Climate change is responsible for many of the strange things occurring in the world right now, and for many climate deniers, hit them with their favourite glass of bubbly and they may just get it.
Champagne is in danger of losing its distinctive flavour and fizz because of climate change. Warmer temperatures and earlier harvests in the famous wine-making region of Champagne in France are producing grapes with less acid, and acid is important for both the aging process and the freshness of the famous sparkling wine.
Champagne grapes depend on a cool climate and chalky soil in order to produce the crisp, fruity taste they are known for. But climate change is making these factors less dependable, and champagne producers in France are worried about the future.
Champagne makers have long added reserve wines to enhance the taste of their vintages. Others are covering soil with straw to preserve microbes in the soil and blocking the second round of fermentation in the wine barrel in order to preserve acidity.
Some champagne makers are working to make grapes more resilient to warmer temperatures and the diseases and pests that they help spread.
The region as a whole, though, takes the threat of climate change very seriously. In 2003, it became the first wine-growing region to calculate its carbon footprint and take steps to reduce it.
Champagne producers are now researching new grape varieties amid fears that higher temperatures will cause a slump in production within decades because of a surge in fungal, viral and parasitic diseases on vines.
Trade association, Champagne Committee, who is working with researchers to develop new grape varieties, insists that genetically-modified varieties will never be introduced.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea