with two buds.

    Too many buds left on the plant causes vine overgrowth which magnifies dry hot effects on the plant. It also weakens the plant’s ability to properly develop grape bunches.

    Watering (raining) preceding or during harvest greatly dilutes flavors and can cause berries to split open spoiling portions of the harvest.

    Grape vines like a little maturity to fully develop their grapes for wines. While terrific planting and growing conditions can mitigate immature vines that sure doesn’t sound like the researchers greenhouse school of grape horrors described above.

    There’s more, but I’ve ranted enough for this week… Those poor innocent ‘Vitis vinifera cv. Tempranillo’ plants; serve mankind loyally over centuries only to be treated so.

  66. This seems to me to be a little bit of a waste of research money.
    Changing variables such as water, CO2 & soil texture can be meaningless if other issues, such as mesoclimate, microclimate and grape variety adaptability over time, are ignored.

    An example.
    I have a small vineyard situated in the Upper Great Southern Region of Western Australia where there are a few other small operations near the town of Narrogin. This year’s Shiraz was picked a full four weeks later (April 28) than 2013 and a similar time lag behind another local vineyard, Downderry. My grape ripeness was a little less at 13.8 deg beaume while Downderry picked at 14.5 deg beaume. Theoretically, I could have waited a further week or two.

    Without any substantial differences in carbon dioxide, water or soil, it is difficult to point to issues other than terroir; that wonderful expression of “place”. Some discernible differences are elevation (40 metres difference from 320 m to 360 m) and vine orientation ( NS v’s EW). Other influences could be a change in trellis system, soil inoculation and general vine nutrition.

    Unless these and other elements are considered and tested, limiting the research to just three variables is simply pointless. However, such research is unfortunately common to the field of climate “science”.

    PS I highly recommend John Gladstone’s terrific work: “Wine, Terroir and Climate Change” ISBN 978 1 86254 924 (pbk.).

  67. Here are some of the best comments so far (IMHO).
    See also Macroclimate, Mesoclimate, Microclimate terms in viticulture.

    http://www.wine-searcher.com/technical-wine-terms-m-n.lml

    ATheoK says:
    “…Just how many greenhouses? How many control groups? How much CO2? How much ‘additional heat’?…….”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/05/01/claim-climate-change-targeting-wine-grapes/#comment-1626877

    ——————————
    David Sivyer says:
    “…mesoclimate, microclimate and grape variety adaptability over time, are ignored.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/05/01/claim-climate-change-targeting-wine-grapes/#comment-1626806

    ——————————
    “viejecita says: May 1, 2014 at 4:22 am
    ….Some are good, some are average, some are excellent, some they just ignore. And with the same wine, the same grapes, the same methods of wine making, there are differences from year to year……”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/05/01/claim-climate-change-targeting-wine-grapes/#comment-1626042

  68. Thanks for your assessment Jimbo; I humbly agree. Nothing is better than having respondents who have some “skin in the game” and can report first hand, from real world observations. Viejecita, excellent comment. Serious wine consumers follow vintage reports and act on them. Seasonal variation gives us that beautiful or not-so-pretty result between excellent and poor vintages. That, dear friends is life…in a bottle!
    In WA, we have a dry summer and draw water for irrigation from dams or bores. I guess the same applies to some areas in California. So the water variable can be inconsequential.
    All the best to you all!

    Dave

  69. “Is there nothing, nothing at all good about 0.6 C of warming?”

    No we are all irredeemably doomed unless this means we don’t need to fund anymore research, then there might be hope…

  70. CD (@CD153) says:
    May 1, 2014 at 5:46 am
    Bloke down the pub says:
    May 1, 2014 at 3:37 am

    “Yesterday I walked past a newly planted vineyard near my home in the sw UK. It’s the first such attempt that I’m aware of in the immediate area, and will be interesting to see how successful it becomes.”
    ************
    As I understand it, growing grapes for wine in the UK is really nothing new. The Medieval Warm Period made the UK mild enough to grow grapes as far north as Scotland from what I’ve heard.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    It was warm enough in the past but will it be warm enough in the future? As I said, it ‘ will be interesting to see how successful it becomes.’

  71. Stephen Rasey says:
    May 1, 2014 at 7:46 am
    @Bloke down the pub at 3:37 am
    Yesterday I walked past a newly planted vineyard near my home in the sw UK. It’s the first such attempt that I’m aware of in the immediate area, and will be interesting to see how successful it becomes

    Is that because of CO2 climate change…. or taxation climate change?
    All I have is a hunch and anecdotal evidence, but I think a lot of recent vineyards exist primarily to convert land into a lower taxation category. You can lose money on the grapes but come out ahead on the property taxes. US 290 East of Fredericksburg, TX to Austin shows a distribution of wineries that seem to be more spatially dependent on the highway than the geology … As I said, it is just a hunch that taxes play a part in the recipe.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I suspect UK and US tax laws may differ in this respect. The fields I mentioned are steep and south facing. They had previously only been used as rough pasture, so I think the farmer saw it as an opportunity to grow something with a more valuable harvest. Whether his investment will turn out to be worthwhile may depend on the IPCC projections being correct, so I hope he hasn’t bet the house on it.

  72. Dr C says:
    May 1, 2014 at 11:42 am

    3) England has made wine for centuries. England has never made good wine.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I am no wine expert but I would point out that in recent years, English wines have won many international awards, so someone obviously thinks that Englandhas made good wine. You are not perhaps confusing English wine with British wine, which is a very different beast indeed?

  73. @Bloke down the pub 5/5 5:36 am
    …. English wines have won many international awards, so someone obviously thinks that England has made good wine.

    Returning to the subject of Texas Hill Country, I think many awards have gone to Texas wineries. However, for the vast majority of the wineries, they get their grapes from California. Whether the vines out front are for show, for tax purposes, or are growing to maturity after being wiped out by the blight a few years ago, I don’t know. But just because some bottles come out of a winery, at least in the case of Texas, doesn’t mean the grapes were grown there. So when you go to a winery, ask them where the grapes they use were grown.

    That said, the Black Spanish grapes from Dry Comal Creek are authentic Texas. What I was told was that the Black Spanish was a variety that survived the blight.

  74. Stephen Rasey says:
    May 5, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    As I referred to in an earlier comment, in the UK you can get English wine and British wine (or at least could). English wine is made from English grapes and has been creating a good reputation for itself. British wine was made in the UK from imported wine concentrate, mostly from the EU, and wasn’t fit for anything but cleaning metalwork.

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