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Effects of climate change taking root in the wine industry

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What are the signs of global warming? Glaciers are melting at an increasingly rapid pace. Persistent droughts are spreading. Well, we have another to tell you about – wine, as in what you probably cracked open for Christmas dinner.

Farmers who grow the grapes have seen the effects of climate change in the soil, in the roots of the vines, and the yields of their crops.

France, a major center of winemaking for centuries, is experiencing increasingly higher temperatures and extreme weather conditions that have damaged vintages, and livelihoods; this year was particularly dramatic.

France recorded its smallest harvest since 1957 and stands to lose more than $2 billion in sales – a huge blow to the country’s second largest export industry.

And it’s hitting nearly all the winegrowing regions where they make dry whites, fruity reds and fizzy champagne.

All bubblies are called sparkling wine. But champagne is made here and nowhere else –in these vineyards and villages of Champagne located in northeastern France. There’s a mystique to champagne, an aura of romance. Coco Chanel once said, “I only drink champagne on two occasions, when I am in love and when I am not.” They’ve been producing this “wine of kings” here for […]

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