Thursday, February 22, 2007

Global Warming Jeopardizing Italian Wine Production?

I know I's ridiculous to think of such a thing. As my friend Mr. C would say...BASTA, BASTA, BASTA. Or, if you prefer it in English....STOP, STOP, STOP. Can you imagine a world where your Chianti is made in Switzerland? Me either, but experts in Italy caution that it may very well come to that if global warming continues unchecked.

According to a recent report by the Toronto Star, a study by Florence University linking the effects of rain and temperature to wine production found that increasingly high temperatures and intense rains are likely to threaten the quality of Tuscan wines. Italy's farmers association warned the cultivation of olive trees, which grow in a mild climate, has almost reached the Alps.

According to Simone Orlandini, an agronomist at Florence University and co-author of the study, the rise in temperatures will continue, and they will be too high and unfavorable for the quality of wine because they cause the grapes to over-ripen. Even if temperatures go up three or four degrees Celsius (seven or eight degrees Fahrenheit) it will be a big problem. It will be warmer and rains will be more concentrated in fewer events, thus damaging the earth, which will not be able to absorb all the water.

The study compares quality checks on some of Italy's most famous wines – Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Chianti Classico, Barolo, Barbaresco and Amarone – to the weather conditions of the past three or four decades. The research shows that while warmer temperatures favor wine quality, the rain that comes with them is often bad news.

The dangers stemming from climate change have drawn increasing attention. The world's leading climate scientists warned during a gathering in Paris this month that global warming is so severe that it will lead to a far different planet in 100 years.

Wine makers in Tuscany are playing down the risk.

"I don't foresee harmful effects within the next 20 years,'' said Filippo Mazzei, whose wine company near Siena produces 700,000 bottles a year, mostly of Chianti Classico. "We are in an area with a temperate climate, and I do not think it faces an immediate risk. I am not saying it is unfounded, but a range of 100 years is not very significant," he said

Meanwhile, Orlandini said that a rise in temperatures would push wine production to the north, allowing regions like Scandinavia to join the industry.

For the complete Toronto Star story, please click here.
So, can you imagine your grand children drinking Chianti made in Scandinavia? Does global wamring concern you, or are you one of those people who says it will work itself out?

Let us hear from you.


MyManMisterC said...


There is no such thing as global warming. We are in the midst of an active sun cycle.


Fernando said...

I love the tech aspect of this posting. Well done Head. It's tough to argue with science and nature.

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