German Winemakers Celebrate Global Warming

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

“We’re getting white wines this year more like ones from the Mediterranean.”

Climate Change Hits Germany, and Winemakers Couldn’t Be Happier

From Riesling to Pinot Noir, extreme summer boosts quality and quantity of German wines.

By Iain Rogers
22 September 2018, 17:00 GMT+10

The Braunewell family has been practicing the ancient art of viticulture in the picturesque hills above the Rhine River since the middle of the 17th century. This year’s grape harvest, at the end of Germany’s second-warmest summer on record, is their earliest ever.

Across Germany, the “Weinlese” is in full swing, and vintners are delighted with what promises to be an excellent year in one of the unique upsides to global warming. For Stefan Braunewell — who runs his family’s vineyard in Essenheim near Mainz with his grandfather, parents and brother — that means gathering the region’s famous Riesling crop four weeks earlier than usual.

“Of course, climate change brings challenges, but these challenges are manageable,” Braunewell said in an interview. “We can’t stick our heads in the sand. It’s nature, and you have to deal with it.”

As Braunewell and his peers can attest, however, a long, hot summer has upsides for winemakers above and beyond the early harvest. Ample sunlight increases sugar content, while dry weather keeps fungi from attacking the crop.

I don’t think we have ever seen such healthy grapes,” Braunewell said. “It’s a bit of a crazy year for us, but the quality is good. The sugar content is excellent, the ripeness is very high and the aroma is great.”

“It goes against the trend as everyone is struggling these days with stress and sensitive stomachs,” Theo Gehring said in an interview at the vineyard he runs with his wife outside the town of Nierstein in the Rheinhessen region. “We’re getting white wines this year more like ones from the Mediterranean.

Climate changes mean that the entire wine map is shifting. Gehring says he would have to relocate 300 kilometers (190 miles) to the north to produce the same kind of wines as 40 or 50 years ago.

Read more:

This good news climate change story emphasises the implausibility of wild claims that a few degrees warming would threaten food supplies. Even if global warming does occur on the scale predicted by climate worriers, all that will happen is growing regions will shift a few hundred miles North (or South in the Southern Hemisphere).

80 thoughts on “German Winemakers Celebrate Global Warming

  1. Gehring says he would have to relocate 300 kilometers (190 miles) to the north
    Any excuse to invade poland. And how did that work out last time herr gehring? /antipc

  2. The Germans are getting much competition these days for the standard dinner varietals from the US, Australia, Chile, Italy… etc.
    But the one area they have cornered is their sweet after-dinner wines, when the grapes from a warm summer, are quickly picked on a cold night in November when they have had their first freeze. A Fall freeze which concentrates the sugar molecules in the grape. Auslese wine.
    To wit:

    “Auslese wine can be made in only the best harvest years that have been sufficiently warm. A small proportion of the grapes may be affected by noble rot in some regions although this never dominates the character of the wine. Rheingau winemaker Schloss Johannisberg is generally credited with discovering Auslese wine in 1787.”
    Auslesen are sometimes considered a German dessert wine, especially the wines made from botrytis infected bunches, though it is not as sweet as Eiswein, Beerenauslese (BA), or Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) dessert wines.
    Auslesen can be enjoyed by themselves (aperitif – an “afternoon wine”) but are usually best accompanied with food, particularly those that exhibit the hearty characteristics of German cuisine. ”

    See more:

    Climate warming will be good to the German wines. Just as the RWP was good to Romans 2000 years ago.

    But I’m afraid they will disappointed by 2030, with those early cold falls and killing frosts that are coming by then.

    • Aldi in australia sell a botrytis semillion in half bottles
      its hard to get but worth looking our for
      and I am NOT much of a wine fancier but this is damned nice.

      • More important: Aldi is one of my go-to places to get stuff I can’t get elsewhere, like Transylvanian cheese at Halloween. Yes, it is GOOOOD! especially when paired with the right snooty wine and some crusty bread from La Brea bakery. And there is always the crusty baguette, a good Burgundy and a good spreadable brie.

        Will I be able to get that Botrytis, the Riesling and/or the Pinot Noir at my local Aldi????? (Don’t toy with me, fella!)

