Study Claims Rising Temperatures Tainting Wine: Is it True?

Is climate change ruining wine corks? A recent study says yes. What do industry insiders think? Climate change has the wine closure conversation heating up.

Wine Corks 019In this video, Wine Oh TV’s Monique Soltani talks with the largest cork producer in Portugal and other wine cork experts to find out if global warming is impacting wine corks and ruining your favorite bottle of red wine or white wine.

A recent report with research led by University of Lisbon claims the quality of natural wine cork is decreasing. The study blames rising temperatures and other environmental factors. Claiming thinning cork could ultimately lead to a bad bottle of wine. With the character of wine corks in question, sixth generation winemaker   has his sights on screw-caps.

Here’s what the study claims:

  • Research led by University of Lisbon says quality of corks is decreasing
  • They say this is due to thinning bark on the trees that produce wine corks
  • Quercus suber trees have seen a drastic decline in quality in 20 years
  • Thinner bark means the corks are worse at keeping air out of bottles
  • The researchers say this could be because they are protecting themselves against increasing ultraviolet radiation resulting from climate change
  • This has caused the bark to thin to just 10% of what it used to be

wine corks harvestPeter Weber with the Cork QuAlity Council has been evaluating wine corks for over a decade and this study has him screaming sour grapes. Portugal is home to the world’s largest cork forest area and cork producer. Amorim sold 4 billion corks last year alone with over 30 percent of the market share Amorim’s Carlos De Jesus says natural cork isn’t going anywhere.

With the wine world looking for alternatives Nomacorc’s Don Huffman says, when it comes to wine corks synthetic stoppers are the cream of the crop. Despite their differences everyone agrees global warming isn’t waning.

Bottom line whether you take your wine red or white, green is the way to go.

Read the full Live Science story here.

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