Postcard from... Brussels
While vineyard owners in Bordeaux and California cast a wary glance at a scientific paper last week which said climate change could threaten their wine production, Belgian media have jumped at the suggestion that their much-maligned winemakers could reap the benefits.
The nation is feted for its dazzling array of beers, but does not enjoy the same reputation for its wines, with supermarket shelves here stuffed with bottles imported from France. But earlier this month, the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences highlighted Belgium as one of the countries where vineyards could benefit from an increase in global temperatures.
By 2050, the report says, conditions for growing vines will be better in Northern Europe than in the South of France, prompting headlines asking “Belgium to rival Bordeaux for wine-growing?”
Belgium’s wine producers already have reason to be optimistic. Wine production increased by 15 per cent from 2010 to 2011, and is expected to keep rising. Experts have long speculated that climate change is behind a rise in production, with Canada, England and China also benefiting.
Most of the Belgian wine is grown along the Maas river in Flanders, which is home to about two-thirds of the country’s wine producers. But despite encouraging signs, it will take a lot to wean the nation off its beloved beers. Faced with a choice of 40 Belgian beers on tap, or a glass of the local bubbly, I know which one I would choose.
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 3 Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
- 4 James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
- 5 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...