Temperatures in fine wine regions around the world have risen with statistically significant trends in 17 out of 27 regions with an average of 1.3 degrees C.
So far this has improved wine quality. The average being a 13 point increase being associated with a 1 degree warmer growing season. Though this varied from region to region, and the general “hotter is better” rule is not completely true in all regions, even cooler ones. Indeed the data showed that many regions appear to be at or near their ideal temperature.
This is according to an article in the scientific journal Climate Change – Jones, White et al (2005) “Climate Change and Global Wine Quality”.
The implication is that if warming continues, which it is predicted to do, this will adversely affect wine quality in many regions, and not just hot ones. Of course, wine growers will also react to this trend, and cooler vineyard areas probably have more options (like producing more red wines). But that said, Burgundy will still want to produce Pinot Noir, Bordeaux Merlot and Cabernet, and Champagne is unlikely to have much commercial success in selling still wines. So these climate predictions are very concerning for fine wine producers. I predict that a good deal of research and experimentation will go into techniques for handling heat (it had better do !). Australia is probably ahead of the world, as even cool sites in Australia experience heat waves.