Wine Makers NOT concerned about Climate Change

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.

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The International Organisation of Vine and Wine has stated it is not concerned about the impact of climate change, at least in the short to medium term.

According to Reuters;

Good news for wine drinkers: a leading international body says grape vines are a hardy little number and can survive climate change, at least over the medium term.

Earlier harvesting, changes in grape varieties and new wine-making processes have already helped counter the impact of the harsher weather hitting vineyards across the globe, the head of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) says.

“Wine producers all over the world have adapted to the changes and the plant has a capacity of adjustment that you can find in no other plant,” OIV Director General Jean-Marie Aurand told Reuters in an interview.

He cited the example of the Canary island of Lanzarote where vines are grown in lava which absorbs overnight dew – virtually the sole water they receive in the summer – and releases it during the day.

In China, he said, more than 80 percent of production acreage is located in regions where temperatures can drop below minus 30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit) in winter. Growers cover vines to protect them and uncover them when spring comes.

Read more: http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/10/30/us-climatechange-wine-output-idINKCN0SM15C20151030

This kind of broad range of growing conditions seems common. Pick up any vegetable seed packet from your local garden shop, and you will see instructions for growing the plant in a wide range of climatic conditions, in different regions of your country.

Staple crops like Wheat are grown in conditions ranging from Canada and Siberia, on the edge of the Arctic, to the blistering hot Australian Outback.

Warmth loving plants such as tomatoes sometimes have to be started in a greenhouse, when grown in cold countries. On a commercial scale, this is often achieved by covering acres of new seedbeds with plastic.

The successful adaption of rice to a wide variety conditions is even more spectacular. Dr Peter Jennings probably deserves a post of his own – he literally saved millions of people in Asia from starvation, by selective breeding, providing the world with new, high yielding varieties of rice.

Other plants like strawberries thrive in cold England, but they also thrive in subtropical Australia, providing you keep them well watered.

Even coffee bushes can cope with a broad range of environmental growing conditions. There are commercial coffee growers in Australia, who produce coffee in climatic conditions far removed from more traditional alpine equatorial coffee producing countries.

In my opinion, it is no exaggeration to suggest climate scares about food production in a warmer world are nonsense. It is good to see industry bodies like the International Organisation of Vine and Wine starting to push back against such claims.

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80 thoughts on “Wine Makers NOT concerned about Climate Change

  1. helped counter the impact of the harsher weather hitting vineyards across the globe,……..

    say what?

    • As far as I know the most sought after wines grow in what most would consider harsh weather. Temecula, CA, has really hot, dry summers and mild winters. In Santa Rosa, the heart of California wine country it sometimes feels like Yuma, AZ, in summer. In fact they are trying to learn to grow wine grapes south of Phoenix, but I haven’t tasted anything from there I like. Table grapes are grown in Yuma County and some of the hottest places in California. Grape growers will have no problem if warming picks up again for a long time. The problem will come if the other shoe drops, and we all get a little colder.

      • Ernest, he’s claiming that “harsher weather” has happened because of global warming…

        Global warming can change the weather without changing the temperature. This moron has bought into it….

      • I”ve been to central FL. Lakeridge winery (hot and generally wet, though very well drained) and I think I remember the facts correctly but the grapes they are able to grow locally yield a (my opinion) sickly sweet white. They import grapes for a drier red. I hate the idea of global cooling but hey maybe we can get a better selection of grapes.

    • ……new wine-making processes have already helped counter the impact of the harsher weather hitting vineyards across the globe, the head of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) says.

      Evidence please. Furthermore harsh weather is not evidence of climate change. It could be evidence of things like El Nino and other natural oscillations.

      See my compilations of wild weather. Imagine these events this year. It’s the reporting frequency of bad weather events. The weather has always been bad and good. Climate is another matter.
      wild and lethal weather in 1935, when co2 was below the safe 350ppm level.

      extreme weather of 1936

  2. In southern Ontario one of the premium products is their Ice Wine. They are just about the only location on earth where they can be assured a harvest every year. I keep expecting some news story claiming that harvest is in danger because they no longer get the heavy freezing in fall before the fruit rots that makes it possible to produce Ice wine.

  3. come on, try harder, you can find a reason climate change will have a devastating impact!
    How about this.
    With global warming (if they can only find the missing heat), the harvest will be push back 1 week, causing student workers (summer job?) to either miss the start of school, or result in a shortage of labor for the harvest.
    Oh wait, do students still take summer jobs? or do they hang out in Ibiza, or the more conscientious one go to protest A. Global Warming (reinvented as CC because they can’t find the missing heat)?

