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Global warming will cause ‘untold upheaval’ to wine industry

One of Australia’s leading voices in the wine industry has warned producers that they face untold upheaval if they are to combat the effects of global warming.

Dr Tony Jordan, formerly the head of Moet Hennessy’s Australasian portfolio, including Cape Mentelle and Cloudy Bay, and now a high profile consultant, claimed that producers ‘are in denial about climate change’.

Speaking at last week’s inaugural International Sparkling Wine Symposium, Jordan predicted that ‘vineyards being planted now are going to be in the wrong place in 30 years’ time’.

He was quick to clarify that his comments weren’t limited to producers of sparkling wine, however. ‘There’s no doubt that quality will decrease for varietals traditionally planted in a particular region,’ he said. The effect would be most keenly felt in the northern hemisphere, due to its comparitive greater land mass and lesser ocean influence.

‘Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne will become marginal for their styles,’ he said. ‘They’ll have to migrate, which means different terroir and a possible change in styles.

‘It’s going to be a damn nuisance picking up your vineyard and putting it somewhere else. In the Yarra Valley we can move from the valley floor up the mountainside. We don’t have to move far, but we do have to move – if we’re going to stick to the same varieties.’

English wine producers would benefit in the short term, he added, even pointing to research from Professor Richard Selley of Imperial College London that suggests it will be warm enough to grow Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the north of England by 2080. However, producers faced the challenge of deciding ‘whether they are planting for 10, 20 or 50 years’ time – the picture is constantly changing.’

The symposium was organised by a UK-based committee and featured presentations from Jordan, sparkling wine authority Tom Stevenson and Dominique Demarville, chef de cave at Veuve Clicquot, plus a tasting of sparkling wines from across the globe.

Written by Guy Woodward

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