Climate changes Champagne
The Future. If you want good Champagne on New Year’s, you better make sure the coming years don’t bring more extreme weather. Climate change has the potential to destroy the balanced ecosystem that makes the fizzy wine so delicious. Additionally, it could not only hamper growing demand for Champagne but may also ruin stable family businesses that are typically passed down from generation to generation.
While rising temperatures have actually temporarily benefited Champagne production (an average 34 degrees Fahrenheit higher in the Champagne region of France over the past 30 years), climate change is leading to more extreme swings in temperature — colder springs and hotter summers.
- That is a problem for the 16,100 winemakers in the Champagne region — especially since grapes are now ripening much earlier.
- Statistical models show that ice will now be a problem in the region, raising concerns that grapes will die if they freeze over.
- Additionally, extreme heat is becoming an issue, with temperatures in 2019 hitting a high of 109 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Ten percent of crops were destroyed by fires that year (California winemakers can relate).
Put a cork in it
Because of these changes, Champagne-makers, called Maisons, are banding together to reduce the environmental impact of wine-making. This includes eliminating pesticides, reducing the carbon footprint caused by transportation and storage, only growing organic grapes, and protecting the biodiversity of the region.
The Comité Champagne — an association of winemakers in the region — says that their goal is to become “100 percent environmentally friendly by 2030.” With the Champagne market expected to pop to $7.4 billion by 2026, the world should be hoping for (and helping) their success.