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Global warming will see China develop as wine region

Published:  23 July, 2008

China is set to come to prominence as a wine producing region following the ongoing ramifications of global warming.

This was one of the messages that emerged from Dr Richard Smart's talk on global warming and its impact on vines and viticulture' at the Climate Change and Wine Conference in Barcelona today (February 15).

Smart, who is a leading global consultant on viticulture methods, said: "In 30 years time, China will be a country better able to adapt to global warming."

He added that he was currently involved in advising Chinese investors looking to purchase suitable wine producing acreage and they are currently looking at an area just up from Beijing.

Smart said that while China - currently 8th in the world for grape production - is very wet near the coast and more arid as you move inland, the exciting opportunities came from the scope to move northwards in the future.

Breeding new varieties of grapes especially for hotter regions would be a crucial industry response to ongoing global warming, he claimed.

As well as breeding new varietals, Smart championed harvesting at night and the utilisation of "classical breeding rather than molecular techniques" as potential solutions.