Claim: Global warming has been good for Champagne

Perrier-Jouët advertisement of 1923

Perrier-Jouët advertisement of 1923

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

WUWT recently reported that wine makers are not concerned about climate change. Now Champagne makers have gone a step further, claiming that global warming has been good for them.

According to Reuters;

As France prepares to host world leaders for talks on how to slow global warming next month, producers of the northeastern French region’s famous sparkling wine have seen only benefits from rising temperatures so far.

The 1.2 degrees centigrade increase in temperatures in the region over the past 30 years has reduced frost damage. It has also added one degree in the level of alcohol and reduced acidity, making it easier to comply with strict production rules, according to champagne makers group CIVC.

“The Champagne region and Germany are among the northerly vineyards which have managed to develop thanks to warmer weather,” Jean-Marc Touzard, coordinator of a program on wine and climate change at French research institute INRA.

“Even if I feel very concerned by climate change, I have to say that for the moment it has had only positive effects for Champagne,” Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, president of the group that bears his family’s name, told Reuters at the company’s Reims headquarters.

Read more: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/11/10/us-climatechange-summit-champagne-idUKKCN0SZ1YX20151110

Given the indisputable greening of the Earth due to CO2 fertilisation, the long term rise in crop yields, perhaps it is time to retire absurd claims of negative climate impacts on agriculture, and accept that global warming has been and will likely continue to be beneficial.

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72 thoughts on “Claim: Global warming has been good for Champagne

  1. Would be great to know understand what government policy/law change (in France or elsewhere) which caused this outcome.

  2. I’m sure the Paris conference will give the climate activists plenty of opportunity to test the results of the vineyards’ increased production.

  3. Fine wines were grown in England during the Roman Warm Period. The Little Ice Age was all about beer. Now we are back in the ‘more wine’ dining era.

    • Indeed they were. Red wines as opposed to the mainly white we have now. And as far north as Newcastle which is too cold to do so at the moment. Inconvenient things those past warm periods.

  4. The Streisand effect perhaps.
    Or a lot of ordinary people are starting to make themselves heard.
    When the silent majority finally speaks, it does not whisper, it thunders.

  5. I was rather hoping you would have at least attempted to critique the claim – because good sceptics critique both the views we support as well as those we do not. However, like you, I know CO2 is good for plants, warmer weather is good for crops, so unless there’s a significant change like droughts or floods, I cannot think of anything bad … except a lot of drunken bankers drinking champagne before the banking crisis!

    • … correction – because increased CO2 levels will reduce the need for gaseous exchange at the leaf, there will/may be less water loss and therefore less concentration of minerals from the ground. This may cause a change in the flavour (not necessarily for the worse).

    • Of course. Please forward any bottles of high quality champagne to Australia, so I can perform a thorough personal evaluation of the comparative quality of different vintages.

      • Aus already does make great “Champagne”. The only reason why the French call it “Champagne”, and most think it is “the best”, is because the grapes are grown in the French region of Champagne.

    • AND after the crisis! As the great Al Murray says, they lose our money, so we reward them wit our money, to replace our money!

  6. Wine making in Belgium just 150-250 km (100-150 miles) north of the Champagne area was abundant in the Middle Ages, was abandoned around 1500 because all plants were frozen and/or summer temperatures were too cold to have enough sugar. Now it is back, in greenhouses for direct grape consumption starting in the early 20th century and in open air for wine making since a few decades. Just temperature that goes North and South with climate, mostly natural…

  7. Being a grower of grapes, albeit it in a modest way, I haven’t noticed any 1.2C increase in global warming over the last 30 years, but perhaps global warming isn’t happening in my area. Peut-être les vintiers francais talk to their vines, gradually convincing them over the years that it’s getting warmer.
    Point (hic) man

    • Yeah Pointman, it’s very odd, especially when there has been no warming for 18+ years. Maybe they’re doing something else to improve the Champers, and they don’t want anyone to know their secret.

