US: Global warming affecting wine vintages
The researchers, from Southern Oregon University, Utah State University and the University of Colorado, studied 27 renowned wine regions in nine different countries. Using Sotheby's vintage rating system, they found that most vintages improved as temperatures rose by an average of 1.3 degrees Celsius over the past 50 years.
The effects were strongest in traditionally cooler climate regions, such as the Mosel and Rhine valleys in Germany. However, regions with warmer climates, such as Italy's Chianti region, could see grapes ripen too quickly under even hotter temperatures, and alcohol content and acidity unsettle the balance. This year's unseasonably hot summer over Europe could provide an idea of the shape of things to come, the researchers said.
The findings are due to be published in a future issue of the journal Climatic Change.
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