Climate is a pervasive factor in the success of all agricultural systems, influencing whether a crop is suitable to a given region, largely controlling crop production and quality, and ultimately driving economic sustainability. Climate’s influence on agribusiness is never more evident than with viticulture and enology, where climate is arguably the most critical aspect in ripening fruit to optimum characteristics to produce a given wine style.
History has shown that wine production occurs in relatively narrow geographic and climatic ranges. In addition, winegrapes have relatively large cultivar differences in climate suitability, further limiting some winegrapes to even smaller areas that are appropriate for their cultivation. Climatic changes, which influence both variability and average conditions, therefore have the potential to bring about changes in wine styles or even eradicate varietals from a given American Viticultural Area.
Even though the wine industry’s carbon footprint is relatively small compared with other industries, it will be one of the first industries to see the effects of climate change. Carbon Reduction Challenge members have the opportunity to increase awareness of this issue and be a model to other industries of how to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.