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.

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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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November 11, 2015 3:54 am

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

Reply to  rms
November 11, 2015 9:13 am

With cultural marxism and sustainability wine growers will become extinct?

Bloke down the pub
November 11, 2015 3:56 am

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

Reply to  Bloke down the pub
November 11, 2015 9:15 am

The Paris Conference is a Western modern Cultural Marxism Conference first.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Bloke down the pub
November 11, 2015 1:01 pm

Let us enjoy this classic musical number to toast them with:

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 11, 2015 10:24 pm

Thanks for the laugh, but I can guarantee champagne will do that that to anybody! Great stuff. (and all discovered by a monk! to boot)

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 11, 2015 10:46 pm

Not discovered…but used.

November 11, 2015 3:56 am

Oh, the irony of it!!! Irrepressible.

November 11, 2015 4:03 am

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.

Gerry, England
Reply to  emsnews
November 11, 2015 5:27 am

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.

November 11, 2015 4:04 am

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.

Reply to  Felflames
November 11, 2015 4:44 am

I do hope it is going to thunder very soon here in France !!!!!

Scottish Sceptic
November 11, 2015 4:08 am

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!

Scottish Sceptic
Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
November 11, 2015 4:11 am

… 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).

Reply to  Eric Worrall
November 11, 2015 10:50 pm

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.

Bob Ferdinand
Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
November 11, 2015 7:42 am

Do you mean the banking crisis which will result from global warming? 🙂

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
November 11, 2015 8:04 am

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!

November 11, 2015 4:12 am

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…

November 11, 2015 4:22 am

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

Jay Hope
Reply to  Pointman
November 11, 2015 11:44 am

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.

Reply to  Pointman
November 11, 2015 1:34 pm

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

November 11, 2015 4:41 am

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

Reply to  ratuma
November 11, 2015 4:59 am

A large amount of California’s farmland was built in an out-and-out desert, and now that they shifted to a dry climate (which happens every 30 years or so), they are hurting, badly, and California’s foolish water policy for the past 20 years has undermined the ability to irrigate as well, further exacerbating a bad situation.

Reply to  benofhouston
November 11, 2015 5:45 am

They gotta save that fish bait..err, I mean Delta Smelt !!!!

Robert O
November 11, 2015 4:43 am

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?

November 11, 2015 4:55 am

The Wife and I love German wines… GO global warming!!!

Reply to  DocWat
November 11, 2015 5:42 am

have some “icewine”

November 11, 2015 5:09 am

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!

Walt D.
November 11, 2015 5:21 am

We will need some more IPCC conferences to drink it and taxpayers to pay for it.

Gerry, England
November 11, 2015 5:31 am

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.

November 11, 2015 5:35 am

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.

Reply to  emsnews
November 11, 2015 5:37 am

what about “icewine” – produced in Austria, France and Germany – very nice but rather expensive

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  ratuma
November 11, 2015 8:11 am

Think of it as art.
rare circumstances, low volume, lot of work, much hype = high cost

Reply to  ratuma
November 11, 2015 10:00 am

Produced in Canada too.

Reply to  ratuma
November 11, 2015 5:10 pm

And not really worth it either 😉

Reply to  ratuma
November 11, 2015 10:34 pm

@ oldseadog, Canadian Ice wine! and of superior quality to boot, Made it as a grape/ wine maker ( But a dang hard harvest but at least there were lots of “romantics” to come and pick at 4 am when temps were – 12C !! The pressing of the grapes took hours to get a few liters of juice and the fermenting because of the high sugars was a ( new yeast have helped in the past few years).

November 11, 2015 5:48 am

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.

November 11, 2015 5:50 am

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.

November 11, 2015 5:52 am
Steve (Paris)
November 11, 2015 6:18 am

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.

Reply to  Steve (Paris)
November 11, 2015 8:19 am

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 –

Dodgy Geezer
November 11, 2015 6:30 am

The champagne levels are going up! We’re all going to drown in champagne!!!

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
November 11, 2015 7:41 am

Ain’t that a corker.

Reply to  Mark and two Cats
November 11, 2015 10:36 pm

But the sound of a cork leaving the bottle??? divine!

The Expulsive
November 11, 2015 6:31 am

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).

Richards in Vancouver
Reply to  The Expulsive
November 11, 2015 2:38 pm

Al wouldn’t have noticed. Well, not after the first glass, anyway.

Reply to  Richards in Vancouver
November 11, 2015 10:41 pm

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)

November 11, 2015 6:52 am

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.

Jim G1
Reply to  jsuther2013
November 11, 2015 7:10 am

And what global cooling has harmed in the past; crops, increased famines, disease and outright wars over productive land.

Reply to  jsuther2013
November 11, 2015 8:22 am

what is your listing

November 11, 2015 7:03 am

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

Bruce Cobb
November 11, 2015 7:05 am

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

November 11, 2015 7:09 am

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.

November 11, 2015 7:25 am

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.

Tom in Florida
November 11, 2015 7:27 am

As long as it doesn’t start to taste just like cherry cola, I’m good.

November 11, 2015 8:02 am

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:
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?

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
November 11, 2015 8:03 am

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

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
November 11, 2015 8:55 am

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 –

Reply to  ratuma
November 16, 2015 5:57 am

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.

John F. Hultquist
November 11, 2015 8:22 am

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?

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
November 11, 2015 12:26 pm

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.

Reply to  urederra
November 11, 2015 1:21 pm

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). ”
I think so . . . . .

Reply to  Auto
November 11, 2015 10:26 pm

Champagne with salmon !! strange
try also a good cider from Normandy or Britany –

November 11, 2015 8:47 am

Claim: Global warming has been good for arthritic conditions. Too bad that it only provides seasonal relief.

Sandy In Limousin
November 11, 2015 9:23 am
Gary Pearse
November 11, 2015 3:18 pm

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.

Bob Burban
Reply to  Gary Pearse
November 11, 2015 4:30 pm

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

November 11, 2015 10:08 pm

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!).

Reply to  asybot
November 11, 2015 11:03 pm
November 11, 2015 10:55 pm

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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