Global warming to turn sparkling wine upside down

Global warming will “turn the sparkling wine world upside down”, turning the style from a northern to a southern hemisphere product, according to Dr Richard Smart.

“So far sparkling wine has been an old world phenomenon," the wine consultant said at the International Sparkling Wine Symposium 2013, held at Denbies Wine Estate in Surrey, England. "You have not allowed the cheeky New World to have much of an impact.

"But the world’s ocean currents are of great importance [to climate and grape growing]. You guys in the northern hemisphere will get hotter than us in the south. Sparkling wine is the canary in the cage because it is so sensitive to climate change.

“So if you want to think about where you would invest to produce sparkling wine – where there will be a stable climate in the next 30-40 years - then you have to invest in the south."

Smart cited Darwin, arguing that it is not the strongest or most intelligent producers that will survive but those that adapt best.

He said: “Traditional regions will need to revise their varietal wine style or just refuse to admit their wines have changed. Maybe Champagne will not make the most unique sparkling wines in the world in the future. Maybe [what] Champagne [is now] will be made in Denmark or England in 50 years."