• France's news in English

Bordeaux vineyards to dry up by 2050: study

Dan MacGuill · 9 Apr 2013, 12:21

Published: 09 Apr 2013 12:21 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The rise of the oceans, and  the destruction of traditional crops can sometimes seem like a distant prospect, but a report by US based researchers released on Monday makes frightening reading for  French wine-enthusiasts and more so for the vineyard owners in the famous wine regions in southern France.

As much as 86 per cent of all production in the regions of Bordeaux and the Rhône Valley, is set to be wiped out within less than four decades, according to a study published in the American ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’.

According to the report, which tested four climate change models, the changes predicted by 2050 will offset the delicate balance required to cultivate wine grapes, and could render almost all vineyards worthless in the ‘Bordelais’ and ‘Vallée du Rhône’ areas.

It’s a shocking finding, and one which appears to have surprised even the study’s main author, Lee Hannah.

“When we started out, we thought this was science fiction and now we are pretty sure it is science fact,” Hannah was quoted as saying by French financial daily Les Echos.

However, while the demise of France’s trademark Bordeaux and Côtes du Rhône brands is a sad prospect, wine-lovers could well get to sample the birth and growth of entirely new regional labels, as production moves north.

As the average temperature increases by between 2.5 and 4.7° C, “southern France will see a lot of declining suitability,” Hannah told AFP.

Story continues below…

One wine expert is taking a positive view of the predicted changes to the wine-making map.

"Some people are alarmists, I prefer to be an optimist. I have no doubt that we will still have vineyards in traditional regions, but we have to think of new strategies. And we will also have new zones for vineyards. That's for sure," Fernando Zamora, a specialist wine researcher, told AFP.

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

French claims that Jungle camp is empty are rubbished
Photo: AFP

Reports from the scene say scores of migrants are still in the area of the Jungle despite French authorities claiming "mission fulfilled."

Kidnapped Riviera millionaire left tied up in car boot in Nice
Photo: AFP

Head of luxury Cannes hotel has been found alive after being kidnapped in Nice on Monday.

Paris landlords still charging illegally high rents
Photo: Panoramas/Flickr

... and it's tenants in the smaller apartments that get hit the hardest. Could you be paying too much?

France takes baby steps to make life simpler
Photo: AFP

... including extending the ridiculously short time limit for registering a new baby.

IN PICTURES: Calais Jungle camp goes up in flames
All Photos: AFP

Migrants leave behind a scorched camp as they are moved to locations across France.

French expats in UK suffer Brexit abuse
French ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Photo: AFP

French nationals no longer feel at home in the UK, ambassador says. But Brits in France have been greeted with sympathy since the referendum.

Six to go on trial in France over topless Kate photos
Photo: AFP

The topless pics sparked fury among the royals.

France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President François Hollande in his job.

Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available