French wine at risk without climate pact: Greenpeace

(AFP) – French wines, the country’s pride, are looking at a grim future failing an ambitious deal on climate change at the upcoming UN summit in Denmark, 50 top chefs and winemakers and Greenpeace warned earlier this week.

“Climate change has made vines increasingly vulnerable,” the group said in an opinion column in the daily Le Monde.

“Wine,” they added, “is the result of an alchemy between a native soil, or terroir, and generations of winemakers. Today this alchemy is in danger.”

Because of the global rise in temperatures, French wines “now have a higher alcohol content, their texture is heavier, there is too much sun in the range of flavours, our wines could lose their souls”, the column said.

If nothing was done to reduce carbon emissions, the world map of wine would be changed forever with the country’s vineyards moved 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) south by the end of the century, they warned.

To survive, French wines needed an ambitious deal by developed nations to reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2020, said the group, which includes chefs Marc Veyrat and Jean-Luc Rabanel and sommeliers Franck Thomas and Antoine Petrus.

“We urge the president and environment minister of the world’s top wine-making nation to act with exemplarity at the Copenhagen talks in December,’ they said.