Prime Wine Growing Land in California May Shrink By 50% in 30 Years

July 1, 2011 / No Comments

Extremely sorry to let you know that some recent reports indicate that the climate change may shrink the amount of prime wine growing land in California by 50% in just 30 years. The research report published in Environmental Research Letters looked at California’s premium wines (the 25% most expensive wines sold) and examined how a 23% increase in greenhouse gases by 2040 would affect production in Napa and Santa Barbara Counties in California, as well as Yamhill County in Oregon and Walla County in Washington.

VINyard Prime Wine Growing Land in California May Shrink By 50% in 30 Years

The report says that the four countries would experience higher average temperatures during growing season, with an increase in days over 95°F.

According to the study, the average temperature in Napa Valley during the growing season could increase as much as 2 F (1.1 C), with the number of very hot days increasing by 10. As a result, the amount of land with historically hospitable growing conditions could shrink by half over the next three decades. In Santa Barbara County, the amount of suitable grape-growing acreage with similar climate conditions is projected to decline by more than 20 percent as temperatures rise.

In Washington, those grape varieties sensitive to very hot days could see a 30% reduction in suitable growing area.

Perhaps, the only good news is that study found that Oregon fared better with a slight increase in the amount of total suitable acreage and a large increase in area suitable for more valuable varieties.