Culture

Try Not To Panic, But Climate Change Could Be A Factor As Global Wine Production Drops

Maybe it's time we started taking this whole global warming thing seriously?

Despite what people like Malcolm Roberts would have you believe, we’ve known for a while now that climate change is a problem. Sea levels are rising, catastrophic weather events are becoming more frequent, and millions upon millions of people run the risk of being displaced. But despite this, thanks to a cocktail of ignorance, misinformation and apathy, we’re still not doing anywhere near enough to combat a problem that literally threatens life as we know it.

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If only there was some way to make people care. To make them sit up and really pay attention. Something like the news that an increase in global temperatures could have a cataclysmic impact on the production and availability of wine, for example.

Well, as a matter of fact, that’s exactly what appears to be happening. According to a new report by the International Organisation of Wine and Vine (OIV), global wine production in 2016 is projected to drop 5% from last year’s levels as a consequence of climatic events. The figures make this one of the poorest years for wine production in the past two decades.

Particularly affected are winemakers in South America, with production in Argentina and Chile expected to fall 35% and 21%, respectively. Bad news if you’re a malbec lover.

Other countries where production levels are dropping include Portugal (20%), South Africa (19%) and France (12%). Conversely, Australia is expected to enjoy a 5% rise.

Wine Graph

via OIV

Part of the reason for the South American decline appears to relate to El Niño, a weather phenomenon that occurs every four to five years. Nevertheless, scientific studies have repeatedly indicated that rising global temperatures could play havoc on the production of wine. Wine producers also spoke at last year’s UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.

Point is, drink up while you still can. Speaking out which, I’m off to fill a shopping trolley with bottles of carménère.