It's a standing joke, though a somewhat nervous one, among winegrowers when the subject of global climate change comes up. "Well, I guess they'll be growing Cabernet in Burgundy," someone is sure to remark, "because it will be too hot to grow Pinot Noir there anymore."
But how true is that idea? Is it likely that whole regions will get too hot for what they currently grow? That would change the dynamics of wine profoundly. Noah Diffenbaugh, a fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University, enlisted colleagues at Utah State and Southern Oregon universities and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to plug in conservative climate models and analyze what would happen region by region in California, Oregon and Washington if those models come true.
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