Winemakers across Europe’s vineyards are worried that their yield will be reduced significantly this year as record heat and wildfires hit the continent, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
With temperatures in Portugal and Spain reaching as high as 47 degrees Celsius this month, their output may drop by at least 25% this year, the publication writes.
There have been no reports of any vineyards having actually burned, but smoke can ruin crops kilometers away or give wines an ashy taste, Bloomberg explains. Extreme heat can prevent flowers from turning into fruit, and also scorch and dehydrate grapes, which won’t ripen well. According to a leading Portuguese winemakers association, drought and very high temperatures are likely to lead to a “remarkable drop in production” this year.
Vineyards in usually cooler regions of Europe, such as France and Germany, have also been affected, as “Europe has been warming faster than the global average,” climate scientist, professor Angel Hsu, from University of North Carolina told Bloomberg.
Europe’s wheat and corn harvests have also come under threat from the extreme heat, amid wide concerns over global food security. France, the EU’s top wheat exporter said earlier it expected its soft-wheat output to drop below a five-year average this year.
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