Climate change and its effects are being felt in viticulture and many winegrowers have to face new challenges. Harmful organisms have a higher chance of survival and spread. Weather extremes are increasing.
Thomas Zenz from Weingut Disibodenberg in Odernheim (Hall 14, Stand D 81) says: "One clear sign of global warming can be seen by the time of the grape harvest. Since 2003, the tendency towards early harvesting has increased. A harvest in September would have been unthinkable 30 years ago." In 2011 the winery produced a Pinot Noir with 15.5% ABV. Weingut Emmerich Köbernik, also located on the Nahe, has a 16% ABV Pinot Gris with the 2018 vintage. The warming is shifting the vine's phenological development. Zenz is also concerned about sunburn, even among the more robust reds. The vine is being exposed to increasing UV-B radiation. New protective methods should be considered in viticulture in future.
During various trips I was able to get a small picture of some of the effects of global warming and what they may entail for the wine industry and therefore me as a seller of these products. In California, I was horrified by the many remains of burnt trees and bushes left behind by the heatwaves over recent years in the region. Brian Baker from the Mayacamas Vineyards told me about the large water reservoirs near the winery that are supposed to help fight the fire in case of an emergency. The risk of forest fires is increasing, for example in Italy in 2017. The worst fires in Portugal's history also occurred in the same year. Maybe Fado music will be the only thing to remind us of its many natural beauties in future. With climate change, some pests will become more widespread. The Asian tree bug has the potential to ruin entire wine harvests. I experienced this myself with the Cimice in Friuli.
I would never have suspected in the past that it would be possible to grow vines in the Hanover region due to climate change. Frank Nickel, the owner of Empelde's restored Kaliberberg, owns 99 of them and, for legal reasons, he is currently only allowed to enjoy the wine for his own consumption. I am curious whether wines from my own home region will soon be offered in restaurants. We are in the midst of a climate change that seems to be accelerating at an ever faster rate. But each individual can also influence the pace in the long term. All our decisions, even if they are only small steps on a long journey, have consequences. Which wine we buy or order has an overall impact on which producers we want to promote or which sustainability we want to support. We have the choice in which way we want to change with the climate.
See the excellent work in Friuli by Azienda Agricola Borgo San Daniele for yourself (Hall 15 / G51) or be enchanted by the experience of a champagne from Benoit Marguet (Hall 13 / C74/ Stand 1).