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Diversification: A Bulwark Against Climatic Hazards

26 June 2023

by Benoît Ab-der-Halden, President of CABINET VITICOLE SAINT-VINCENT and WI&NE Provence-Rhône.

English version translated by Nathalie Parent Dumoulin, Founder, NEXT EDITION, WI&NE Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

There is little room for climate optimism these days. According to new projections, most climate experts agree that rising temperatures will be unavoidable in France in the short to medium term.

Thus, French winegrowers must promptly deploy a new level of effort to face the rise in temperature and the changes in climatic conditions.

In recent years, climate change –which has increased average global temperatures, along with the frequency and severity of drought spells, heat waves and other erratic weather patterns such as frost, hail and flash flooding– has been changing the landscape of the French vineyard. Although insurance companies play a significant role in tackling climate change and its disruptive impact, operating a wine business solely on insurance premiums is unsustainable.

It is also unwise to believe that “irrigation for all crops” is THE solution to climate change. Whereas industrial, municipal and livestock water supply primarily depend on blue water, crop cultivation relies on both green (groundwater or surface water) and blue water (rainwater). And we know full well that the water available for agriculture will always depend on the water remaining after human consumption.

If the wine industry is to adjust effectively to future challenges, it needs to integrate climate change adaptation into development cooperation. It must explore all avenues, such as:

There are many ways of going forward. However, they must not be ideological or sacralized because there can be no single answer.

WI&NE’s key experts can advise wineries and châteaux on their choices to anticipate climate change.

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