Valve Makes Big Changes To The 2018

“The northern border has moved,” he said, noting that vintners started to notice a shift in climate as early as the 1980s.

But vintners in Germany also see downsides to climate change. Mr. Niewodniczanski says the warmer weather has also made it increasingly difficult to produce the most classic of German wines — the dry, light, fresh Riesling.

“We ignored it at first because it was so good for the quality of the wine,” said Prof. Monika Christmann, the head of Geisenheim University, one of three German universities specializing in wine, about the negative effects. “But now it’s becoming a touch too much.”

Grapes ripen so well on traditional fields that the resulting wine is either too sweet or too alcoholic, since the level of alcohol is determined by the sugar levels in the grapes. Harvesting the grapes before they are fully ripened does not solve the problem, says Mr. Niewodniczanski, because it affects the flavor.

Mr. Niewodniczanski has invested millions into recultivating the Geisberg, steep land (on a slope 55 to 65 degrees) in a narrow valley that is less warm while receiving the same amount of light. It was abandoned in the 1960s as not favorable enough for commercial wine production — now Mr. Niewodniczanski hopes the 12 acres will yield some of his important grapes.

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