Riesling is to Germany as the Pinot Noir is to France... but also to Germany! A change for wine growers and oenologists who see for the first time a German pinot rises to the same levels of the French neighbor. And it’s all thanks to the recent years climate change, able to create the perfect climate for those crops always reluctant to take root in Germany. Many are already taking benefits from this new situation, even if no complaints are lacking.
Over the past 40 years, temperatures soared 1.4 degrees, creating inconvenience for the whole world and threatening our future, but also have made German's climate favorable and hospitable to the cultivation of spätburgunder ― as the Germans call it. The French region of Burgundy however, always been the home of the most expensive red wines, has been ravaged in recent years by unpredictable weather that damaged the vineyards and threatened the harvest.
This favorable situation has been exploited by German manufacturers and many are already gain by it. An example is the Weingut Friedrich Becker in Schweigen: last October 4, the co-owner Friedrich Wilhelm Becker was celebrating with a glass of his pinot noir a tasting at his winery. And not all German winemakers are cheering the change. Organic vineyards there were hit hard by a warm, wet summer that bred infections and blight not easily fought off without chemicals.
And what about France? Will it lose the leadership in the production of pinot? In fact also France could benefit from the ongoing climate change. Before 1980 it was necessary to have a drought to generate the heat to get a really early harvest. But since 1980, it’s been so warm because of climate change that you can get the hot summers and really early harvests without needing a drought. Thus, benefit would be to have a early-ripening fruit keeping preserved the grapes until their processing.