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The great global grape migration

February 2009

What will be the effects of climate change on the world's wine regions?

The great global grape migration

Wine is a major global commodity. Many regional economies are heavily dependent upon its production – and globalisation means that rewards for the best producers are now very high.

Yet the climatic conditions needed for different varieties of grape to prosper are highly specific. As a result of climate change, some of the world’s major producing regions are now threatened - although new opportunities are opening up in places not previously viewed as major players, such as southern England.

In this article we firstly take a look at the response of the French government to the rising economic benefits that globalisation has brought to the Champagne region. Then we move on to examine the climate change challenges facing Spanish wine-growers. Finally, we take a look at the new best-selling comic book that is teaching 500,000 Japanese citizens to ‘go global’ in a hunt for better wine!


Themes relating to agriculture (the geography of viticulture) and globalisation (rising demand for Champagne in the BRICs) are developed in this feature. Parts of the article are especially relevant for Edexcel and WJEC students studying the consequences of climate change at AS-level.

Note for IB teachers This article could be used to support schemes of work for the teaching of ‘contemporary issues in geographical regions’, with specific reference to the recent decision to enlarge Champagne.

In the Members' Area:

  • Champagne: the little region that just got bigger
  • No future for Spanish wine?
  • What has a Japanese comic book got to do with the global pattern of wine trade?
  • Practice A-level and IB questions

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