Gothamist is worried about global warming. Especially since we saw An Inconvenient Truth. Manhattan may start shrinking, then disappear altogether? No snow on Kilimanjaro? These thoughts were enough to make us run out to the hardware store for some energy efficient lightbulbs.
Now the L.A. Times has an article on the effect global warming is having on wine production. Regions far north such as Sweden and Denmark--traditionally considered too cold for the development of wine--have started making wine. Regions in warmer areas, such as Spain and Australia, may be having problems in the not-too-distant future. In 50 years, Bordeaux may have a climate similar to that of Languedoc in the south of France.
Even slight climate changes can have drastic effects on wine, which makes it the harbinger for global warmings effect on what we eat and drink. By the end of the century, global warming may decrease the areas in the U.S. in which wine can be produced by 81%. In California, the current weather is considered optimal for wine production. But in 50 years, Napa may be as hot as Lodi in the Central Valley is right now. Germany may be producing merlot and cabernet france, instead of the rieslings, pinot gris and pinot noir to which the country is currently suited.
Winemakers are struggling to prepare for this future. Scientists at UC Davis are breeding hardier vines that can withstand extreme heat and drought. For the first time, France is allowing irrigation to aid regions that have grown too hot for dry farming. We wonder how New York winemakers (not to mention the rest of us New Yorkers) will be impacted by this disturbing trend.