Where there’s smoke

Read the full story at Maisonneuve.

Across the world’s primary grape-growing regions, from Europe to Australia and California, winemakers and growers are facing the same challenges: severe drought and heat in the summer and early warm temperatures in the winter followed by punishing frosts that are killing their vines or leaving them vulnerable to disease. Then there’s the most biblical of threats: wildfires. As our planet faces increasingly severe weather conditions driven by a global climate crisis, a cherished, centuries-old industry is suffering.

‘Hot and stressed’ grapes: Start-up helps winemakers survive climate change with AI and satellite tech

Read the full story at Food Navigator.

Oxford start-up Deep Planet is leveraging AI and satellite imagery data to help wine growers and producers adapt to climate change. We catch up with COO Sushma Shankar to ask how VineSignal can impact wine pricing on-shelf.

Climate change is altering the chemistry of wine

Read the full story at Knowable Magazine.

Warming, wildfires and unpredictable weather threaten to disrupt the delicate processes that underlie treasured wines. Researchers and producers are innovating to keep ahead.

Invasive insect that kills grapes could reach California wine region by 2027

Read the full story from North Carolina State University.

The spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect that can kill grapevines and damage other crops, has a chance of first reaching the wine-producing counties of California in five years, according to a new analysis from North Carolina State University researchers.

Linsey Simpson Gallagher: Championing sustainable tourism

Read the full story from Northwestern University.

“How do you balance your natural resources and protect what makes your destination unique, ensure that you have the ability to continue to share it, and that it serves its residents first?” That is the question Linsey Gallagher addresses every day in Napa Valley, California, where sustainability is key to the ongoing success of the wine and tourism industries.

Gallagher is a 2002 graduate of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Fast forward twenty years, and she now serves as President and CEO of Visit Napa Valley, the official marketing organization for the Napa Valley. Their mission? To promote, protect, and enhance the Napa Valley destination on the world stage.

Wine industry wants one single standard for sustainability

Read the full story at Beverage Daily.

Wine industry professionals would like to see a unique, strong sustainability standard that can be clearly communicated to consumers, according to a survey commissioned by Prowein.

Washington wineries considering dramatic changes for climate change

Read the full story at The Counter.

Warmer summers—and winters—are forcing Washington vintners to reconsider their crops.

Carbon farming, one of the oldest agricultural practices, is growing on winemakers

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Last week, I wrote about Robin Lail experiencing Napa Valley’s modern wine history through boom and bust, and how she was addressing the current challenge of climate change as an ambassador for the Porto Protocol, an international effort to rally the global wine industry to grapple with the existential crisis of today. I mentioned she was practicing carbon farming in her vineyards, but I didn’t explain in detail what carbon farming entails. Several commenters suggested — some even politely — that a fuller explanation of this enticing-sounding concept would be in order. Others raised additional methods for wineries to reduce their environmental impacts, most of which I’ve written about before.

So this week, I’d like to summarize some of the ways wineries are tackling the climate crisis. This will be a high-level discussion, perhaps meriting more detailed coverage in future columns. Some wine regions are reconsidering the grape varieties that define them, while others are taking a more literal down-to-earth approach.

Climate change & wine

Read the full story at Climate Central.

Fine wine production is likely to shift due to climate change. Among agricultural products, wine grapes are one of the most sensitive crops to variations in temperature and precipitation. 

In the United States, the average growing season temperature (April-October) has risen 2.0°F since 1970. 

Premium wine grapes can only be grown in places that support a delicate balance of heat and precipitation. Globally, wine grapes are grown in areas where the average growing season temperature (spring through fall) occurs within a narrow range of 18°F. For some grapes, such as pinot noir, the average temperature range is a much narrower 3.6°F

Other climate change threats to wine production include exposure to wildfire smoke, extreme heat waves, heavy precipitation, unexpected spring frosts, and drought. And with shorter and milder winters, insects and other grapevine pests are having longer life spans. 

Solar panels help French winemaker keep climate change at bay

Read the full story from Reuters.

A roof of solar panels shades Pierre Escudie as he inspects the last plump grapes to be harvested at his vineyard in southwest France, after a year of hard frosts and blistering heat that damaged many of his neighbours’ crops.

The solar panels insulate the grapes during periods of extreme cold and shield them from the sun’s harsh rays during heatwaves. The panels also rotate to allow more light to hit the vines on more overcast days.