Climate change – the end of Barossa Shiraz as we know it?

“If the projections are right, a shiraz in the Barossa in 50 years’ time may well taste totally different to what it does at the moment”

A study by the U.S. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that up to 73 percent of Australian land currently used for viticulture could become unsuitable by 2050.

Temperatures in Australia’s main wine regions are projected to increase by between 0.3 and 1.7 degrees celsius by 2030, according to the CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency.

The hotter temperatures would reduce grape quality by 12 to 57 percent, the agency’s modelling shows.

Wine makers are so concerned about the impact of global warming on the A$5.7 billion ($5.3 billion) industry that they funded a government-backed experiment in the Barossa vineyards to simulate the drier conditions expected in 30-50 years’ time.

For wine lovers, the upshot is that Australia’s iconic shiraz is already changing and could be unrecognisable in half a century’s time.

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