Forgotten wines help wine makers fight climate change
It seems that forgotten wines help wine makers fight climate change in France.
One of the biggest worries we are faced with today is global warning, and this is resulting in higher temperature in many European countries. Wine growers world over are increasingly worried about this predicament, because the rise in temperature might seriously affect their business.
Wine growers are generally used to the changing weather, and they know how to change grape juice into wine. They generally make the most of the bad climate by making less memorable vintage wines. But of late the change has been drastic. The wines that are made have a higher alcoholic content and are lower in acidity, which seriously upsets the balance of the wine and the taste of it.
After Much Research
The head of research and development at the French Institute for Vineyards and Wine (IFV), Laurent Audeguin says that acidity is highly important for proper aging of the wine, and with too much sun or heat, the fruits tend to mature faster, which creates an imbalance between the sugar and acid ratio in the wine.
Wine growers of the previous generation has replaced slow maturing varieties of grapes with ones that yield more and mature fast, like the Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and the likes. Though the vineyard owners of those days were only planning at getting a higher yield and thereby increase productivity, the move is working against them vineyard owners of today.
Old Is Gold
Most of the slow maturing varieties of grapes have vanished completely, but fortunately, come of these varieties of slow maturing vines, which were rejected years ago, are safe in the IFV vineyards. They had planted these in the experimental plots in Bordeaux. In the North, IFV is on the lookout for the old specimen of white wine called Uni Blanc which was used to make Cognac. They are also holding talks with their counterparts in Tuscany Italy where this variety originated. Experts believe that once they get to the original vineyards they will be able to find the diversity and the plant that is required to meet today’s needs.
French wine growers in the South are now looking for long-term solutions. They are now looking at importing varieties of grapes from places like Greece and Portugal, where the climate is warmer. But for most people of France, who have strong ties with the variety of grape grown in their region, this new move is unthinkable.
An Experiment That Worked
In the South Western region of France, Gaillac, wine growers have hit bull’s eye. They have planted some of the older varieties of wine, the slow maturing kind, and today these older varieties have been yielding a better fare. Mauzac a type of vine dating back to the Roman era is su4re to fare better in an increasingly hotter world. This is because those had completely adapted themselves to the extreme conditions.
It is after birds from North Africa were spotted at the vineyards and when new types of weeds started growing that most farmers noticed the climate change and the extreme change that it was undergoing. The warmer climate has resulted in some stellar vintages such as 2005 and 2009. While this is true, the fact that worrying many is that there is a degree or two increase in a very short time. If this continues, then there is cause to worry. Though France has still not reached panic level yet, it will be better to act responsibly now in terms of water and energy use, to stop or reduce global warming.