Winemakers Seeking Climate Resilient Soil Turn to Tech

Winemakers Seeking Climate Resilient Soil Turn to Tech

Winegrowers worldwide are expressing growing climate concerns as rising temperatures threaten the fragile vineyard ecosystems they depend on for grape production. Growers, or vintners, warn that even a one-degree rise in soil temperature could kill the bacteria that provide each wine variety with its unique flavor, and threaten their ability to produce certain wines. In an attempt to save their vineyards, vintners are increasingly turning to revolutionary fertilizing techniques to protect their crops.

60 Minutes: Wine vineyards around the world feel the impact of climate change, December 23, 2021.

Why This Matters

As climate change poses challenges to farmers and food shortages worldwide, new agricultural technology is poised to play a key role in crop production. Climate resiliency for crops comes down to soil nutrition, says Mark Fleishhacker, the CEO of Resonant Technology, a pioneering agricultural company.

Resonant specializes in natural fertilizers, designed to promote soil health. Fleishhaker explains that the fertilizers "trigger a microbial response in the soil so that the plants can be more efficient at uptaking any source of nutrients, resulting in higher vigor, but also in higher quality and quantity of production." This, the company claims, should make grape vineyards, and other farms alike, more equipped to withstand climate change.

Canary in a Coal Mine

Still, other agricultural sectors would be wise to look to winegrowers for cues on coping with climate disruptions, says Fleishhacker, who told Forbes that, "the wine industry has been defined as the 'canary in the coal mine' of agriculture, because of the vines' extreme sensitivity to the climatic conditions." The industry's precarity means vintners are taking a proactive approach to future weather disruptions, and implementing the technology that could be needed to save their crops down the road.

Deeper Dive

For a deeper dive on how climate change is impacting international vineyards watch the recent 60 Minutes episode titled, "Weather & Wine, Drawing Truth to Power" (aired on December 26th).

FT: Can winemakers adapt to climate change?, December 8, 2021.