Reason to stock up on California wine, or invest in Washington wine: Climate change could wipe out premium wine grape growing in three key California regions by the end of the century, according to a new study out today.
As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, some internationally known climate experts warn that models aren't yet good enough to predict effects on future agriculture and at best can only suggest possible outcomes.
Production in the Napa and Sonoma valleys and Santa Barbara County would essentially be eliminated by the late 21st century, according to a scenario published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The only areas in California that would remain suitable are the narrow coastal bands and the Sierra Nevada, according to the analysis.
The United States could lose up to 81 percent of its premium wine grape growing acreage by 2100, with the greatest losses on the West Coast and the Southwest, the study says.
The Chronicle notes that in the principal wine grape growing regions of California, Oregon and Washington, growing season temperatures already have warmed by more than 1 1/2 degrees Fahrenheit between 1948 and 2002, driven mostly by changes in minimum temperatures.