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Scientist: Climate Change Unlikely To Seriously Affect Northwest Wine

Anna King
Northwest News Network

The Northwest is well positioned to make wine into the future despite global climate change. So says a scientist who presented his findings on climate change and wine at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. Monday.

Wine grape vines can be productive for decades. But how will climate change affect that? That’s the question Antonio Busalacchi, with the University of Maryland, sought to answer.

He analyzed climate data for 24 prime wine growing regions throughout the world. He says "The wine that we know from Bordeaux today is not the wine that we’ll be drinking in 2050.”

Busalacchi says increased temperatures, less rainfall and dramatic storms could all affect vineyards. But he says the Northwest has key advantages over regions like Western Europe and California. In fact, the ones that won’t be affected as seriously "are those in higher latitudes like here in Washington state, Germany, and those at altitude.”

Busalacchi adds that famous old vineyards in places like France and Italy will likely have to change the way they grow grapes and make wine as the climate changes.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.