    • Both my grapevines died last year (mind you they were eating grapes)…..perhaps I should blame global cooling?

  8. Yesterday I saw on TV a californian farmer – he said he had 2500 cows to feed – and we had a look on his land – the soil was very dry – but up to the horizon – there was not a tree , no hedge –
    here now they have to plant again hedges ‘arbour ?” but they have also to avoid too heavy machines –
    concerning “champagne” some small producers have very good one – and they have their own customers – directly

  9. This is the paradox of the century, whilst governments and bureaucrats and others are preaching the impending doom of global warming, more practical people such as the wine growers and agriculturists think it is a good thing and historically warmer periods have been good for mankind. So what’s the problem?

  10. At last a good point about AGW (except there hasn’t been any for the last 18 years and 9 months) that aside, surprise, surprise, it wasn’t made by a snout in the trough warmists!

  11. What will be of greater concern for grape growers is the instances of heavy and damaging hail storms increase in little ice age conditions. In the last couple of years there have been heavy hail storms that have stripped vineyards.

  12. I went to school in 1968 in the Neckar Valley in Southern Germany just at the end of the 30 year warm cycle and people were very worried when it snowed in late spring that year. But afterwards, during the cold 1970’s, the wine production there decreased and everyone was remembering the Little Ice Age.

  13. A warming of 1.2 degrees over 30 years is not GLOBAL warming. The average temperatures in this particular region may have changed that much and but that is regional variation. The logic for AGW is quite simple: CO2 is a (pretty) well distributed gas world-wide and the physics produces an immediate forcing (heating) response. Global warming, unlike any other regional or seasonal response logically is present in the temperature record of every station in the world.
    The way that you detect this effect is to average a huge number of actual temperature readings, temporally and spatially, and local variations over regions and time gradually disappear in the averaging process leaving a trace “signal” which is the truly global temperature index, i.e. a signal which is present in all actual measurements. Anything above that number must be counterbalanced by an region has reduced temperature by that difference.This is AGW. (Of course reasonable men and woman ask how much is AGW v. natural variability which has always existed but we don’t seem to get an answer to that.) Approximate values measured over a reasonable period are around one tenth of a degree per decade which would lead to something closer to 0.3 degrees rather than 1.2degrees.
    I do not believe that any plant or human system could detect a change of 0.3degrees in the estimated mean over 30 years against daily and seasonal max to min variations of 20 – 30 degrees or more.

  14. This is the first year of the last 15 that the grapes on the wall of my house in Sussex England have not fully ripened. A lot of sugar or perhaps some more global warming would be needed to make a good wine.

  15. A few years back I had a colleague who kept the entire office supplied with fine Champagne at half the price. Producers keep prices up by restricting supply but if you are lucky you can pick up excess stock. Comes with no label. She retired long ago, alas.

    • I did the same with some friends for red wine from Bordeaux – you get the labels apart and stick them yourself – I do not know if it is still possible –

  16. I think it is obvious as well that we would not be having the revival of wine in Ontario, especially Prince Edward County, if it had not warmed here in the Great White North. Rednersville had a wine in the late 19th century that won a medal at the World’s Fair but that, along with most of the apple trees, were killed off by the very cold winters that followed in the early 20th century. We don’t know if the natives made wine from the poor local grapes, but Al Purdy did (though we hear it was vile).

      • Yes those native Labrusca north american grapes were horrible ( Wells Grape juice we all grew up with) but they saved the EU grapes because those American grapes roots were resistant to phyloxira ( killed roots in the EU, there is more to that story as well really intriguing stuff)

  17. The anti-society crowd thinks up lists of things that Global Warming will harm. We need to focus upon the lists of what Global warming has actually benefited in history, and will benefit.

  18. Obviously Pierre failed to view this from the correct perspective.
    His statement should be that the catastrophic effects of Climate Change, the vineyards of the Champagne region are now stressed with regard to cellar capacity.
    They plan to claim damages to fund corrective cellar expansion from Carbon Taxes paid by schmucks

  19. This is great news for all the whining and dining that will be going on during the big Climate Jamboree.

  20. While not often stated, a changing climate whether cooler or warmer, will have some negative and some positive effect almost everywhere and the migratory patterns of migratory creatures will be altered.
    The way some folks act, you would think this is the first time something like this has ever happened.

