Sweden is turning into a wine hotspot because of climate change

Sweden is turning into a wine hotspot because of climate change
  • Sweden's wine industry barely existed 20 years ago, but is now booming because of climate change.
  • Warmer and longer summers have pushed the global winemaking map north, and experts predict Sweden could compete with France, Italy, and Spain in the coming years.
  • Meanwhile, traditional wine powerhouses are having to adapt to the changing climate.
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Climate change has transformed Sweden into a new hotspot for wine.

Warmer and longer summers have led to boomtime for an industry that barely existed just two decades ago. Now, experts predict the country could compete with wine powerhouses like France, Italy, and Spain in the years to come.

There are some 90 commercial vineyards in Denmark, 40 in Sweden, and a dozen in Norway, with more popping up each year.

In Skåne in southern Sweden, the trend has been helped by one of the warmest Septembers on record — 2 degrees Celsius higher than normal. That extended frost-free season would be critical to the future success of wines in northern latitudes.

"We have seen much more warming in the higher latitudes in the Northern hemisphere," Greg Jones, the director of Linfield College's wine studies program, told Business Insider Today. "In Scandinavia, where your growing season has been four and a half or five months long, a warmer growing season can expand that to maybe a six-month or six-and-a-half month period between frost."

But as the wine map has headed north, it's pushing the thermometer too high in places that have for centuries been ideal for viniculture.

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