Science

Everybody at panic stations, because global warming could make wine more expensive

Is this the wake-up call the world needs?

A new study into the impact of rising temperatures on wine production has made some pretty terrifying findings if you value a glass of pinot at the end of a hard day.

Increasing temperatures lead to a slowdown in the rate that workers can pick grapes, meaning that wine prices could be driven up as global warming pushes up temperatures.

Wine production is dominated by manual labour, which means that the workers’ conditions are key to getting a good yield of grapes, and therefore a good yield of wine.

Wine picking
(pixelrainstudio/Getty Images)

The study, published in the journal Temperature, looked into increasing temperatures in regions such as the Mediterranean which are responsible for a lot of the world’s wine.

Researchers used time-motion analysis to assess the impact of workplace heat, showing how productive workers were as temperatures changed. They found that longer and more frequent breaks were taken as temperatures increased – in fact, unscheduled breaks from work increased by 2.1% for every degree the temperature increased.

Not only this, but understandably increases in temperature will also alter the way your beloved wine tastes, as heat affects the way that grapes ripen.

Wine
(cristianoalessandro/Getty Images)

While the study focuses on how grape-picking productivity changes under increased heat, it doesn’t directly mention global warming. However, with Nasa finding that 2016 was the warmest year on record, it’s inevitable that the world’s steadily increasing temperatures will have an impact on wine production.

So if you don’t want expensive and funny tasting wine, start sorting out your carbon emissions sharpish.

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