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How Global Warming Affects Wine

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Wine glassIt has been noticed that grapes are maturing earlier: In Alsace, the offset recorded is 8 days every 10 years, the same thing for Australia. As for the wine of Languedoc, it gains 1% every 10 years. Yes, this is fact, not a conspiracy, no offense to Claude Allègre: global warming plays a role in the evolution and maturity of the vine.

Recall that this pattern changes the levels of sugar / acid in the wine: More heat also means accelerated maturation in terms of sugar so more alcohol results in the wine, freshness is altered as well (due to the level of acidity in the wine ). Besides heat also increases the risk of oxidation during harvest ….

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Reducing the alcohol content of wine or dealcholization is an effort that INRA carries out in collaboration with a number of partners in the VDQA (Quality Wines with Reduced Alcohol) Program.

The main means of dealcoholization:

- You can first act during winemaking by using exogenous yeasts known to have a low conversion rate of sugar to alcohol.

- In the vineyard, you can select berry varieties which are less rich in sugar.

- In winemaking, you can separate a portion of alcohol to be removed, for example by using the vacuum evaporation technique (vaporization at a lower temperature).

These methods do not affect wine quality per se. Legislation allows a decrease in rate of alcohol by a maximum of 2%.

If the grapes are climatically adapted to their vineyards, it is usual to wonder about the consequences and solutions to this climatic change. An increase of 1 ° C average temperature corresponds to a relative displacement of the atmosphere by 200 km to the north. There is an optimum temperature during the period of development of the vine, beyond which the organoleptic characteristics of wines are altered.

It is estimated that by 2050 all regions of the world have passed their average temperatures. Climate change will inevitably lead to new grape varieties, if the current trend does not change.

We know that the English are among the largest consumers of Port wine … when will they have a climate that allows them to make their own wine fortified wines?

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