At the conference "The Impact of the Climate Change on the Wine Industry", at midday today the President of The Wine Academy of Spain, Pancho Campo, has put forward that the climate change is indeed a reality, as is likewise its influence, both on a general level, as well as in the world of wine. He then concluded with the need to create awareness and provide solutions.
As explained by Campo, the climate change is affecting all viticulture regions in the world and it will have a very important impact on the production of wine. The reason is the increase in temperature and UVA/B rays will make wines more alcoholic, with a higher pH and lower acidity, with some wines losing or varying their color, with total or partial variation of the aromas, to the point that they may even start to over-mature, perhaps with an increased production of red wines over whites.
According to what the highest representative of The Wine Academy of Spain has commented, the climate change will also cause changes in diseases and plagues affecting the plant, such as a decrease in mildew, proliferation of the European Grape Berry Moth, or the arrival of the Multicolored Asian Ladybug in areas where it has never existed.
If the situation continues like this, the main enological changes will be an increase in alcohol along with a reduction in acidity due to the increase in temperatures, as well as a rise in potassium that facilitates microbial contamination, nitrogen that is assimilated less easily with the consequent problem for fermentation and production of foam and an increase in pH.
In Campo's opinion if governmental measures that influence the climate change in a global manner are not applied, the outlook will really be changing in a few years. If this is not the case important increases in temperature will be recorded, which, amongst other things, will affect the quality of the grapes, as well as an increase in droughts, which would result in having to find new areas for production or varieties that tolerate heat and drought better.
Pancho Campo maintains that "what seemed to be a minor problem is now exploding in our faces", and some of the areas that will be affected will be California, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Austria or Germany. In Spain's case, the climate change would be particularly harmful for the southern part of the country, although, Campo mentions that the grape varieties that are cultivated here are "specially hardy and spirited" and they are more predisposed to tolerate higher temperatures.
Pancho Campo is a Doctor, having coursed Viticulture and Wine Marketing studies at the prestigious California Davis University. He is one of the only two Spanish Candidates to the Master of Wine title and he writes about wines in numerous publications. He will soon be presenting his Doctoral Thesis, which verses on global warming, with focus on the Penedés area. He has taken training courses in Bordeaux, London and Austria. He is also Professor of the courses that the WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) imparts in Spain and he is founder of the International Wine Symposium. Apart from the symposium, he has also created the first worldwide meeting on Global Warming and Wine, and the Barcelona Wine Festival.