Okanagan winery owners are warily watching the fruits of an unseasonably warm February as grape vines blossom early and the area’s mountains front a visibly low snowpack.
Their biggest fear is that a late winter cold snap will kill fragile young buds, resulting in a lower yield.
Underlying their concerns about how climate change could damage operations, however, is optimism and a pragmatic determination to make the situation work in their favour.
University of California instructor and climate change expert Lee Hannah told Business in Vancouver that the Okanagan wine industry will likely benefit from global climate change.
He co-wrote the 2013 study Wine, climate change and conservation in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which modelled two different climate futures for 2050, one assuming a worst-case scenario with a 4.7 C warming and the other a 2.5 C temperature increase.
Both models used regional data and trend analysis to determine that established wine regions in France, Italy and California will suffer a sharp decline in production by 2050. Areas better suited for wine production included swaths of the B.C. Interior, he said.
Read the full article online at Business in Vancouver
Author: Glen Korstrom