Swiss vineyards near Sion Photo: Valery Heritier / Wikimedia
A Swiss federal agriculture expert says that climate change is “positive overall for Swiss wine growers because it guarantees better maturation, especially for late harvest grape varieties.” Talk about "when life deals you lemons, make lemonade!"
Temperatures are expected to rise even more in coming years, according to Vivian Zufferey of the agricultural research organization; the average Swiss temperature has already increased 1.6 degrees Celsius in the last 100 years, and the change is accelerating.
Warmer climates have the tendency to increase the sugar quantity, and therefore the ultimate alcohol content of the wine. Choosing the right harvest time, and the right processing after control the final product. Also, choosing how many leaves to leave on the vines affects how much sun the grapes receive.
The agriculture experts also note that Swiss vintners are experimenting with varieties from more southern areas, and in other cases are planting at higher altitudes to avoid overheating and overexposure. They also report that this year, with the long, hot and mostly dry summer should be an ideal year for Swiss wine.
For those of us who never see Swiss wines in local stores, it might be a good time to ask for them. For those interested in more detail from TheLocal.ch, click HERE