Watch CBS News

Climate change boosts wine production in Vermont

While no one wants to promote climate change, a group of Vermont winemakers can thank the state's rising temperatures for an economic boost. They have been able to add warmer-weather varieties, like pinot noir, to their selection.

Thirty years ago, winemaker Patrick Barrelet says, the grapes would not have survived Vermont's cold winters. "We definitely have seen bigger crops in I'd say the last 10 years," he told CBS News, adding that he thinks it is because of climate change.

"They're very cold sensitive and if you don't have a warmer winter, you don't have a crop," he continued.

The National Weather Service says temperatures in the area have warmed by two and a half degrees since 1970. Last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said it is "extremely likely" thatclimate change is man-made.

The temperature increase may not feel like much to humans, but to plants, a couple of degrees is a huge change, said meteorologist Andy Nash.

The warmer weather also comes at a price for the local wine industry: Vermont is one of the only states where winemakers produce ice wine, a dessert wine crafted from frozen grapes. Without a freeze, the trademark could become a thing of the past.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.