    • maybe a bit sooner than 2030 joel. the recent high winds from the south west in the uk crossed the atlantic at its warmest period in the year. it was a lot cooler than i expected. 6.5c at 9am the morning of the windiest day. the atlantic is moving into the cool phase, how soon this happens remains to be seen.

    • Not only Germany – immigrants from the ‘old country’ started making ice wine here in Niagara 40y ago.
      $49US + per 350mL bottle – and I must say German ice wines are second to Niagara’s offerings….but hey I’m biased. We truly get the minus 8deg C and lower for a week for primo product.

    • I was living in Germany in 1976, when they had a “Century Year” for Riesling. The summer had been hot, with rain only at the right moments, much like this year. The cheaper wines were all tasting 2 grades above their usual.
      Unfortunately, Riesling does not age well, and peaks about two years after bottling; but late ’77 – ’79 was a good time to be drinking wine in Germany.
      This year’s conditions happen occasionally, and have no relation to global warming. In fact, there are records of harvest dates going back a long time, which might give some insight into how warm it is recently. I may try to look that up.

      • The Russians
        Worse. The NDP. Still Alberta vote for them and their carbon tax to prevent global warming.

        Alberta what the heck were you thinking. 40 below in winter and you vote to prevent warming on the promise of pipelines. How’s chat working out? Give your head a shake.

        • Ferd it is interesting is that when u talk to folks about who the idiots were that voted NDP almost no one will admit to it.
          One I know who did said it was a protest vote … an obvious fail.
          It is sad that nice summer weather is due to climate change vs weather in the minds of some folks.

    • In Spring 2018 the planting season was about 3 weeks late right across the prairies of North America. Reportedly the grain crop caught up and the harvest will be OK. Fall/winter seems early, but we have had earlier snow and cold in Alberta – I remember 40 below (C and F) at Halloween – yes really – about 25-30 years ago!

      The Alberta NDP (Socialist/Marxist) campaigned against a Conservative government that had gotten old, complacent and either moderately corrupt or extremely stupid. NDP Rachel Notley was elected, and proceeded to implement crazy leftist policies she never mentioned during the election.

      Hardly anybody will admit voting for Rachel or the NDP – but many idiots did so as a protest vote – now they are regretting their idiocy. The lesson here is never make a protest vote – the left will lie to get elected and then implement the craziest policies they can dream up – and you will have to live with it.

      Extreme leftists are so impractical they are either insane, or are deliberately trying to destroy the economy – no other interpretation fits their bizarre behaviour.

      Alberta had a series of poor leaders under the Conservative Party and this opened the door for the NDP:

      Ralph Klein did some very good things like agreeing to new oil sands fiscal terms and retiring the debt, but he really messed up energy deregulation.

      On balance, Ralph was net positive, fueling the huge oil sands boom, but his energy deregulation continue to hurt us.

      Ed Stelmach really messed up the petroleum royalty terms – again and again – biting the hand that feeds all of Canada.

      Allison Redford seemed preoccupied with adding to the lavish perks of her office – I don’t remember what else she did, if anything.

      Then we had two short-term appointees from the Conservatives and then dear Rachel. It is unclear where Rachel really stands on the pipeline issue. Is she pro-pipeline or is she covertly trying to sabotage them, along with her ideological comrades from BC?

      Alberta and Canada have lost 120 billion dollars to date due to anti-pipeline protesters. We should sue these people into the ground, individually and collectively. The key analysis of pipelines vs alternatives like rail can be done on a Post-It Note – pipelines are cheaper and safer for humanity and the environment – end of story.

      The notion that certain parties have not been sufficiently consulted is utter nonsense – our consultation process is a costly time-wasting farce, where leftist can obstruct for years without providing any sensible suggestions.

      Canada itself has become a farce, where public consultation is an absurd abuse-of-process. A time limit of 3 or 6 months should be set for all such consultations – then make a final decision – yes or no. We have allowed ourselves to be paralyzed by a small group of extreme leftists who are trying to harm is – and they are winning.

    • You may have caught the CTV Edmonton weather on Friday. I gave the TV meteorologist some stats on the cold stretch. The last two weeks of summer in Edmonton, Alberta had an average high of 8.4C. This was the coldest on record, with data going back to 1880.

