In March of 2006, the first conference of wine and global warming was held in Barcelona, Spain (the second was held there in 2008; Al Gore gave the keynote address via a live video satellite hookup), and the information shared by climate scientists and winegrowers was sobering. Spain and Portugal are already suffering the impact of global warming to the point where winegrowers either cannot grow their classic grape varietals because they shrivel in the intense heat, or they have had to invest millions of euros to move their vineyards to higher ground where the vines can enjoy the air conditioning provided by the cool currents wafting through hills and mountainsides. Winegrowers testified that they cannot control the sugars in their grapes and are making wines that don't come close to expressing true varietal character (the typical taste profiles of Syrah or Chardonnay, for example), much less a sense of place, the terroir of the vine
It seems that every year an article like this comes out. Here is one from 2006 and if you search you can find article after article. What bothers me about these articles is the generally defeatist attitude:
Global warming and wine: an inconvenient truth that has yet to resonate with much of the global wine industry, much less wine consumers.
That is just flat out wrong. Winemakers all over the world are worried about it and they are taking steps not only to save their crops, but to reduce their carbon emissions. In fact, the CIVB has a whole section of their Presse website dealing with climate change and what the producers in Bordeaux are doing to fight it.
Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to post some information about what wineries over the world are doing. Hopefully, next year when someone decides to write an article similar to the one above, they will Google first and see that wineries are taking this seriously and trying to do their part to stop it.