The UK's wine makers might be about to enjoy a few decades of global dominance, thanks to research that suggests climate change and the warmer, wetter weather we can expect to see, could turn parts of the UK into mini-Frances perfect for growing the classic old types of grapes.
The University College London team based its research on the assumption that average temperatures will rise by 2.2C by the year 2100 and that this will be accompanied by a 5.6 per cent increase in rainfall. That should mean that the Black Country in the West Midlands might undergo an industrial revolution of another kind, as conditions there might become perfect for growing the chardonnay and pinot noir varieties of grapes that thrive in warmer climates.
Professor Mark Maslin from UCL said: "This study could signal how we think long-term about British wine production and redraw the future wine map of the world. However, exactly where would be best for particular grapes will depend on site, slope, aspect, soil and drainage as wine-making is as much an art as it is a science." [Sky News]