  3. “They” have been going on about the hot summer in Eastern Canada and the Eastern States.
    There is a site that keeps track of their surface temperature.
    Lake Erie is the same for this date as the last two years.
    The others are essentially some 5 degrees cooler than at this date a year ago and the year before.
    Last season’s ice cover was greater than the two previous years.
    It will be interesting to see how this winter’ ice cover works out.

    • Eastern Canada had two stretches of a week of 27 -30 C after a long cool spring and early summer. The weathernetwork is quiet when its cold and voluble when warn ( the warmth perfectly normal) and they manage to spread that two weeks over the whole summer. We had a tornado the other day in eastern Ottawa so they’ll be waxing that up for a week. I had a farm 40+ yrs ago about 50 km east of Ottawa and there were several twisters over a decade but they dont mention those.

      Premier Ford, conservative Ontario, chopped off carbon taxes when he won the Provincial election and reduced powet bills that were the highest in North America. I can fill up my Jeep again for under $50 . I suppose the tornado will be blamed on that. Prime Minister Trudope has vowed to counter Ford’s cuts by imposing a federal tax on Ontarians. I actually hope he does because losing Canada’s largest province means losing the election.

  4. This is also. the best harvest ever seen for the champagne. :))
    And Taittinger starts producing sparkle wine in Kent (South of England).

  5. The fine weather in the UK this summer has also been excellent for UK winemakers (and also for all us keen gardeners). Bring on more of that warming.

    • We have the Belgians complaining that their lambic beer is at risk. link The problem is the traditional beer making process, not the growing of barley and hops.

      In most cases it used to be that beer couldn’t be made in the summer. That changed with the advent of mechanical refrigeration and closed vats. Belgian lambic beer, on the other hand, is brewed in open vats and deliberately exposed to airborne pollens and other material that blow in from up the valley. It is extremely sensitive to the climate.

      On the other hand … brewers all over the world make their own versions of lambic beer using modern methods by inoculating their beer with the correct biota.

      The lesson is that in a world with a changing climate, because the climate is always changing, technology allows us to adapt and prosper. If we insisted on always doing things the old way we’d still be back in the stone age and most of us would have already died by our current ages.

      The climate will change, no matter what we do. We can adapt or we can die. It’s that simple.

  6. and we had a story of a guy worried that folks driving VW were setting off stroke, heart attacks and cancer – to the tune of 1900 people per year.

    Hello hello, but 25% of people these days (that’s 43,200 per day) die of Cardio Vascular problems and probably the same again are taken down by strokes and cancers…
    Of which sugar and alcohol are The Primary root-causes

    and this one celebrates that.
    Cherry Picking. Confirmation Bias. Selfishness. Greed. Blindness

    And Herr Brownslice had better be careful what he (and everyone else) wishes for, some might suggest he has just quantified the advance of a desert

    Meanwhile in the UK, the same Climate Change that Herr Brownslice is talking about (and please don’t forget the CO2 fertilashion *AND* Global Greening) brought on an 18% decline in wheat production, precipitating a 50% price rise of same.
    Peasants keeping livestock are short of winter fodder, stuff that was to be used for bedding is now going to be eaten and seeds capable of generating emergency catch-crops cannot be had for love nor money.

    Of course, when you, your scientists, your doctors and your political leaders are constantly A Mile High on booze, cannabis, opium, Prozac, caffeine, nicotine, sugar and cocaine, things will always appear to be ‘Never Better’

  7. Climate change is already clear to everyone. There are also some who are arguing about what causes this phenomenon, but this is not a question for the vast majority of educated people.

    • The real issue is whether it will always be bad. In this case, definitely not.
      Somehow, the green blob will conflate any warming with Hansen’s runaway greenhouse scenarios, and claim that Gore’s bad sci-fi movies are documentaries.

    • Weather conditions change at the scale of minutes. Temperatures are generally warmer during the day, cooler at night, and display longer periods of relative stability in that day/night cycle that we call seasons. We recognize that there is periodicity that causes a cycle of seasons each year. The vast majority of educated people do not observe falling temperatures in autumn and predict an impending ice age. These natural patterns are obvious even to children, but it takes some number of repetitions of the pattern, likely coupled with education by older family members, before the natural pattern is understood intuitively.

