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We’ll lose our grandfathers’ Bordeaux

The problems come from the increase in minimum winter temperatures and drought during the summer

Climate change is putting at risk the most famous French wine, Bordeaux. The concern was raised during a meeting of producers and experts in climate, which showed that by 2050, the wine might lose its main flavor characteristics.

The problems, say experts, derive from the increase in minimum winter temperatures and drought during the summer. The first factor implies that the grapes mature earlier, while the second leads to a lack of water right in the most delicate moment of maturation.

The result of these changes is that the scent of the wine loses its freshness, and that the balance between acidity, tannins and sugar content, which determines the peculiarity of Bordeaux, is lost.

The first signs, the producers say, were already there in the 80s, even if some producer is able to manage the situation better. ''The heat wave of 2003, for example - said the producer Charles Chevalier to Discovery Channel - produced an excellent vintage for Lafite, but other more sensitive strains suffered a lot''.

The producers are adapting to the situation, though, by selecting varieties once discarded because too late maturing and by changing irrigation methods.

by S. C.
07 march 2011, World News > Europe

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