A study has shown how climate change is altering the taste of wine, and all this is due to the date of collection of grapes, which is increasingly advanced.
In recent years, the effects of climate change have been very noticeable in several respects. The rise in global temperature has affected all areas of our lives, making us have to adapt to changes and looking for ways to try to drastically curb it.
But it has also affected species, such as termites, which has been shown from a study that are very sensitive to heat, which is related to the speed of wood decomposition. And not only the species, as at the same time it is influencing even the taste of the wine.
According to a study published in the journal European Union of Geosciences (EGU), grape harvest dates have been advanced up to 13 days since 1988 on average with previous centuries, which evidences the reaction of grapes to high temperatures.
Study shows that high temperatures affect the harvest date of grapes
The document, which is made by Thomas Labbé, historian of the University of Leipzig, analyzed the data of the harvests recorded during the last almost seven hundred years. Dating back to 1354, the grapes studied come from the town of Beaune, in Burgundy (France), considered the wine capital.
The researchers validated grape harvests using detailed Paris temperature records from the last 360 years. This allowed them to estimate temperatures from April to July in the Beaune region for the entire 664 years covered by their record of grape harvest dates.
The grape harvest dates are usually an indicator of the climate, as they have a high sensitivity to rain and temperatures. Therefore, it is the land and nature itself that decides when they are ready and mature, which is usually before when during the growing season (spring-summer), the season is very warm and dry.
It was usually collected around 28 September, and is now almost two weeks earlier than estimated.
How climate change affects the taste of wine
Another conclusion of the study is that climate change is also affecting the taste of wine. This is due to the date of collection of the grapes, as it is key to determine the final result of the wine.
Due to the high temperatures caused by global warming, it will get hotter and hotter even in cold seasons, so grapes will have to be picked earlier as time passes.
It turns out that grapes, the longer they spend in the vineyard, the more sugar they accumulate and therefore, the more alcoholic they will be. On the contrary, if the time spent in the vineyard is shorter, the grapes will not be able to develop well the right balance of chemicals, responsible for providing their characteristic flavor.