Climate Change’s Effect on Grapes

In the article, Climate change is shifting wine grape harvests in France and Switzerland it’s stated that a new study from NASA and Harvard University shows that the window for harvesting wine grapes is shrinking.  The study looked at harvest dates from 1600 to 2007 and found a huge shift in the later half of the 20th century. Early harvest used to occur during hot dry times like spring and summer, but in more recent times even years without heat spells have had early harvests necessary. In the colder wine growing areas it is best to harvest early to make high-quality products. From wine quality testing it has been found that the quality becomes even better early rainfall in the growing season, then a late season drought which allows the grape to get plenty heat and moisture to shift the plants toward fruit production. The shift of droughts and moisture have led to earlier harvests and better quality wine but the impacts of droughts have lessened due to climate change making the old tactic less effective. The climate is not the only thing that effect production, grape types, soil, and winemaker practices can effect the quality.

Prepared by Ryan