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Friday 19 September 2014

Climate change behind Tasmanian wine growth

28th July, 2014 by Simon Howland

Warmer weather is driving a boom in Tasmanian wine as wineries look to expand to cooler climes.

Tasmania

According to ABC, climate change is responsible for increased production and a growth in investment as interstate investors look further afield for cooler growing conditions.

Wine Tasmania, the body which represents the state’s wine producers, said there has been a rise in interest from major winemakers who were finding the conditions on the Australian mainland challenging.

Tasmania’s Climate Change Office has released figures showing wine production in the state has been growing by approximately 10% a year.

Speaking to the ABC, Wine Tasmania’s Sheralee Davies predicts the industry could double in the next 10 years. She said: “We’ve seen some really significant investment in Tasmanian vineyards in recent years.

“Some of the reason that people have expressed is based on a change in climate.”

As reported by the drinks business, some of Australia’s biggest operators have already set up in Tasmania and Wine Tasmania is also looking further afield – to France – for potential investment.

“You’ve had quite a lot of mainland companies coming in and looking at what we’re doing in Tasmania and actually making the decision to invest,” Ms Davies said.

The effects are already being felt by Tasmanian growers and this years winter has been warmer than average according to Fred Peacock, who has been growing grapes in the island state for decades: “They need a certain degree of chill in the winter. They need to spend so many hundred hours below a fairly low temperature – five or six degrees (Celsius).”

Despite this uncertainty, Peacock said the changes will be felt more profoundly elsewhere. He said: “A lot of other areas are just simply going to get too warm to get that elegance and refinement for those high quality wines.”

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