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Cognac Houses Address Climate Change

As temperatures steadily rise across the globe, the knock on effect of climate change on viticulture is being felt by all wine producers. In the Cognac region it has been found that during the last 30 years, a 1°C increase in the maximum daytime temperature during the growing period of the vine has resulted in a 10 day advancement of the harvest. Whilst harvesting early has so far been successful, temperature increases also compromise the acid levels in the grapes (high acidity is essential for cognac production.) Longer term a different solution must be found so some of the big houses have got together to try and find one. Currently the majority of vineyards are planted with Ugni Blanc, a grape known for its high acidity levels, so a new grape variety, Monbadon, is now being trialled. Monbadon is known to have a higher level of acidity and lower level of alcohol than Ugni Blanc but it should have a similar aromatic profile and harvest later. Due to the ageing process of cognac, the overall experiment will take nine years but it is in 30 years’ time that the solution will be required, when global warming will have made a real impact.  Hermitage Cognacs are hand selected to take advantage of careful harvesting and ageing processes used during their production.