Not too long ago, one knew exactly which wine regions in the world were the best, richest and most prestigious. However, the wine landscape is changing – quite literally. Latest edition to the international wine market is Sweden, Europe’s most northern wine region.
Swedish and English Wines
As the climate slowly but surely changes, usually cold regions, such southern Sweden, are able to extend their growing production extensively. The area around Malmö has already fertile ground for grapes and produces wine like Spain’s Rioja or Germany’s Mosel region.
Many wine experts say that Sweden is at the same point that England was 15 years ago. Still unknown to most wine enthusiasts, but also England has joined the list of wine producing European countries. Both Kent and Sussex in the south of England have been producing quality sparkling wine for over a decade.
Changing North and South
Once can observe similar tendencies on the other side of the world – New Zealand. While the Kiwi-land has already been a prosperous wine producing country, not all regions are as fortunate as Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay. The southern region of Otago on the southern island is the most southerly wine region in the world. The area produces currently some of the best pinot noirs, although experts have claimed that Otago is too cold.
In the case of Sweden and England, the change of climatic conditions didn’t just improve the growth of grapes, but also boosted the tourism industry related to wine in the area. It seems that a region becomes instantly more attractive to travellers when it is a wine region.
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For obvious reasons, the climatic shift does not only bring benefits to regions, but also has negative effects on already existing wine regions. A prime example is one of the most famous wine-producing countries itself. The southern regions of France can already feel the shift on the ground. Wines from the Provence regions, such as the Côtes du Provence and Côteaux d’Aix, may in the future not come anymore from that particular region, but migrate further north.
This shift will also have an effect on the particular taste of the wines. The ground and climate has a direct influence on the alcohol, acid, sugar as well as the colour of the wine. The questions of what to plant where are no longer clear-cut, but will demand more of a long-term perspective from wine farmers.
Champagne no longer from Champagne Region
Sussex in the south of England is already producing champagne successfully. In fact, the region is harvesting chardonnay, pint noir and pinot meunier, all of which are typical for the champagne area in France. Traditional champagne houses are already considering a move to Kent, England or to expand across the channel. Although this change is coming along very slowly, the impact of the entire wine industry is already huge and will vastly disturb everything we knew about wine in the not so distant future.