      It seems that a large number of educated people are incapable of integrating data into their thinking without having a personal experience. A one-year old is unlikely to understand seasonality, having only experienced one cycle. (Never mind the cognitive development issues that weaken my analogy). Similarly, even a 60-year old may not recognize a 60-year cycle from personal experience.

      “Climate” is nothing more than weather observed over a large number of cycles to determine the normal distribution. If there are longer period cycles (which some educated people understand though by no means most), then any observed climate change should first be attributed to the natural cycles, not to a special cause such as CO2 emissions. The CO2 mania is akin to observing weather conditions from January to June, correlating with CO2 concentration, and concluding that CO2 is bringing on warming that is in reality just caused by the seasonal insolation cycle.

      If the next 5 years do not show a decline in average temperatures then I will be more inclined to entertain the special cause explanation. Then it will still be a question of whether the change is net beneficial or harmful. Even if I would conclude that anthropogenic CO2 emissions have a significant effect on climate, that does not imply that the effect is bad or that the world economy should be destroyed to counteract the effect.

      The best evidence seems to show that equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) will be at most 1.5K for a doubling of CO2. This would mean a 3 degree C increase going from 280 ppm to 560 ppm and then doubling again to 1120 ppm. With all the fossil fuels burned since the start of the industrial revolution, we have only driven up CO2 by about 130 ppm from 280 ppm to about 410 ppm. Is it even possible to imagine that we can extract and burn enough fossil fuels for a further 710 ppm increase which would represent about 5.5 times (710/130) the amount of CO2 we have ever emitted? And over the period we would be doing that, as fossil fuels would eventually become significantly more costly to find and extract, will we not finally achieve controlled fusion power or at least begin to utilize thorium reactors? We will probably also make technical advances in energy storage that make intermittent sources more practical.

      Bottom line, there is no conceivable reason to crash the world economy and condemn the billions who have not yet benefited from fossil fuels to grinding poverty, just because we recognize a slight trend in temperature, even if we accept the premise that the entire change is due to our CO2 emissions.

    • “Climate change is already clear to everyone.”

      Where? Apart from some natural warming out of the LIA cold anomaly?

  8. “Even if global warming does occur on the scale predicted by climate worriers, all that will happen is growing regions will shift a few hundred miles North (or South in the Southern Hemisphere).”

    Then it follows that the land area currently too hot/arid to grow certain crops will also expand outwards from the equator. That would come at the expense of vast regions at lower latitudes where crop production is currently viable.

    2 points:

    1. The shift towards higher latitudes for crop production is ultimately restricted by reduced sunshine hours the further north/south you go, irrespective of warmer temperatures.

    2. This migration may have little impact in a country like Germany and for a crop like grapes; but in many cases ‘crop migration’ will cross geopolitical borders. Countries (or states) are going to lose their ability to produce certain crops to the benefit of regions at higher latitudes. Not hard to see how this could lead to people migration and conflict. It may not be just as simple as upping sticks and moving a few hundred miles north or south.

    • In summer the hours of sunshine increase the further away from the equator you move, this is true in both hemispheres. Admittedly at its zénith the sun is at lower angle than in the tropics.

    • This does not follow logically as you claim. Arable land is increasing in area as the too-cold areas moderate sufficiently to open up new areas.

      This is the case for at least three reasons. First because the warming is much greater in high latitudes than near the equator. Second, because plants are more efficient in the use of water when CO2 is at a higher concentration. Third, because higher average temperatures should increase evaporation and thus rainfall.

      Most crops will grow in the tropics, it is usually frost and rainfall that determine whether a region is suitable. Certainly there will be shifts in the areas where sensitive crops like wine grapes will have certain characteristics that affect the quality of the produce.

      In the US, corn (maize) is grown in every state including Hawaii and Alaska. (It also grows in Mexico and Canada).

      While the regions optimized for particular crops may shift away from the equator in cases of crops that grow best in cool moist climates, farmers will adjust by growing the crops best suited to their land, just as they take into account current market conditions.

