Paris - Good news for wine drinkers: a leading international body says grape vines are hardy and can survive climate change, at least over the medium term.
Earlier harvesting, changes in grape varieties and new wine-making processes have already helped counter the impact of the harsher weather hitting vineyards across the globe, the head of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) says.
“Wine producers all over the world have adapted to the changes and the plant has a capacity of adjustment that you can find in no other plant,” OIV Director General Jean-Marie Aurand told Reuters in an interview.
He cited the example of the Canary island of Lanzarote where vines are grown in lava which absorbs overnight dew - virtually the sole water they receive in the summer - and releases it during the day.
In China, he said, more than 80 percent of production acreage is located in regions where temperatures can drop below minus 30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit) in winter. Growers cover vines to protect them and uncover them when spring comes.