ESSIC Director and ConE Chair, Professor Antonio Busalacchi, recently spoke at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington on climate change and wine production across the world. The seminar entitled, “Impact of Climate Change on Global Viticulture,” discussed the impact of observed and projected climate changes on 24 of the world’s major wine producing regions.
Busalacchi’s findings conclude that certain wine producing regions will be more affected by climate change than others. Areas projected to experience severe droughts, such as South Africa and South Australia, will see a decline or hindrance in their wine production.
However, Busalacchi notes that other wine producing regions will continue to successfully produce and quite possible flourish in the future, despite climate change.
“Areas that would not see as drastic a change are those wineries at higher latitudes such as Germany and Eastern Washington,” said Busalacchi. “Or those wineries that are at higher altitudes, such as wineries in Argentina and Chile, and those regions surrounded by water, such as north and south New Zealand.”
Media outlets in the Washington state area were quick to report the findings in Busalacchi’s presentation, particularly in terms of how an evolving climate might affect the region’s wine industry. He was immediately interviewed in a segment for Oregon Public Radio and later appeared on KGW News Channel 8, out of Portland, Oregon. (See Video Below)
Interestingly, Busalacchi’s expertise in climate science is not the only credential he uses to assess how climate change will effect wine production over time.
Outside of his science career, Busalacchi has an inherited relationship and deep appreciation for food and spirits, stemming from his family’s 65 year tie to the restaurant and fine-dining industry.
Busalacchi currently hold the title of Advanced Sommelier, with the Court of Master Sommeliers and is preparing to sit for his Master’s exams in 2014. Other titles include Certified Wine Educator, Certified Specialist of Wine, and Certified Specialist of Spirits, with the Society of Wine Educators.
In addition, Busalacchi operates a wine and vineyard consulting firm called Vino Veritas, LLC. The venture provides a diversity of services, such as helping restaurants to develop and refine wine lists or providing vineyard owners with weather and climate information to better manage their crop.