      • Farmers also select the hybrid seed they will plant for a particular crop of corn or soybeans based upon the predicted conditions for the coming growing season in their region.

    • There are no areas that are too hot to grow crops.
      The claim that global warming will make some areas more arid is yet to be demonstrated anywhere outside a computer monitor.

      • If there is some more actual REAL warming, It will open up vast areas where it is currently too COLD to grow crops.

        So long as there is enough water, many crops LUV a bit of warmth

    • The equator has tropical rain forest, the climate is hot and humid. It’s teeming with life, and all sorts of crops can grow there. The desert belts of the earth are around the horse latitudes (the tropics of cancer and capricon) far away from the equator. They’re not too hot, it just doesn’t rain there due to the Hadley cell effect that prevents cloud formation at these latitudes – emphatically NOT due to being too hot. If “global warming” – man made or not – does anything to the position of the horse latitudes remains to be seen, in any case there’s no reason to think their size will change.

  9. you dont move you learn to adapt and so do the crops.
    smart farmers would grow other crops and leave the vines but inter row crop other products
    best of both worlds
    they have the dripper systems in place etc

  10. Quebec winemakers are happy too, as are the thousands of golfers that have had a wonderful, global warming induced summer. Long live GW!

  11. Well, would you look at that; the Climate Numpties have gone and confused weather with climate again.
    Wonders will never cease.

  12. I wonder what the Greenland wine from the MWP, duly noted in the Vatican archives as mass wine, tasted like? That’s a few 100km northeast. Whoever would have thought Vikings knew anything about wine?

    • Given the Vikings colonization of European coastlines through Portugal and forming the Byzantine emperor’s bodyguard I’m sure they were very familiar with wine!

    • It’s not about average temperature but about 2018 having been an unusual summer across much of Europe. It was a long winter that lasted into April (still frost at Easter April 1st), but just two weeks later temperatues went up to almost 30C (85 F) with sun and blue skies. Basically we had no spring, it changed from winter to summer abruptly and stayed like that until Sept 20th, when summer suddenly decided to stop and temperatures dropped to 15C (60F) within a frew hours. Meanwhile there are reports of frost and snow in some higher regions. The extremely long and sunny summer with almost no cold spells and almost no rain for months across much of central and northern Europe is completely unheard of. The German media have been going crazy about it, and of course they blame it all on man-made climate change, and the light at heart predict that all summers from now on will be like that. I beleive neither, but the fact that this has been a very unusual summer is undisputed.

  13. “As Braunewell and his peers can attest, however, a long, hot summer has upsides for winemakers above and beyond the early harvest. Ample sunlight increases sugar content, while dry weather keeps fungi from attacking the crop.

    “I don’t think we have ever seen such healthy grapes,” Braunewell said. “It’s a bit of a crazy year for us, but the quality is good. The sugar content is excellent, the ripeness is very high and the aroma is great.”

    Notice, that the vintner’s descriptions all center about this year.

    No description about last year.
    No descriptions about the last decade.

    A long hot summer“, i.e. one long hot summer with a lot of clear sunny days.

    The vintner’s claims are all about weather. The vintner’s “climate change” references are equal to people describing cold spells and heavy snow as more “global warming”.

    Which brings up the truly curious and frankly bizarre question. Why would a vintner use the term “climate change”?
    That phrase is a marketing ploy where “global warming” is changed to “climate change” because too many people were becoming derisive about the phrase “global warming”.

    Proponents of global warming, (nee Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming, nee Greenhouse Gas caused Global Warming), changed the description to “climate change” to keep their alarmism alive, and to try and hide thirty years of outlandish disaster claims and predictions.
    Predictions and research that well demonstrate alarmists moving the goalposts constantly.

    That a vintner allegedly uses the term “climate change” is more likely because the vintner’s staff were led to talking about climate change; and the author of the article ensured all descriptions about this years’ weather were called or described as “climate change”.

    Nor, should one overlook a German vintner comparing their white wine varietals to Mediterranean white wine varietals derived from different grape varieties.
    If the vintner’s local climate was truly changing, they would discuss planting grape varieties that prosper in a mediterranean environment.
    Grape vines grow and respond to local conditions. Change the conditions and vintners look to plant a grape vine that is better suited to those conditions.