    • Back in 1969-70 I was hiring U students for summer mining exploration for northern British Columbia and Yukon. In one interview the guy said yeah well I’m still wondering whether to do this or to go to San Francisco and hang out! I chose for him.

    • Global warming improves beer, the hotter it is the better a cold beer tastes. Seriously, I know two hops growers in Michigan who would love the weather to be a bit warmer.

      • I dunno, given the English’ preference for warm beer.

        (Years ago while helping check out a simulator in England our work party went to the airshow at historic Biggen Hill Aerodrome east of London.

        N/C admission but parking was expensive, so local throngs were coming in by foot, bicycle, and transit bus.

        We had difficulty connecting with a person who was to bring a picnic lunch, so went to a food tent. We survived sausage rolls and warm beer.

    • Obviously, wine growers and oenologists are one facet of humanity which is completely oblivious to the grant procurement process.
      Perhaps the beer and tequila folks have a better sense of how to use pity and scaremongering to obtain government charity. I mean, without joining the pity party parade, how do they expect to lard favor onto themselves from those with less?

    • I make beer in my second bathtub at home !!! Weather has no effect on the outcome of the taste but how many beer I drink during the distilling process seems to increase the alcohol content !!! …HIC !!

    • As far as Europe goes it is a north/south split for beer and wine. Same goes for the UK. The most northern areas grow white grapes and that is what – as far as I know – the expanding English wine industry produces. In Roman times, during the warm period that Mikey worked so hard to disappear, wine was produced in the northernmost part of England and red wine produced in the south. Barley can be grown in most parts although the starch content is important for beer. However, you can just use more if it is lower. Hops are grown in England as far as the Midlands and in Europe from Belgium across the continent. France is a good example in that the beer producing region is in the north-east corner and then wine across the country to the south of that.

  4. Wait … you mean the sky isn’t falling ??!!

    Which, I suppose, is good news for Mr. Gore … his beachfront mansion is probably safe.

  5. So the plants have survived 0.3C added during the uptick in of the 80s and 90s! The 1930s were worse. I just don’t believe there has been any adaptation to non existent harsher climate. They are experimenting all the time with varieties and wine making. Changing harvesting times has been going on for centuries with all crops with just the variability of climate or, more apt, weather.

    Ice wine is a relatively recent product, although some was made in Gerrmany in the 19th Century after an expected freezing of a crop and now it is done deliberately. Canada, as one might expect, is the world’s number one ice wine maker and it has won international awards. The main adaptation is you have to put netting up to keep the birds from demolishing this very sweet product.

    • Gary, maybe they should put vineyards on wind farms. The birds would be thinned out considerably. ;-)

    • In BC we try (and have succeeded in making ice wine , Hainley Vineyards was one of the first in Canada) as well but the criteria have changed . Some time ago we could not pick unless the temps were -8,-9 C and you could not claim “ice wine” if those temps were not verified (Now it seems you can pick and “store” grapes and press later). That meant many winters we had to pick the grapes at ungodly hrs (4-5 AM) but many people would come and pick because it was “romantic” (for the first 15 minutes) After that it was brutal, People with no proper winter gear etc, But hey afterwards lots of hot wine to heat everyone !

      • Ah, yes there are regulations.

        My limited understanding is that Germany makes much ice wine.

        Of course with climate variation production may be better or worse at different times.

  6. One of the earliest studies of a longer record of historic climate change involved the wine and harvest records from France. It was put together in a book by Emmanuel Leroy Ladurie titled, “Times of feast, Times of Famine.

  7. Apologies for being a tad off target, but as Eric often comments on such things I thought I would add it in here (Mods permitting). This week the UK’s Guardian ran a full page puff piece on a Solar Power station in Morocco – Morocco poised to become a solar superpower with launch of desert mega-project. It goes in detal how the new/ soon to be realised first phase will lead to ,Morocco becoming self suffieient in energy (along with wind and Hhydro) it would be able to provide energy at night by using molten salt technology. It all sounds too good to be true. Does anyone have a more realistic view on this.

  8. The horror!
    Plants that are growing faster and are more drought resistant than ever before in history!
    Heavens to Betsy.

  9. Gee, you’d think they’d be concerned about all the extra “plant food” aka CO2 the plants are getting causing plant obesity.

  10. My dreams of an orange grove in Nova Scotia may be realized. NOT! A Canadian perspective on Global Warming is twisted. 95% of the population of Canada lives within 200 miles of the southern border with the USA. Canada reaches from the 49th parallel of Latitude (roughly) to the north pole. about 2700 miles tall. 2500 of which is nearly uninhabited, my apologies to Inuvik and Tuktoyatuk.

