The last few Hawke’s Bay wine harvests, including the one underway now, have produced successive ‘best ever’ vintages.

But how might grape growing be affected by climate change … specifically a 2°C consistent increase in temperature, which appears to be where we’re headed.

Traditionally, wine growing regions have been in the 20-30 degree latitudes, both southern and northern hemispheres.

But the times they are a’changin, with higher altitudes succeeding and the traditional ‘belt’ moving, as reported in this interesting review of how various traditional wine growing regions are already feeling the impact and adapting.

And countries like Denmark, Sweden, Japan and England are dipping their toes in the juice. Indeed, this article reports how English sparkling wines have bested French Champagnes in blind tastings!

Unfortunately, the article only briefly and superficially touches on New Zealand, already with a 1°C change since 1909, with the observation that extreme weather events might become more challenging than temperature change itself. 

Perhaps this post will draw some comment from HB winemakers!

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1 Comment

  1. Might I suggest the following be considered?
    Up until the boom in Vintnery, the only real producers of wines were the “Dalmations” of Auckland?North Auckland, whose ‘wines’ were shockingly sweet Sherries.
    Since the explosion of vine plantings NZ wide, there has been a huge improvement in the qualities of the wines, where I have been proud to say, I( came from NZ.
    Please note, these improvements have occurred during the period where you claim there has been “increasing temperature” – a claim that has to be taken with a grain of salt, given that temperature measurements have been able to be accurately measured in the last 40years.
    Please note, as you will well know, the best wines are made where there are Continental Climates, i.e. very hot, dry Summers, (eg Spain, France), similar to NZ.
    I feel, Vintners need these greater temperatures, and will adapt to them, producing better and better wines.
    They already produce World-Rank whites, now watch them start to blitz the reds as well.

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