Torres: Climate change the biggest challenge for mankind
Global warming activist Miguel Torres has warned that climate change is the biggest challenge facing mankind and the consequences will be devastating if we don’t start making changes.
Speaking exclusively to db during a lunch at Vinexpo celebrating his Lifetime Achievement Award, given by the drinks business and the Institute of Masters of Wine, Torres warned:
“Climate change is the biggest challenge for the whole of mankind and the survival of certain wine regions depends on their ability to adapt. Wine producers need to look into ways to delay grape ripening via rootstocks and canopies.
“England will be fine and will be able to make wine for many years to come, but we’re already seeing serious effects from climate change – it’s 37 degrees in Bordeaux today – no one I’ve spoken to has ever seen it so hot here in June.
“In the last 50 years of working in the wine industry I’ve never experienced as devastating spring frosts as the ones we had this year.
“We’re going to see more extremes from Mother Nature – more floods and natural disasters. Society has to make some changes first and then the politicians will follow.”
Torres admitted to db that while making wine is the best job in the world, he has faced an increasing number of challenges from nature in recent years.
“I love the wine world, it’s the best business in the world as you get to smell the flowers, walk in the vineyards and make beautiful wines that make people happy, but it can be very tough too.
“We lost our entire harvest in Chile through the forest fires and lost 20% of our production in Spain due to the late spring frosts. There is a big challenge ahead with climate change and producers need to do everything they can to reduce emissions.
“We’re making better wines than we have ever done and the quality of wines is improving all over the world, which is fantastic, but we have a tremendous challenge with climate change, which is going to affect everyone.
“It’s such a pity that we didn’t react to it earlier as it’s going to be so much harder in the future to be able to work in the same way our fathers did making wine,” he said.
“Instead, we will have to adapt, working with different clones, at higher altitudes and in cooler areas. Water is going to be a problem too – it’s going to be a big struggle.
“Being sustainable is not going to help you sell more wine but we have to do it for the planet.
“What we really need to do as wineries is reduce emissions. I’m working on experiments to capture Co2 during the fermentation process, which would be amazing as it means that we don’t send it back into the atmosphere,” he added.