Global warming could make much of California too hot to produce wine by the end of the century, a study in the US has claimed.

Findings published this week in the US science journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences said that areas in California suitable for growing premium wine grapes could be reduced by half - possibly as much as 81% because of rising temperatures.

The study warned that large areas of California's North Coast and Central Coast winegrowing regions, as well as much of Oregon and Washington, would become too warm for premium wine grape production. The report was based on computer projections of climate change and weather patterns.

Nevertheless, not all Californian winemakers have reacted with horror at the study's findings.

Michael Terrien, winemaker for top-rated Chardonnay producer Hanzell Vineyards of Sonoma Valley, said: "If the climate is going catawampus then the last thing I am worried about is whether I am going to be able to receive my allocation of 98-point Cabernet from Napa.

"Other regions may emerge as superior for growing grapes and we may be compelled to buy cult wines grown in Maine," Terrien added. "But just like the panda bear and baby seals are cute creatures that rally our support for good causes, so may our beloved wine help throw back the curtains on global warming."