Wine-growing is becoming increasingly popular in Sweden, with 40 vineyards now found in the country, mostly in the south.
Although average temperatures in Sweden have increased by one degree Celsius since the 1990s, this is not the main reason for the new boom. Instead, a grape variety named Solaris, developed by German scientists to ripen even at northern latitudes, is the key to the winegrowers' success.
So far, Sweden has produced mainly white table wine, but many vineyards have begun experimenting with red wine.
At a winery in Arild in northern Skåne, in the south of the country, co-owner Anette Ivarsson said: "We have been doing this now for a little over ten years. And every year we have been able to harvest, so we are doing well.”
Kimberly Nicholas, senior lecturer at the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies, said: "All around the world, wine regions are coping with the warming that has already happened. It’s about one degree warmer on average, but it can be more in certain places. And because wine is so sensitive, that one degree even can be the difference between what kind of ripe grows well there.”
Ivarsson added that while the climate is challenging for wine growers, she has found consumer perceptions to be the main obstacle to overcome.
"Our main challenges are to get the grapes to ripen before harvest and to avoid fungus, considering it is often quite damp in Sweden, so we have too keep the grapevines healthy. But the main challenge is probably to sell the wine. But so far we have succeeded.”