Wine is first and foremost an agricultural product. As such, it is susceptible to the whims of Mother Nature and the lashings of climate change.
Global warming of 2 degrees Celsius, or 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit, could result in a loss of more than half the world's current wine grape-growing land. An increase of 4 degrees Celsius, or just under 40 degrees Fahrenheit, pushes that number to 85% of wine-growing land lost.
The global wine industry has been experiencing the effects of a changing climate for decades. This inching up of global temperatures is the difference between the catastrophic loss of vineyards in eastern France and a successful year for a pinot noir in Sweden.
While Italy, France, and Spain are currently the three largest producers of wine worldwide, the map of wine-dominant regions around the world could significantly shift over the next 30 years. In 2021 alone, grapevine yield was projected to fall 9% in Italy and 29% in France because of climate-related weather events.
Plonk Wine Club compiled a list of eight wine regions that are growing due to climate change. The list is based on research from a variety of sources, including local government databases and various news profiles by publications like The New York Times and The Guardian.
Many regions on this list have been producing wine for centuries, if not millennia. What makes them significant is their expansion, but these regions’ successes are bittersweet. Milder cold seasons, longer harvests, and changing soil composition—indicative of a larger problem that threatens the world more broadly—means regions once relegated to growing only cold-hardy wines can produce wine of equal quality to that grown in Bordeaux or Burgundy.
Though the volume from these regions is comparatively small, their potential continues to grow. Read on to learn more about where your next bottle of wine might be from.