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AUS: Global warming to hit growers, says study

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A fresh report has emerged about the potential impact of global warming on the wine industry - and this time Australia is under threat.

A joint study from the University of Melbourne and the Australian government has warned that the area suitable for vineyards in the country will be cut by over 40% by 2050.

Temperatures in most Australian wine regions are projected to increase by between 0.3°C and 1.7°C by 2030, the study said. Researchers said that rising temperatures would cause a shift in budburst dates, shorter growing seasons and earlier harvest dates.

Researcher Leanne Webb said there would be "winners and losers" as Australia's wine heartlands got warmer. "Grape growers will need to adapt; without adaptation the overall impact of changes will be decreased grape quality and consequently lower grape crop gross returns," she said.

The study, published in the Wine Industry Journal, said the impact will vary according to region but that the cropping calendar would change, with an earlier harvest.

Webb said moving the planting of some grape varietals to cooler regions would be an obvious way to combat global warming. "Some grape varieties could be planted in regions where they would previously have struggled," Webb said. "For example the suitability for planting varieties that are best suited to a cool climate such as Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc may be reduced in most parts of Australia, though may increase in Tasmania."


Sectors: Wine

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