Climate change might make your favorite wine disappear

Wine, as we have seen once again this week, seems to be a handy way to galvanise concerns about the future ill-effects of climate change. It’s perhaps telling that the prospect of losing a favourite tipple attracts media coverage so readily, when the bigger issue is surely about securing food for the billions who rely on subsistence farming.

Those concerns aside, viticulture delivers important messages about a changing climate, for several reasons. High-quality wine is extraordinarily sensitive to the vagaries of the weather. Grape-growers and wine producers (vignerons) are observant and responsive to any impacts on their product, especially when it comes to signs that a particular grape variety or vineyard is not performing.