Wine before its time alarms Italy - Global warming, or perhaps just a hot summer, puts the nation's grape harvest on a fast track. This is AN EARLY HARVEST UNLIKE ANYTHING ITALY HAS EXPERIENCED IN MEMORY. The grapes in the Lazio region, around Rome, are ripening at least 20 days early. In the northern regions of Veneto and Trentino, the home of refreshing Prosecco and other sparkling wines, the grapes were ready to pick in early August, three to four weeks early. In Sicily, there is a rush on now to find seasonal workers; red grapes are primed to ripen in early September, a month early. "I'm a bit scared. I've never picked grapes this early in the season. We're used to picking grapes in October. That's when the grape festivals are. Even my father is saying: What the hell has gone wrong with the world?" The summer heat will improve this year's vintage but it is also a wake-up call to consider how or whether the business is changing. "But it is all very strange. To have two harvests like this in four years. It's never happened before. My father, who's 72, and his father were in the business. They've never seen it before. We see this as global warming. I mean, once is exceptional. But to happen again so fast, something must be happening."
Adapting to the damaging effects of climate change, plants are gradually moving to where temperatures are cooler, rainfall is greater, f...