NZ Wine Industry Upbeat About Global Warming [PlanetArk]
WELLINGTON - Global warming, which is threatening the viability of the drought-stricken wine industry in Australia, could be a boon for neighbouring New Zealand which has been enjoying a growing reputation for its quality wines.
New Zealand's subtle flavoured wines, mostly whites such as Sauvignon Blanc but also reds such as Pinot Noir, are appearing on the tables of fine restaurants from London to Los Angeles and are winning medals at prestigious international wine shows.
Yet despite success at producing quality wines, New Zealand has long had trouble producing wines in significant export quantities due to its weather. New Zealand is one of the world's most southern countries and frosts and biting winds from Antarctica make it hard to cultivate wine-worthy grapes.
But that may change.
Higher temperatures due to global warming are expected to make cold areas of New Zealand more temperate and better suited to grape cultivation. So it's no surprise that New Zealand wine-growers are upbeat about a future that includes climate change.
"The big picture for New Zealand wine is very, very good," said Philip Gregan, chief executive of industry body New Zealand Winegrowers.