    Global Warming would be FANTASTIC! Instead of spruce trees and black flies we could have oranges and pineapples and alligators. Canada alone could easily feed 2 planets worth of people with 2C increase in Global temperature.

    The problem is global warming isn’t, so don’t invest in resort land in norther Ontario.

    Canadians have no incentive whatsoever to halt global warming, 1) if it really was, and 2) if human beings could do anything about what the Sun is doing to the earth.

    So unmotivated skeptic I remain, abundant vineyards notwithstanding.

    • Spot on. Bu what is it about the data and the rational analysis that the Government of Alberta and your new Federal Government are missing?

      • My theory is that the socialists who took over Alberta succeed because of a split in the conservatives and Wild Rose parties. The socialists stepped into a gap in Alberta. Federally, the drama teacher shampoo model dope smoker baby killer won 55% of the seats while getting only 39% of the vote. The Tories got 32% of the vote. Multi party dynamics at work IMO. Plus the Tories were in power for 10 years.

        The left wing in Canada believe in wealth redistribution. That is the underlying truth and they really don’t care about global warming, the earth, and all that. They want money taken from the wealthy and given to them by any means. If they can’t get, then they just want it taken from the wealthy, and burned if need be. They Canadian left are are so cruel and hateful they would commit suicide just to put a scratch on a rich man’s heel. It is a weird psychology. Success is what Canadian socialists don’t want you to have. The Green movement is just religious decoration to cover their spiteful envy. Canadian Liberals are spite personified. They are very quick to criticize liberty and free enterprise. ewwww…

      • A lot of foreign money flowed into Alberta and other parts of Canada to shut down Canadian oil production. No pipe lines no oil production.

        The Energy Foundation and ClimateWorks foundations have been involved in funding the anti-oil movement in Canada. And this has been well documented.

        No pipe line through B.C. and then pressure from environmental groups in Eastern Canada, opposition to pipelines south through the U.S.

        Alberta oil may just stay land-locked and end Alberta’s prosperity along with harming the Canadian economy.

    • Then there was “Vinland”.

      Well, probably not even during the MWP, the name likely came from poor translation from a medieval language, one claim is it actually referred to a landscape with many meadows, as archaeologists think existed at the Viking ship repair station in Newfoundland.

  11. What I can’t understand is this:

    IF, Global Warming is real (and assuming, for the sake of argument, that it is problematic), the cause is either:-

    1. Natural, or
    2. Manmade, or
    3. Natural and Manmade.

    A policy of targeted adaption works with all three scenarios, whereas a policy of mitigation does not work with scenario 1, and it is far from clear that it will work with scenario 2 and/or 3, and even if it does work with scenarios 2 and/or 3, it appears to be prohibitively expensive such that the cost does not appear to be the worth the benefit.

    Now the consequence of Global Warming will depend upon the Regional Climate that it is interacting with. The consequences of Global Warming (including sea level rise) are not uniformly Global; indeed the warming that is being experienced is not even in itself uniformly Global

    One of man’s prime skills is adaption, and nature is also far more resilient than we give credit to it. There can be no doubt that Global Warming will bring considerable benefits with it for many, and will be problematic only for a few. This fact also suggests that a policy of Adaption is preferable to a policy of Mitigation.

    Materially, Mitigation, assuming that it works, deprives man from enjoying the benefits that come with Global Warming, albeit it may solve the problems. Mitigation therefore has an inherent downside that must be weighted against the benefit in other areas. Whereas, a policy of Adaption will allow man to reap the benefits of Global Warming where those benefits occur, and will allow man to concentrate targeting adaption to only those areas where problems arise. A policy of Adaption has no downside.

    I do not consider that sufficient thought has been given to the fact that a policy of Mitigation comes with a downside, and that such a policy is hopeless to the extent that warming is Natural and not Manmade.

  12. Farmers generally don’t have any concern for climate change. Their larger concern is the weather and governmental policies that make their business impossible or unprofitable.

    • Thanks to free trade, farming in the NE USA is dying rapidly. Many of the farms in my valley are bankrupt and abandoned and for sale but guess what?

      The forests are growing rapidly (thanks to more CO2 also!) and are of rising value. I harvest trees on my mountain every 20 years or so.

