Study Shows Climate Change Impacting Australian Winegrowing

Research out of Melbourne demonstrates climate change impact on wine.


Published:

A new study from a Unviersity of Melbourne PhD student has found that global warming will dramatically impact growing conditions, grape quality and harvest times in Australian vineyards.

According to Leanne Webb, of Melbourne University's Faculty of Land and Food Resources, Australia's Riverina grape-growing region will become unsustainable if adaptive measures are not taken.

Webb also predicts that by 2030 global warming will negatively impact grape quality, with coastal regions like Coonawarra suffering a drop of between 1 and 4%, Yarra Valley between 4 and 10% and the Riverina experiencing a dramatic reduction of between four and 52%.

Wine management costs may also be increased because of the added expense of managing grapevine canopies.

 

Range of reduction to premium winegrape quality.

Climate change will also reduce Australia's ability to produce cool-climate wines such as Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, although Webb found Chardonnay and Shiraz to be "quite durable" varietals, so their quality will be less

affected by warming climate.

But it's not all doom and gloom for Australian growers, according to Webb.

"The one thing about the Australian wine industry is we do not have restrictions on what we are allowed to plant in each region like they have in France and Italy. So we do have more potential to adapt to increasing global

temperatures than in those European countries," Webb told Wine Enthusiast.

Vineyards can mitigate the negative effects of global warming by planting warm-climate varietals, moving to cooler regions and planting at higher altitudes.

"Unless we suffer catastrophic climate change, I think Australian vineyards will manage, and they will adapt," says Webb.

Emmet Cole is a writer and journalist from Ireland currently based in Austin, Texas.


Have an opinion or question? Email us!


More Online Exclusive articles:

Related Articles

Argentina’s Alternative Top-Rated Wine

Malbec is Argentina’s defining wine, but a growing number of ­top-quality Cabernet Sauvignons—and a few Cabernet Francs—prove that the country is no one-trick pony.

Germany’s Best Pinot Noirs

Though cultivated locally for centuries, today’s elegant expressions are fast becoming global darlings.

Your Guide to Top-Rated 2010 Barolos

The 2010 vintage in Barolo is one of the best in recent history. The time to buy is now.

40 Under 40: America's Tastemakers 2014

Our second annual 40 Under 40 list salutes the leaders of a new generation of drinkers.

Subscribe

You can unsubscribe at any time. View an example of our newsletter.

Shop

>

Related Web Articles