Prosecco, the UK’s favorite sparkling wine, could be wiped out by climate change, according to new research.
Mountainside vineyards, where the grapes used for the bubbly drink are grown, are most at risk of soil degradation and drought, scientists say.
The phenomenon also applies to other famous vintages such as Burgundy, Grand Cru and Cabernet Sauvignon, the world’s most popular red.
It’s a favorite at weddings and parties, but the nation’s beloved prosecco could be wiped out by climate change, according to research.
Lead author of the study, Dr. Paolo Tarolli, from the University of Padua in Italy, said: “The risk is not just losing an agricultural product or seeing a change in the landscape, which negatively impacts the local economy.”
“The risk is losing the history of entire communities and their cultural roots,” write Dr. Tarolli and colleagues in the journal iScience.
The soils of mountain vineyards are often thin and eroded, and over millions of years, erosion has carried soils and water downhill. But the mountainous terrain is key to creating flavor in the wines.
Mountain soils give rise to grapes that are small, like blueberries, but have a higher skin to juice ratio.
Because so many aromas, flavors, and tannins are housed in the skins, mountain wines often have intense flavors.
But the hillside vineyards of Italy, Portugal and Spain are also the most difficult to maintain, coining the expression ‘heroic viticulture’.
Farmers and scientists must work together to save some of the world’s most celebrated wines, the Italian team said.
Dr Tarolli said: ‘The great effort required to manage these areas reinforces the specific connection between humans and the environment.
Vineyards on the mountain slopes, where prosecco grapes are produced, are most at risk of soil degradation and drought, scientists say. In the photo, prosecco vineyards in summer, Valdobbiadene, Italy
‘That is why they are recognized as cultural singularities of paramount historical and social importance, where traditional knowledge continues to be the determining element.’
Mountain vineyards receive plenty of sun due to their elevation, early in the day, and are generally cooler than lowland sites.
Despite receiving a sunbath, the grapes do not bake in the heat. This gives the wine final balance and a fresh sensation, the authors said.
The study lists poor soil and less rain as the biggest threat to the industry.
Possible solutions to prevent soil loss include growing grass between the vines to hold the soil together and collecting rainwater in tanks on the slopes to prevent runoff.
Dr Tarolli said: ‘The last half of the last century has been characterized by exodus from rural areas and a gradual abandonment of mountainous landscapes. But labor shortages are also a problem, according to the study.
‘The new generation is not willing to continue working in extreme conditions if the economic benefits are negligible.’
The growing popularity of prosecco comes at a high cost, as an enormous amount of soil is lost on the steep slopes.
Demand has skyrocketed by more than a third in five years, the fastest for any sparkling wine, with champagne showing only around 1 percent growth over the same time period.
While Italian vineyards are under threat, rising temperatures could benefit grape growers in the UK.
A recent report, Climate Resilience in the UK Wine Sector, found that rising temperatures in the coming years could make Britain a major player in quality wine production, as higher temperatures increase the amount of sugar in UK grapes to help better wine quality and higher alcohol content. content.
Scientists develop a beer can with TWO tabs and say it results in a pint with a perfect head
Pulling out the perfect pint can take a bit of practice, as beer drinkers often turn up their noses at foamy heads.
But this may soon be a thing of the past, as scientists have come up with a new can design that could solve the foam problem once and for all.
japanese firm nendo claims that the so-called ‘golden ratio’ of beer to foam can be achieved using their newly designed product.
At a glance, it may look like an ordinary tin, but the product’s two tabs are said to make a world of difference.
Nendo claims that this innovative design results in a perfect head pint.
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