Rainfall changes and rising temperatures are drastically affecting grape growing regions in southern France and Tuscany, and a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences theorizes that climate change may wreak havoc on the winemaking industry.
By 2050, experts believe, somewhere between 25-73% of grape cultivation for major wine regions will decrease. This decrease is drastic enough to force some wineries to move to higher elevations. Such moves would ultimately have a negative impact native wildlife. Wineries that do remain in their current locations may have to rely on complicated irrigation methods to maintain production levels, ultimately having a negative impact on freshwater conservation.
Climate change affects the environmental conditions in which grapes are grown, in turn influencing the taste of wine. Wines from traditional regions will become more expensive to buy since they will be more expensive for winemakers to produce.
Ironically, regions not currently known for winemaking might be able to produce wine, thanks to the changing environmental landscape. Last year at a wine tasting known as the Judgment of Princeton, New Jersey winemakers shocked sommeliers by holding their own against renowned French wines.