Warming Threatens California's Wine Grape Varieties

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When you think of the Bay Area and what we produce and enjoy one thing that probably comes top of mind is our world class wine! In fact, 85% of wine production comes from California.

Unfortunately, if we continue to see our temperatures rising over the next several decades it could become harder to produce and even impossible where temperatures warm too much.

You’ll see in the data below California is in the red to dark red color which represents a two to four degree warming trend since 1970 during the growing season of April to October. While this may not seem like much, a small change in temperature can bring big impacts to our ecosystems.

The chart below shows the temperatures in which certain grape varieties grow best. Pinot likes it cool, chardonnay intermediate, merlot warm and table grapes warm to hot. If temperatures keep warming some of these varieties may not be able to thrive like they do now.

A closer look at the impacts (see the list below) and as mentioned it may become too warm for certain grape varieties. We may also see a 50% reduction in the areas capable of producing premium grapes. Insects may also increase with warmer to mild seasons.

The good news, new research shows we can all make a difference and avoid these consequences with substantial cuts in emissions and greenhouse gases. This is something we can all participate in by lowering our carbon footprint.

You can find out more about our changing climate and all of our stories in this link.

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