    Let us know when German vintners start planting Mediterranean grape varieties.

    Iain Rogers’ article is just more alarmist marketing trying to indoctrinate the public by using another moved goalpost and specious claims.

    Now I need to mark down 2018 as an excellent year for Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Spätlese, Auslese, Moselle, etc. wines. Some of the late harvest “noble rot” affected wines should be superb.

    • As I recall, 1958 was an outstanding year for Moselle wine as well. Unfortunately, back then I was a consumer, not a connoisseur.

  14. On the other hand late harvest (Botrytis affected) and ice wine will likely be in short supply. That’s the global warming pessimist in me speaking. It is traditional to find only the bad aspects of any fractional increase in the thermometer reading – it is “politically correct”. And on that note, more fine German wines means more consumption which means more drunken parties which means an existential threat to the worlds critical supply of stemware. It’s is worse than we thought. Where will it all end.

  15. The only palpaple “climate change” is increased CARBON DIOXIDE! Search the German temperature records and you will see that no new records are set. Checkout the 1930s. This ‘Carbon’ elephant in the room with doubled harvests of everything and the greening of the planet IS the story. They dont want to hear it! ‘Cost’ of carbon is resoundingly in the super ‘benefits’ side of the equation. Remember my prognosis of a Garden of Eden Earth^тм? I worried at 80 I was going to miss out on This muselé, but it sens to ne moving up fast.

    • Dang, I activated my French keyboard by accident and the phone selected “muselé” ( meaning ‘muzzled’ or ‘prevented’) and I forget what I intended in English.

  16. A lot of heat records fell in Denver this spring and summer. And…

    We had the best harvest of Concord grapes in years. Thousands of clusters in my back yard. And..

    A bear leaped our 6-foot privacy fence and greeted my wife at eye level while she was harvesting cucumbers before both went lickety-split in opposite directions.

  17. The Friðheimar tomato farm in Iceland is a 24/7/364 operation that demonstrates human ingenuity at its finest.

  18. A year is too long ago for warmies to recall.

    French winegrowers face poorest harvest since 1945 (Oct 2017)

    France’s winegrowers are preparing for their poorest harvest in decades after frosty weather in April devastated vineyards, with many fearing they will be unable to meet market demand.

    Grapes don’t care about fake temperature records. They care about what the real temperature is.

  19. Only humans of the past 50 years bemoan warmer temperatures. ALL OTHER times and civilizations who lived in those other times bless the warmth.

  20. Alaska is having the best Indian Summer evah! We broke 64 record highs in September across the State. The Kenai Penninsula broke 70 degrees F in September. I am psyched. And 11,000 years ago, my vacation home was under a glacier.

  21. Yep, a quite decent summer this year, but highest recorded temperature in Norway is still from 1901 (35,6C). Move on – nothing to see here…….

  22. “It’s nature, and you have to deal with it.”
    — If the waters are going to be rougher, will the solution be to build a contraption that will calm the waves of the ocean, or to sail in a bigger boat?

  23. I have visited the Rhine in July every year, apart from two, since 2000. One of the reasons I go is to photograph trains on the lines on either side of the Rhine. This year I had to give up as it was far too hot: into the 30s. Last year I had to give up, too. That was because it was too wet. And it wasn’t particularly warm, either. There was another year when I had to give up because it was too hot but most years the temperature has been warm but comfortable I can’t say I’ve noticed any great change in the temperature over the period 2000 to 2018. Variations between years, yes. But overall It doesn’t feel like it. But that’s just my personal impression.. I would be interested to see temperature figures for the area between Koblenz and Bingen for the last twenty years. However, one indicator of the weather is the wine harvest. According to this vintage chart for German Riesling the score varies between 98 in 2001 and 89 in 2013. I’ve no idea what these scores mean but there’s no evidence of any upward trend between 2001 and 2016. The highest scores were in 2001 and 2005.
    And wine expert Jancis Robinson says this about 2014, only four years ago:
    ‘Too cold and too wet’ is the general summary for Germany in 2014.

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