Top 10 cool climate wine regions

4. Champagne

GST: 14.7 Verzenay_moulin

Plantings: 35,000 ha

Main grapes: 38% Pinot Noir; 32% Pinot Meunier; 30% Chardonnay

Quintessential cool climate sparklers, where, thus far, climate change is not (yet) a negative, even though the season is shortening.

Philippe Wibrotte, PR manager for the CIVC said the appellation has “gained 1.5°C over the past 20 years, but we’ve never seen so many great vintages as in last 20 years.”

“We used to have 100 days between flowering and harvest; now it’s 94-96”, he added.

Denis Bunner, Bollinger’s assistant chef de cave gave historical context, adding: “Champagne made a weakness [low maturity grapes] into a strength. In the past 10° potential alcohol was not enough, it was 8.5° in cold years, so it was not a good climate for still wine, but is a good climate for sparkling wine.”

“The climate allowed sparkling wine with this profile of grapes especially on chalky soil”, said Bunner. “Excess water could be a problem in a cool climate where you can’t wait for maturity, [but] in chalky territory there is less disease because of the drainage it provides.”

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