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Norfolk to be wine-producing capital of UK

PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:24 08 February 2020

Climate change is making Norfolk a potential hotspot for wine production     Photo  Getty Images/iStockphoto

Climate change is making Norfolk a potential hotspot for wine production Photo Getty Images/iStockphoto

Olesia Berlezova alesa@meta.ua

Our warming climate has made much of Norfolk ideal territory for vineyards and wine-making – but scientists claim the change is happening so fast, this window may only last a few decades.

Researchers claim climate change has created perfect conditions for wine production across much of Norfolk. The areas shaded red on this map are in the top 10pc of UK vineyard land. Image: UEA Weatherquest and Vinescapes.Researchers claim climate change has created perfect conditions for wine production across much of Norfolk. The areas shaded red on this map are in the top 10pc of UK vineyard land. Image: UEA Weatherquest and Vinescapes.

Prof Steve Dorling of the University of East Anglia, also chief executive of forecaster Weatherquest, said researchers had combined the latest climate and terrain data to produce a map which showed large areas of Norfolk are in the top 10pc of suitable UK vineyard land - shown here in red.

But the situation is changing rapidly. A separate series of projections showing the 20-year average growing season temperatures shows while very few areas hit the 13pc optimum temperature for Chardonnay grapes in 1981-2000, the Norfolk climate was ideal for them by 2021-2040, said Prof Dorling.

"Chardonnay was not a good choice for 1981-2000, but it is very good choice for 2021-2040," he said. "In fact it is the sweet spot. Then, surprisingly, by 2061 to 2080 we've gone beyond a suitable climate for growing Chardonnay, all in a very short period of time. It is a measure of how rapidly the climate is changing."

Prof Dorling was speaking to farmers at the BeetTech20 conference in Newmarket hosted by the Norwich-based BBRO (British Beet Research Organisation).

Maps showing changes in 20-year average Growing Season Temperatures (GST). Picture: UEAMaps showing changes in 20-year average Growing Season Temperatures (GST). Picture: UEA

Climate change is making Norfolk a potential hotspot for wine productionClimate change is making Norfolk a potential hotspot for wine production

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