The EU is the world’s biggest wine producer, but a recent publication has revealed the extent to which the sector is under threat from climate change.  
The harvest is already over for many Beaujolais wine makers. Early harvests have also taken producers in many other French regions by surprise.
Some wine makers were concerned by the unusually hot summer, but the resulting high sugar content in this year’s grapes, which guarantees a high level of alcohol in the finished product, is seen by many as a good thing.
But the authors of the book “Threats to wine. The challenges of climate change“, Valery Laramée de Tannenberg and Yves Leers, fear the celebrations could be short lived.
High levels of alcohol have never meant good wine. You have to take all the factors into account,” warned Nicolas Joly, a world-renowned organic wine maker from France’s Loire region.
Acutely conscious of changes to the natural environment, Nicolas Joly cannot hide his concern about climate change. “There is the heat, the lack of water, and then the incredibly strong winds that change three times a day. It’s very recent, and it’s due to climate change,” the specialist said.
For the grapevine, which has already survived hot periods between the 10th and 14th, centuries before having to re-adapt to a cooler climate, it is the speed of the current change that presents a particular threat. This is the conclusion of Valery Laramée de Tannenberg and Yves Leers.
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