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Climate change may make Bordeaux red wines stronger and tastier

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Conversation or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: A new research study found that Bordeaux wines will potentially become stronger, more rounded, and generally better due to climate change
• The study examined the impact of temperature and rainfall on wine quality, finding that higher quality wine is made in years with warmer temperatures, more winter rainfall (and less summer rainfall), and earlier, shorter growing seasons — all conditions exacerbated by climate change

🔭 The context: There is a long process involved in judging the quality of a wine, starting from the grape harvest in the fall season, which determines the vintage 
• Later in the spring, during the en primeur (the first) stage, the quality of the wine is judged once it is bottled
• Finally, the quality is rated numerically in the form of a score, comparing the quality of this year’s wines to both previous and other local wines

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The effects of climate change on wine production in Bordeaux serve as a microcosm of its wider impacts on global agriculture
• As weather patterns shift, regions historically suitable for specific crops may face challenges or, conversely, see unexpected benefits
• Understanding these changes is crucial, not just for wine aficionados but for ensuring food security and sustainable agricultural practices worldwide

⏭️ What's next: The global wine industry, particularly regions like Bordeaux, will need to adapt to the unpredictable challenges posed by climate change
• Winemakers, researchers, and policymakers must collaboratively devise strategies to ensure the sustainability and resilience of vineyards in the face of a changing climate

💬 One quote: “With climate change this type of year comes more often and therefore great vintages come more often.” (Alexa Boulton, commercial director at Château-Figeac)

📈 One stat: During a severe 2020 hailstorm in Bordeaux, some vineyards lost “up to 100%” of grapes, leading to a diminished quality in many chateaus’ 2020 vintages compared to 2019, despite favorable winter rainfall and summer temperatures

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