Vineyards worldwide face an unprecedented challenge: climate change. As temperatures fluctuate and weather patterns become erratic, winegrowers are compelled to adapt. The recent gathering of the Cnaoc, the confederation of controlled designation of origin (AOC) syndicates, highlighted the pressing need for adaptation strategies.
Climate change isn’t merely about rising temperatures; it disrupts the traditional norms of grape cultivation. The implications are far-reaching, affecting not only the quality but also the geographical boundaries of wine-growing regions. The urgency lies in the need to realign these boundaries, allowing for cooler or north-facing areas to be included in designated zones. This shift in approach by Cnaoc and the INAO acknowledges the necessity to reassess demarcations to ensure sustainable growth amid changing climate conditions.
Additionally, initiatives such as exceeding yield limits after a deficient harvest showcase the adaptability necessary to maintain productivity. Instances from Champagne and Bourgogne, where this measure was implemented, resulted in significant additional yields, underscoring its practicality and the need for flexibility within established regulations. For instance, in Bourgogne, the relaxation of yield limits facilitated an extra 13,000 hectoliters, equivalent to 1.75 million bottles. Testimonials from industry leaders, affirm the utility of these measures and emphasize the importance of capitalizing on promising harvests. However, the rigidity of appellation regulations poses a barrier to testing these practices within designated zones, necessitating a reevaluation of these constraints.
The need for innovation, flexibility in regulations, and collaborative efforts between regulatory bodies and practitioners has never been more crucial. The forthcoming INAO evaluation mechanism, for testing new grape varieties, holds promise in facilitating the adoption of innovative practices while maintaining the essence and integrity of appellations.