A French scientific expert has claimed that Syrah could be grown as far north as Champagne by the end of the century due to the effects of climate change.

Experts gathered at the University of Burgundy in Dijon late last week to discuss the impact of climate change on wine-growing.

Bernard Seguin, of France's public agricultural research institute (INRA), said that as a direct consequence of climate change, Syrah grapes, which can only be found in southern Europe, would perhaps be cultivated in Champagne.

Seguin said the effects of global warming are plain to see in harvesting trends in southern France. "Around 1945, grape-picking took place in Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Vaucluse) in early-October," he said. "Today, it's in early September." Seguin predicted that by 2050, Côtes du Rhône could well be harvested in early-August.

Seguin also forecast that the northerly extremities of wine cultivation, which in 1946 were situated along a Brittany-Ukraine axis via Paris and Berlin, could have advanced as far as Scandinavia by 2100.