Warmer weather heats up Scandinavian wine industry

Warm weather is spurring investment in an up-and-coming Scandinavian wine industry, and continued warming is only expected to beget more growth.


November 12, 2019

News Oresund / Wikipedia

Planning a bachelorette party in wine country? It might be time to nix Napa in favor of… Kalundborg? 

The wine industry is one of many being stomped on by climate change, and some bet Scandinavia will be the next big thing in viticulture.

Warmer temps are redrawing the winemaking map

Climatologists predict that by 2050 Scandinavia will warm up by as much as 43 degrees Fahrenheit. Already, warmer temperatures have contributed to a longer growing season, which has been a boon to white wine production.

Meanwhile, winemakers in France, Italy, and Spain are struggling with record high temperatures. Over the summer, they saw grapes burn on the vine as temps hit 105 degrees. Producers in South America, California, and Australia are also expected to take hits as the world gets warmer.

But don’t look for the Scandi-section at your local market just yet

Scandinavian wine revenues are still small next to those of other countries. Think $15.4m for all three countries compared with $30.8B in France alone. 

It’s still significantly more expensive to produce wine in Scandinavia, in part because these countries do not receive any of the billions in subsidies the European Union gives winemakers in other parts of Europe. And winemakers in Denmark and Sweden have EU approval to grow less than 1k acres of vineyards, while producers in France, Italy, and Spain operate on about 7.5m acres. 

Still, growth has been rapid. In the past 15 years, Denmark went from 2 commercial vineyards to 90. There are about 40 in Sweden and 12 in Norway. How do you say “cheers” in Danish?

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