For the second time in the space of two months CBC, Canada’s public broadcaster, ran a story claiming climate change is harming wine production, particularly in Canada. As Climate Realism showed in March, when CBC first aired similar claims, this is false. Because of its northerly location, Canada is not well suited to growing certain types of grapes or to producing certain popular wine varietals common in warmer regions, but data shows that the grapes and wines the country is well suited to producing have increased dramatically during the recent period of modest warming.

Padraig Moran of CBC radio introduces his story, “Vintners warn a wine shortage could be coming, as they try to adapt to climate change,” saying, “[s]weltering summers and bitterly cold winters have been hindering wine production in B.C., with one winemaker warning that climate change might be cultivating a crisis in the industry.”

I’m unaware that the winemaker interviewed is a climate science expert, and nowhere does he, or the CBC itself, show that long-term trends in weather, which would be evidence of climate change, have hampered grape growth or wine production in Canada. That’s because no such evidence exists.

Indeed, incidents like the late season freeze that harmed British Columbian vintners this year are expected to become less frequent as the climate warms. Also, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports no evidence that lengthy heat waves are becoming more common. Unusual but not uncommon extreme weather events may have stunted grape growth and thus wine production during one or two seasons, but the overall long-term trend for grape and wine production amid ongoing climate change has been positive in Canada.

To be clear, Canada is not, and is not likely to be in the near future, a top wine producing country. However, as reported in the March 6 Climate Realism post by my colleague Linnea Lueken, “Wrong, CBC, Canadian Vineyards are Not Threatened by Climate Change,” some varietals do grow well in Canada. In addition, data from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization show that both grape and wine production have increased dramatically since 1990, amid ongoing modest warming. (See the figure below).

Indeed, grape production has grown by more than 86 percent, and wine production increased by more than 97 percent.

Nor, as has been discussed in numerous other Climate Realism posts, here, here, here, and here, for example, is there any evidence that climate change is hampering grape or wine production globally.

Simply put, there is no justification for linking harms caused to British Columbian vineyards by short-term weather events to climate change. Such a story may serve to get CBC’s oenophile listeners up in arms for climate action, but it is false. The truth is that Canada’s small wine industry is growing, as the data clearly demonstrates. Why not publish this good news CBC?

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is the Director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News. In addition to directing The Heartland Institute's Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy, Burett puts Environment & Climate News together, is the editor of Heartland's Climate Change Weekly email, and the host of the Environment & Climate News Podcast.


  1. Over the last 8-years, the CBC does very little to affirm any “good news” for the Canadian perspective… in repose, it continues to offer the siren-song of “constant scold” and malaise – despite 100’s of Million$ bequeathed to it by our Federal Government through the enablement of taxpayer’s Dollars!…


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