The “Louvre of Wine” must be frozen so that the grape varieties can be revived if they are affected by climate change

‘Louvre of Wine’ – the world’s largest collection of vines – must be FROZEN in hopes that long-lost grape varieties could one day be revived if they die due to climate change

  • The largest collection of vines in the world to freeze so they can one day be relaunched
  • Experts hope it can be used if popular types of grapes fall victim to climate change
  • The “Louvre of Wine” could help researchers find a way to satisfy future wine drinkers
  • Vines to freeze at -320 ° F (-196 ° C) in liquid nitrogen at a € 10.4million (£ 8.8million) facility

Micro-cuttings from the world’s largest collection of vines – known as the “Louvre of Wine” – need to be frozen so that they can one day be revived if current popular grape varieties die out due to climate change.

The hope is that these long-lost varieties can be used by future researchers to find a way to satisfy wine drinkers decades from now.

They are among the factories due to be placed in a € 10.4million (£ 8.8million) low-temperature preservation center opened this month.

The facility, managed by the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (Inrae), will store vine tissue at -320 ° F (-196 ° C) in nitrogen liquid in a cryobank.

The world’s largest collection of vines – known as the ‘Louvre du vin’ – must be frozen so that it can be revived if current grape varieties fall victim to climate change (stock image)

Global warming could impact the grapes used by the Château Lafite-Rothschild <a class=wine estate” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

Global warming could impact the grapes used by the Château Lafite-Rothschild wine estate


In 1990 and 2000, the grape variety that occupied the largest vineyard in the world was the little-known brandy grape. Airen.

This towered over the vast arid plains of La Mancha, but by 2016 it had fallen to the fourth most planted variety.

Taking its place as the most popular grape in the world has been Cabernet Sauvignon, which is now planted on around 7 percent of the world’s wine-growing area.

The next most planted variety is Merlot, although it is not as popular as it was 30 years ago, when it occupied more of the world’s wine-growing area than Cabernet Sauvignon.

Tempranillo, which now dominates Spanish vineyards, has seen a huge increase in popularity and was the third most planted grape in the world in 2016, when the latest figures were available.

Here is the full top 10:

1. Cabernet Sauvignon

2. Merlot

3. Tempranillo

4. Airen

5. Chardonnay

6. Syrah / Shiraz

7. Grenache

8. Sauvignon Blanc

9. Ugni Blanc

10. Pinot Noir

Experts are hoping that if certain types of grapes fall victim to climate change, these ancient frozen vines could be tested to see if they are more resilient or better able to grow at the rising temperatures caused by global warming.

“Some of the old varieties may give a lower yield, but they could be more flexible and more resistant to insects and pathogens,” said Philippe Chatelet, researcher at Inrae. the temperature.

Bordeaux wine merchants are already worried that higher temperatures will affect the taste of their products, with some fearing that two of the region’s most popular grape varieties, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, are no longer suitable.

Vine samples will be taken at a 27 hectare biological center called Domaine de Vassal, located near Montpellier in the south of France.

It was founded in 1949 to house vines harvested since the 1870s and today has more than 2,700 grape varieties from 54 countries. About 80 new types are added each year.

Vines, which are planted in sandy soil to ward off pests, are often used by experimental vineyards. Researchers see it as a useful genetic tool for improving grapevine culture around the world.

Most of the vines have been abandoned by winemakers, in part because there has been a tendency to adopt the same types of vines in recent years, including Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir.

Chatelet said this led to a reduction in variety.

“People tend to adopt grapes used in regions that produce high quality wines, thinking that if they want to export their wines to places like the United States, they had better use the same varieties,” he added.

“The result has been a standardization of the grape varieties.

Chatelet said the goal of the cryobank is to give researchers a frozen copy to try and regenerate vines, if those planted in the center’s fields are killed by climate change or disease.

The hope is that these long-lost types, heirloom varieties that have mostly been abandoned by winegrowers, can be used by researchers to find a way to satisfy future wine drinkers (stock image)

The hope is that these long-lost types, heirloom varieties that have mostly been abandoned by winegrowers, can be used by researchers to find a way to satisfy future wine drinkers (stock image)

Currently there are ways to do this, although it is not clear how well they will work on different varieties of grapevine.

Last month it was revealed that French wine production is set to hit a record slump this fall, after frosts and widespread disease damaged Burgundy vineyards at Boudreaux.

Production is expected to fall by a third across the industry, with production expected to reach 33.3 million hectoliters this year, the French agriculture ministry said.

“The spring frosts have reduced much of the production, which will be historically low, below those of 1991 and 2017,” the ministry said in a statement.

The managing director of the UK’s largest wine company, Accolade, which owns Hardys, Echo Falls and Kumala, warned earlier in September that Britain would likely face a wine shortage with empty shelves and higher prices at Christmas.

A shortage of delivery drivers means retailers could struggle to meet demand during the holidays, in the latest development of the supply chain crisis.


When it comes to drinking wine, there are a few things that can make all the difference.

Australian wine connoisseur Caitlyn Rees explains how to taste wines like an expert

Step 1: view

Before even taking that first sip, you must first take a look at the wine in your glass.

‘See refers to the appearance of the wine. This is where you can check the clarity, intensity, and color.

“If the wine is cloudy, it may be faulty but probably unfiltered. “

Step 2: Whirlpool

You’ve probably seen wine drinkers swirl the wine in their glass before taking a sip.

The reason is to allow the wine to “open up” and reveal the maximum aroma, flavor and intensity.

“The swirl releases the aroma particles that make the next step, the smell, more useful. “

Step 3: feel

The smell of wine serves two purposes. It helps you spot scents and flavors as well as a way to check for faults.

Step 4: Sip and Enjoy

Once you have absorbed all the aroma of the wine, now is the time to sip it.

Step 5: Spit or swallow

Unless the wine you are tasting has deteriorated, the last step in the tasting process is to swallow.

The trick, however, is not to swallow it.

Rather, it’s about letting it drift over the back of your tongue to allow your taste buds to pick up the intensity of the flavor.


About Michael Brafford

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