We prefer cocktails to wine here, but the following is a bit disturbing:

AUSTRALIAN wine regions won’t be able to grow the grapes they’re famous for because of global warming, wine lawyers said today.

Lawyers from Adelaide-based Finlaysons rate climate change as the biggest long-term challenge facing Australia’s wine industry.

Wine quality could suffer from reduced harvest times, more extreme weather and reduced water supplies, Finlaysons partner Will Taylor said.

“Climate change is probably the biggest long-term issue facing the wine industry throughout the world and individual Australian winemakers and grapegrowers need to be planning for it now,” Mr Taylor said.

“We’re likely to see changes in vine phenology and wine styles, including potential reductions in quality, shorter optimum harvest times, reduced water supply in most areas, different disease and pest pressures, and changes in the varieties of grapes that can be grown successfully in particular areas across Australia.”

Mr Taylor said the character of Australia’s wine regions will change.

“That represents a fundamental challenge for the Australian wine industry, given our wine regions are known and loved around the world because of their existing characteristics.

“The bottom line is that regions like Barossa Valley, Margaret River, Hunter Valley and Yarra Valley won’t be able to grow the grapes they’re famous for.”

Full article here. If global warming could eradicate wine coolers from the Earth, then we could really get behind the Bush environmental agenda.