Grapes for Burgundian red wines now ripen TWO WEEKS earlier than in the 1980s, because climate change is still causing rising global temperatures
- Researchers have collected wine harvest archives dating back to 664 years
- Since 1988, the grapes in Beaune, in Burgundy, France have matured early
- Harvest dates are 13 days higher than the norm for the previous six centuries
- The data clearly shows the impact of climate change, the researchers said
Grapes from the Burgundy vineyards ripen more than two weeks earlier since the late 1980s than normal in the past six centuries.
The shift in the development of the grape on the vine is due to the increase in warmer and drier climates during the growing season due to climate change.
A team of French, German and Swiss experts had carefully collected archival data on historical vintage data dating back 664 years in total.
Since grapes are very sensitive to temperature and rainfall, the date on which vines are harvested can serve as an indicator of the corresponding climate.
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Grapes from the Burgundy vineyards have been ripening since the end of the 1980s more than two weeks earlier than normal in the past six centuries (stock image)
Climate scientist Thomas Labbé from the University of Leipzig in Germany, environmental historian Christian Pfister from the University of Bern, Switzerland, and colleagues gathered and analyzed vineyard eye records dating back to 1354.
To compile the harvest dates for Beaune – the wine capital of Burgundy – the team scrupulously searched various unprocessed archive sources, including newspaper reports, city councils, and information about wages paid to grape pickers.
The result is the longest record of reconstructed grape harvests.
The researchers discovered that since 1988 grapes in Burgundy have been picked on average 13 days earlier than in the previous six centuries.
The warmer and drier climate of Burgundy in recent years is at the basis of this progress, the researchers said.
& # 39; We did not expect the accelerated warming trend since the mid-1980s to stand out so clearly in the & # 39; series, said Professor Pfister.
& # 39; The record is clearly divided into two parts, & # 39; said Dr. Labbe.
Before 1987, the Beaune vineyards were usually picked every year from around 28 September – but the harvest now starts from around 15 September.
The results suggest that warm and dry years were unusual in the past, but have switched to the norm in the last three decades.
In those years when the spring-summer growing season is hot and dry, grapes are more ready to be harvested than in colder years.
To compile harvest dates for Beaune – the wine capital of Burgundy – the team carefully searched various raw archive sources. On the photo a page from the accounting of the church of Notre-Dame de Beaune from 1385
Since grapes are very sensitive to temperature and rainfall, the date on which vines are harvested can serve as an indicator of the corresponding climate
Finally, the team compared the most recent 360 years of their harvest data with a detailed temperature record that was taken in Paris in the same period.
Based on this, they were able to estimate Beaune's temperatures in April and July over the entire 664 years covered by their grape harvest records.
& # 39; The transition to rapid global warming after 1988 is very clear & # 39 ;, said Professor Pfister.
& # 39; The exceptional nature of the past 30 years is becoming clear to everyone. & # 39;
& # 39; We hope that people will start to think realistically about the climate situation the planet is currently in & # 39 ;, he concluded.
The full findings of the study were published in the journal Climate of the past.
To compile harvest dates for Beaune – the wine capital of Burgundy – the team scrupulously searched various raw archive sources, including newspaper reports, city council reports, and information about wages paid to grape pickers
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