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Climate change not about winners and losers, hears conference

Published:  25 October, 2013

The climate change debate should not be viewed as who are going to the winners and losers of rising global temperatures, according to Christian Holthausen of English producer Nyetimber.

Speaking at a debate at the Digital Wine Communications Conderence in Logrono, Rioja, Holthausen was adamant the impact of climate change was "very serious" for every person on the planet.

He said the issue for winemakers was not to look at rising annual temperatures but more at the "inter-annual variability" there now is in certain winegrowing areas, like in England.

He said there were now so many anomalies from year to year in winemaking which made making any sort of predictions hard to make. It was hard, he said, not "really knowing what was going to happen".

Nyetimber was forced not up pick any grapes for the 2012 harvest due to the coldest, wettest growing conditions for a hundred years.

He stressed there was a very real difference between global warming and climate change and it was "far more complicated" than just riding temperatures. "Winemakers don't deal with climate change, they deal with climate," he added.

But he also thought climate change could have a positive impact on winemaking in that it will force viticulturists to get far closer to their plants again.