Global warming means that wine growers will have to adapt to the changing weather. Which is not something the French want to hear. Particularly not from an Englishman.
Years of trial and error by wine growers throughout the world have resulted in ideal combinations of grapes, soil (“terroir”) and climate. In France, in particular, where the terroir is revered as the key to a wine’s character, wines have evolved over centuries.
Prof Prentice argues that climate change will alter the optimal mix of grape varieties to grow in any one place. For the French system, which in law lays down in detail the boundaries of each appellation – in some cases just a few acres – and the grapes that may be grown there, adapting to climate change will pose a real challenge, he says.