  21. OK, the average temperature does not seem to have increased very much but in some regions such as the one in the article and it seems in the Arctic, the temperatures have increase more than the average. That implies that somewhere else, the regional temperatures must have gone down. Where have the temperatures gone down? I am curious about that.

  22. Forgive me for asking a question that is off topic.
    But does anyone know anything regarding the status of this project to develop a superconducting wind turbine using $3 million of DOE money. It was a two year project started in 2013, by all appearances:
    http://www.windpowermonthly.com/article/1088298/ge-begins-work-superconducting-magnet-generators
    And then we must also ask, whether the 10.5 million euro gifted from the EU for a similar project will be any more productive? Productive in terms of possible producing a low cost source of energy?
    And if this is such a brilliant idea, then why are no private companies investing their money in development of this potentially lucrative technology? Or are they?
    http://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/195203_en.html

    • Apologies – a two year project started in 2011 – therefore finished in 2013.
      So, where’s the turbine? I want to know. Questions, questions!!

    • ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVj3l5q7ROQ
      I read long ago that in a Singapoor building the lift was actionate with magnets ?
      Same for a railway company but I do not remember in which country
      anyway, wind energy is not the right solution –

      • Japan is starting to build a superconducting maglev train system, testing has been done on an experimental line and I believe the construction of the passenger line has started (Tokyo-Nagoya?).
        As far as I am aware there are a number of companies developing superconducting turbines for off shore use.

  23. Champagne (the liquid) is a solution to growing un-ripe grapes. When that is all you’ve got – go with it. Promote the region, market the experience, advertise the uniqueness.
    In better regions for wine grapes, good stuff is sold as sparkling wine!
    Will the Party in Paris have only flat wines available?

    • A bad thing about Champagne and sparkling wine is that you have to consume the whole bottle in one evening (or one day). Flat champagne is worse than flat coke. That is something that does not happen with regular wine.

      • urederra old soul,
        You are entirely correct.
        We have finished a bottle of French sparkling this very evening.
        It didn’t go flat.
        Lasted about half an hour, with salmon and cucurbits.
        Let me see if I can help:
        “A bad thing about Champagne and sparkling wine is that you have to consume the whole bottle in one evening (or one day). ”
        “A g o o d thing about Champagne and sparkling wine is that you have to consume the whole bottle in one evening (or one day). ”
        Better?
        I think so . . . . .
        Cheers.
        Auto

  24. Anyone ever wondered how many bottles of Champagne or percentage thereof has been shaken up and squirted all over sports teams? I think this may be a serious factor in the elevated price of this wonderful bubbly stuff.

    • Squirting a carbon dioxide rich beverage such as champagne directly in to the atmosphere is only exacerbating anthropogenic global warming and should be punishable with RICO-sponsored jail time

  25. As an retired grape grower ( and a assistant wine maker in a “Champagne” house)?. This is total BS, “champagne” or “Sparkling ” wine as we are supposed to call it these days is made with mostly low sugar high acid grapes of inferior quality, ( I mean as in not good enough to make a decent table wine) those 2 perimeters can ( and will be) adjusted during the wine (Sparkling wine ) process, Dry ( Brut) has little or no sugars but “cuvee’s” can change the taste and the levels of sugars in a Sparkling wine. Many grape growers will use growing methods to get to that point but it is not hard to do that at all. Climate has NOTHING to do with that, what a joke! ( sorry for the rant but I could go on a lot longer!).

  26. I have posted this before. I used to live in an area of New Zealand called the Wairarapa, north of Wellington. Great wine growing region (Now lamb has gone). And I kid you not…wine growers used to hire helicopters to “move air” around their fields in times of frost to save the fruit.

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