Het Franse appellation-systeem heeft wereldwijd navolging gevonden. Maar het is steeds meer onder druk komen te staan sinds streekwijnen furore maken en klimaatzones opschuiven. Dat betekent, gezien ook de experimenten met nieuwe rassen en de resultaten daarvan, dat de strikte regels aan de nieuwe situatie zullen moeten worden aangepast. The Wine Economist acht dat onvermijdelijk.
‘The AOC system can withstand market forces, although some regions will find it in their interests to adapt as Chianti did in the face of super-Tuscan success. But a second force is harder to ignore and will be even more threatening in the long run: climate change.
AOC rules are often promoted as an evolutionary pinnacle. We’ve had hundreds of years to figure out what grapes and blends are the very best for our terroir and here they are laid out in the rule book! Best of the best. You cannot improve upon the AOC rules.
It is a nice argument, but what happens when the terroir changes due to new climate patterns? The answer is that the wines need to adapt and evolve to remain at the peak, which is hard to do if the rule book doesn’t change. AOC standards need to evolve with the climate or become irrelevant or, worse, counter-productive.
Some Old World regions already see the writing on the wall, as Jane Anson reported in Decanter earlier this year. Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superieur producers now are able to experiment with “accessory grape” varieties that may better withstand climate change than the traditional (and designated) grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
“The red grapes for trial,” Anson reports, “will be Marselan, Syrah, Zinfandel and Arinarnoa. In white, Liliorila, Chardonnay, Petit Manseng Blanc and Chenin Blanc will be tested.” A recent VinePair article called this “a small revolution,” but see it as something bigger and this is just the start.
Anson’s article continues:
Veronique Barthe of Chateau la Freynelle, who is working on the project with the Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superieur Union, told decanter.com this was not a form of sacrilege.
‘We are not trying to make 100% Syrah in Bordeaux, but to test which grapes work best on which terroir in the region with the intention of introducing them only if they offer real quality,’ she said.
This sounds like exactly what a winemaker should be doing, don’t you think? “When the facts change, I change my opinion. What do you do?” according to Keynes. When the climate changes, what will the AOCs do?
So the AOC system is under attack from the inside by IGT wines and from the outside by climate change. The system will adapt, but it won’t be the same’.