    • Right.
      They do have to watch for decadal trends, such as drier or wetter periods.
      One way to cope is to be versatile, another is to ensure local water storage (called “dugouts” when I was a kid), and adopt practices that give tolerance for variation.
      Today technology helps by facilitating mapping of fields and varying planting and irrigation.
      Such was highlighted during a dry period in the Peace River area of NE BC/NW AB a decade ago. One farmer left wheat in the field and let his cattle graze it (by pawing through the snow, probably with help if snow was deep), as wheat was vulnerable there because it matured later than other cereal crops (barley and oats for example). I presume he harvested oats and hay to ensure food for them at all times, the animals are hardy but I doubt it is wise to let them out of the barn at -40, which has occurred in that area.

  13. the plant has a capacity of adjustment that you can find in no other plant

    Christ!

    Who could take such a statement as a fact?

    Fact is, winemakers are not seeing any trouble, as yearly variation overwhelms any global component in local variation. There is absolutely no point of telling Vitis is capable to adjust as of course it is. All plants need to adjust to differing years. The delicate balance of Nature is not so delicate!

    The long term 0.01 degree C/year change means the average optimum climatic zone might move 10 meters up the hill in a decade. That won’t stop any farming!

    • It does have an effect: it expands arable land! And increases the harvest. Droughts do the opposite but we have droughts just as bad during colder climate years, big time. And longer frozen ground=’drought’ conditions since no water is available for plants to grow.

  14. We have both (gatden) strawberries and wild strawberries here in cold Scandinavia (The garden strawberry is a man made hybrid based on the wild. It is also botanically classified as a fruit, not a berry)

  15. OT, but I thought everyone should know about this breaking story:

    NEWSFLASH!
    This just in, re the asteroid flying past Earth today:
    Giant skull shaped comet is now thought to be an ancient space ship, more or less The Flying Dutchman of space.
    Scientists now confirming the ship is emitting a huge cloud of deadly virus, which seems to be causing zombie like behavior in anyone caught outside when the cloud passes.
    Contact has been lost with all parts of Earth that have been affected so far.
    Stay calm, do not panic, it may just be the twenty four hour strain of the zombie apocalypse.

  16. Are they forgetting about the dreaded global warming vineyard mite. It’s a newly discovered species. Interestingly it was discovered by an Environmental Public Relations Agency and not by an entomologist. The GWVM sucks the tender, young, vulnerable wine grape dry in expectation of research funds.

  17. Well since French wine is produced quite successfully on the tropical island of Rangiroa, I see no problems with global warming at all, even if there was any. Indeed they get two vintages a year.

    Vin de Tahiti

    • As well as the island of Maui. And Kauai grew Portuguese varieties of grape for domestic consumption for 60 years, until prohibition.

  18. So far as the AGW is proven true…
    Indeed, during the Middle Age climatic optimum the higher than today temperatures made the period of grapes harvesting earlier than in the times being. The Burgundy archives show the grapes were ripe by the end of August.
    Currently the grapes harvest in Burgundy is made more than one month later, by early october…

  19. There is a new book by Ian Tattersall & Rob DeSalle [A Natural History of Wine] with an excerpt in the Nov. edition of the magazine Natural History.
    They write of a 6,000 year old winery southwest of Mt. Ararat near the village of Areni in a cave called Areni-1. Search term: areni-1 +winery
    The scale of the wine making suggests it was not the first, so the date marks the oldest found – not the oldest.

    • Well…the Old Testament said that after the Flood, Noah landed on Mt. Ararat and the first thing he did was grow some grapes and GET VERY DRUNK.

      Way back years ago I drew a cartoon about this to illustrate a book talking about the birth of wine drinking.

  20. Most grape varieties like hot summers, cold winters and generally dry conditions but they absolutely love more CO2, they cannot get enough of it.

  21. Reblogged this on Public Secrets and commented:
    Of course they’re not worried: increasing CO2 means more plant food. Besides, in prior warming periods, there were wine grapes grown in Roman and Early Medieval Britain. If the alarmists are right, we might soon be sipping fine Scottish merlots. (McTavish Winery, anyone?)

    • Phineas: They do actually have wineries in Yorkshire. However, the grape varieties grown to make the wines, Ortega and Pronto have been specifically engineered to grow in a Northern Europe climate. The varieties of grapes that the Romans grew were grapes that grew in a Mediterranean climate. Romans preferred sweet wines. In England at the time of Chaucer, people would add honey to wine to sweeten it.
      Don’t expect to see any Chianti being produced in Yorkshire in the near future.

      • Great Britain and northern Europe have few natural sources of sweeteners (honey is and exception). But grapes do make sugar and at about 20% can get you a wine of about 11% alc., such that it will store well. More sugar in the grape and both alcohol content and residual sugar can go up. Before bottles and corks, casks of large capacity (hogsheads, pipes, to tuns) could bring alcohol-calories and sweetness to London from Porto and others warmer and sunny places. Lots of politics and religion involved. London ends up becoming the center of wine trade. A fascinating history.

