Extreme climate change forces early harvest of grapes in France, to affect wine industry

Extreme climate change forces early harvest of grapes in France, to affect wine industry

The wine industry has evolved a lot as a result of drought.

In the well-known Bordeaux vineyards, France’s most renowned wine region, something is unusual. The harvest, which normally begins in mid-September, began in mid-August this year due to the heatwave amid extreme climate change and drought. The owners of vineries said that the grapes are of good quality, but the yield has gone down that would impact the wine industry, facing the consequences of climate change.

Despite lesser yields, the season of extreme heatwaves and wildfires produced excellent, juicy, and big grapes. However, getting such crops required innovative growth methods, such as trimming vines differently and occasionally watering them in locations where irrigation is often prohibited.

Additionally, producers all throughout Europe are very concerned regarding what lies ahead, AP reported. Fabien Teitgen, a producer, said, "Global warming is very positive. We have better ripeness, better balance. ...But if you turn to the future, and if you increase the temperature by one degree more, plus, you will lose the freshness part in the balance of the wine."

French vintners are concerned that more frost may interrupt the growing season as early buds are produced by warmer winters. A year’s worth of labour can be destroyed in a violent hailstorm in a few minutes.

Numerous employees kneel in the yards to hand-pick grapes as the harvest progresses. The process of making wine begins as soon as the fruit is crushed to make juice, which is then poured into tanks and barrels. The harvest is intended to generate the renowned Pessac-Leognan wine.

The wine industry has evolved a lot as a result of drought. Vintners used to shape wines to allow grapes to receive the most sunlight possible so that more sugar could be turned into alcohol.

Extreme climate change forces early harvest of grapes in France, to affect wine industry
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Another producer, Eric Perrin, said that the 2022 harvest has been the best yet because the grapes are strong and balanced. Additionally, the hot, dry weather-protected wines from getting diseases like mildew. He, however, showed his concern for smaller harvesters, as he thinks they might not be able to adapt to the changes.

Scientists have long held the view that the increased frequency of extreme weather is a result of human-caused climate change. As a series of heat waves and lack of rain affected most of Europe, huge pine trees were completely destroyed by flames in the Bordeaux region of southwestern France.

From the end of June to mid-August, there was no rain.

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