Australian winemakers are beginning to test southern European grape varieties that are better adapted to hotter temperatures and less reliable rainfall as they grapple with the physical impacts of a warming planet.
Sirromet Wines, which is shielded from the most extreme impacts of climate change in the cool, high country of Queensland’s Granite Belt growing region, will next year change to heat-adapted varieties from southern Spain and Italy such as Fiano, Vermentino, Montepulciano, and Saperavi.
“Growers in the Granite Belt (based around Stanthorpe) have identified that traditional French varieties, which are sensitive to hotter weather, aren’t suited to the climatic conditions, but it will suit other established varieties from Europe,” said Sirromet chief winemaker and viticulture director Mike Hayes.
“Many regions now dabbling in emerging varieties suitable for climate change and we will see a huge increase in their plantings. Within the next 10 years we may even see varieties from Syria and North African regions.
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