Wine grapes feel the impacts of a changing climate

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Source: Climate Central

HOUSTONTexas (KIAH)  – Wine grapes are one of the most sensitive crops when it comes to bearing the elements. Each varietal has specific needs for temperature and precipitation in order to survive, thrive, and most importantly, produce good wine! New studies have come out from Climate Central relating the changing climate to grape growth.

The average growing season in the United States is from April to October. The temperatures of this time frame has risen by two degrees since 1970. It may not seem like a lot, but it is, for crops that are as sensitive as wine grapes. Other threats to vineyards include wildfire smoke, extreme heat, and flooding rain events. All are linked to climate change. If winters are shorter and milder, bugs will be out for more of the season. Insects and pests can harm the plants as well.  

How will the change the future of wine production?  

You may see a shift in the types of grapes grown in various parts of the world. As temperatures change, different varieties of grapes will be more suitable for higher latitudes.  

How will climate change affect the taste?  

Consistent temperatures of warm climates with a gradual change from summer to fall will allow for the grapes to ripen longer. A lot of the good natural acidity can escape with an elongated ripening season. Expect a fruitier, less acidic pour.  

A stronger shift in season, from summer to fall-like conditions, will produce a tart, more acidic pour. Lower temperatures preserve acidity.  


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