[Ed. – Sign of apocalypse.]
Thanks to poor yields due to extreme weather, global wine production recently fell to the lowest levels in 56 years. While it becomes increasingly clear that climate change will cause major changes in food production, this year’s wine harvests have been a reminder that the world’s most famous wine regions could also continue to be adversely affected, potentially rendering them unable to produce the cherished wines for which they are known.
As engineered meat alternatives have begun to make their way into grocery stores and restaurants, wine made using similar techniques may not be far behind. The San Francisco–based company Ava Winery is attempting to make synthetic wines—no grapes involved—that could be more environmentally friendly and environmentally stable while also offering a luxury good at a lower cost, though representatives weren’t quite ready to talk target prices. Ava attempts to replicate existing high-quality wines, a process that starts with a base of water and ethanol and then adds acids, amino acids, sugars, and organic compounds.