Wine Enthusiast Magazine


In early November 2019, more than 11,000 international scientists signed an SOS on behalf of our planet. The proclamation, titled “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency” and published in the academic journal BioScience, made explicit connections between human activity and severe environmental repercussions. It also marked the first time such a vast and diverse pool of scientists rallied in support of as urgent a phrase as “climate emergency.”

Later that month, that publication was bolstered by a report from the World Meteorological Organization that claimed global greenhouse gas concentrations, and, specifically, those generated by human activity, had shattered new records. This is bad news, because those gases don’t just disappear: They stay in our atmosphere, trap extra heat near earth’s surface and cause global temperatures to rise.

If the earth continues along this trajectory, the United Nations posits that the planet is on course to experience a global mean temperature increase of nearly 5.76˚F between now and the end of this century. Given that thousands of years ago, when the thermostat dialed up just four degrees, it made enough of a difference to end the most recent ice age, this is a big deal.

What does this have to do with what’s in your glass? Well, a lot actually. Almost everything.

Wine is first and foremost an agricultural product. The grapes used to make it are grown and harvested with intent to be fermented.

This means that wine production is vulnerable to the effects of climate change from the tangible health of vines to the taste and quality of the finished bottling they create.

“Wine grapes are extremely sensitive to climate and this is much of what makes wine so exquisite.

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