Californian wine production could plummet by the middle of the century because of climate change, a new study warns.

According to research in the US scientific journal, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, wine production losses in California could hit 40%.

"Climate change should be an important factor in selecting perennial varieties and deciding whether and where they should be planted in California," said David Lobell, lead author of the study, produced by a collaboration of scientists at the Washington DC-based Carnegie Institution, Stanford University and University of California (UC), Merced.

"This study indicates that warmer temperatures will tend to reduce yields of these crops in their current locations," he said.

Lobell warned that although vines are typically planted once every 25-40 years, climate could change considerably in the lifetime of individual vines.

He added that while vineyards could move to cooler parts of California, the state's productive land is limited.