  22. A few tenths of a degree here or there is not going to make any difference. What does affect the quality of wine is taxation, at least here in California. It makes wines that need to be aged in the winery very expensive. So vintners are making wines so that they can be released early and drunk immediately.

  23. This is all so insane!

    The Vikings called the Boston area ‘Vinland’ due to the amount of grapes there during the Medieval Warm Period! And of course the Romans grew wine grapes all over Europe during the Roman Warm Period when wine drinking was nearly universal and you can bet that the beginning of the Wine God cults of the Mediterranean basin era was called the Minoan Warm Period! Duh!

    And did everyone roast to death? Or get drunk? The answer is obvious. Cheers! Bottoms up!

  24. Warmth loving plants such as tomatoes sometimes have to be started in a greenhouse, when grown in cold countries. On a commercial scale, this is often achieved by covering acres of new seedbeds with plastic.

    Well …. SURPRISE, SURPRISE, …… I guess the above proves that the Global Warming “greenhouse” gas CO2 only works its “magic” when it is trapped inside of an actual greenhouse that prevents its convectional “mixing” with the “outside” air.

    YUP, CO2 “warming” is here today, …. and gone tonight. Even if the CO2 is “trapped” inside of an actual, factual greenhouse.

    And ps, …. the majority of all flower and vegetable plants that are sold in the US for “springtime planting” are grown in “greenhouses”. For personal use, they are also grown in “hot beds”, “cold frames” and on south-facing window sills.

  25. The only credible risk to food production worldwide is a sudden cooling caused by a large volcanic eruption (VEI 7 and beyond) or a substantial asteroid/comet impact. We have no protection to the former one whatsoever except maintaining several years worth of food reserve. God says it should be 7 years, but currently the post Cold War world economy is running on 3 months, which is clearly insufficient for disaster recovery.

    In case of market shortage there is no upper limit to food prices, because whoever can’t pay, will become very dead soon, getting excluded from any further economic activity, including recovery attempts this way. Therefore number of fatalities can easily exceed billions.

    Fortunately we have this biofuel craziness, so surplus crops to be turned into alcohol and burnt in cars can be used to feed people in case of a worldwide famine instead, only we have to act quickly, what means there should be proper legislation enacted in advance.

    As for asteroids, we do have the technical means to protect ourselves. We still don’t have a complete list of asteroids on Earth-crossing orbit, so we need a better observation network, but once an early warning is given, they can be diverted using spacecrafts propelled by traditional rockets.

    The real worry is comets zooming in from the outer solar system, targeting Earth directly. First of all detection is more difficult, so we need an ongoing all sky survey using a space based detection network, dispersed in the inner solar system, so even faint incoming sources can be identified based on their parallax. Then comes the tricky part, because no traditional rocket is able to intercept such projectiles in time.

    We need nuclear propulsion to do that, because that’s the only way to have sufficient thrust for an extended period, needed for acceleration towards the object, deceleration on approach, followed by acceleration to the opposite direction to follow it closely, then nudging it out of the way gently, but firmly.

    That’s why we need several Orion class spaceships in reserve, on low Earth orbit, developed &. tested, ready to launch any time on alert.

    Unfortunately it all relates to mere survival, not wine production.

  26. According to the IPCC the human race cannot survive a changing climate. Apparently the human race is less hardy than grapes.

    With this new knowledge about grapes, the disastrous climate change situation is somewhat mitigated with the survivors being able to drink heavily of the fruit of the land.

  27. This doesn’t support either view but using more or fewer vineyards as a proxy is a fail.
    Times have changed. Economies have changed.
    Look at beer. How many “microbreweries” are there now? Maybe fewer than there were then? Back then that’s all there were. The same for wineries. There was a demand for both beer and wine but no huge corporation with a mass distribution system. No demand for “crafted” beer or wine.
    Today it is a common error to project our present values or what we value on those who lived in the past. (And judge them accordingly.)

    • Ended my thought to soon.
      It may be profitable to sell a “crafted” wine from a more northern region than it is practical over the long term.
      (I’m no expert. Just throwing a bit of sand into the “caGW” machinery.)

    • Look at beer. How many “microbreweries” are there now?

      And breweries back then ……….

      Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky were, quite literally, built on beer. By the mid-1800s, 36 breweries were producing more than 30 million gallons of beer

  28. French wines used to have too little alcohol (and wine producers used to add sugar to produce more alcohol); now there is too much alcohol (and some producers remove alcohol from wine).

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