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The Times and Climes are a Changin

While Italy, France and Spain continue to lead the world of wine, the newbies on the block, China, India, Brazil, Uruguay, are turning heads. China is already 7th largest wine producer in the world, Brazil the fastest growing. And while India is still tiny, by Jove, it`s producing some very nice wines. We were there a few years ago and one Cabernet-Shiraz blend I stumbled upon might have been a Margaret River. Later I discovered the great French winemaker Michel Rolland had a hand in it. No wonder! It`s oft the way, the flying winemaker who applies his trade in some distant land, working with the locals there, passing on his skills, spreading the love.  I recall some thirty years ago travelling to Brazil and Uruguay, to visit the vineyards there. Winemakers from Argentina had been tempted north, and they were beginning to turn things round.  These were wine-producing countries in their infancy back then, amazing what has been achieved in three decades.  Globalization also lent a hand to the development of emerging wine countries and regions. Old World companies searching New World pastures, bringing with them investment, employment and skills. Climate Change is another lever for change in the world`s wine map, with wineries looking to invest in cool-climate countries and those less affected adversely by extreme temperatures. In the north of the northern hemisphere, for example, England is a prime target for Champagne producers.  In the south of the southern hemisphere, Tasmania offers potential respite for vineyard owners in ever hotter South Australia and New South Wales.  Brown Brothers started buying up land there in 2010.   Changing politics has in the past been another catalyst for wine development: the collapse of communism having given rise to investment and a new lease of life in countries such as Hungary and Chile. Now, the world`s total wine production is falling – Climate Change again – just as UK`s wine production is increasing – and so the world`s wine map continues to turn. Is it just possible in fifty years our world of wines will be turned on its head?

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