In one of their many campaigns highlighting the deleterious effects of climate change, Greenpeace France is bringing the message home to lovers of wine – by showing the effects of climate change on the precious French wine industry.
French winemakers have been observing warmer temperatures, translating to earlier harvest times, and sweeter, less acidic grapes, which all affect the final product. For a downloadable PDF version of the Greenpeace report on Climate Change Impacts on French Viticulture go to http://www.greenpeace.org/france/campagnes/energie-et-climat/documents and then choose: changementsclimatiquesimpactsviticulturefrance (please note: the report is in French).
The Greenpeace campaign was highlighted at the recent Paris Independent Winemakers Fair (Salon des Vignerons Independents) held twice a year in late November and March, where over 1000 French independent vintners display their wares – a mere 6 euros gains you entry to this wine extravaganza. If you can’t make it to Paris, but want to experience the wine fair there are also events in other cities during other months – Rennes end of January, Strasbourg mid February, Lyon early March, Bordeaux mid March, and then Paris again at the end of March. Website for the Vignerons Independents can be found at: http://www.vigneron-independant.com.
Some of the independent vintners work with conventional grapes, others with organic. France has a dedicated and growing organic viticulture movement, with currently over 68,000 acres in organic grape production and an additional almost 33,000 acres in transition to organic. Wine industry professionals can learn more about these organic vineyards and wines at the “world trade fair” for organic wines, Millésime Bio.
The seventeenth annual Millésime Bio will be held January 25-27, 2010 in Montpellier, France. This is where wine buyers from around the world can sample a variety of organic wines in one place. Most of the wines – about 75% - are from France, with the remaining 25% from around the world with the greatest representation from Spain and Italy, with one or two samplings each from South Africa, Germany, Argentina, Chile, Egypt, Romania Switzerland and the USA.
It would be a tragedy if France, or other countries, were no longer able to produce wonderful varieties of wines due to rising temperatures and other climate changes. Help keep the environmental impact of viticulture low by consuming and supporting organic vineyards and wineries - there are plenty and more available every day!