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Climate change threatens French wine

PARIS — From rising shorelines to devastating hurricanes, the visible effects scientists say climate change is wreaking on daily life no longer surprise many people around the world. The French have their own take on just how radically life may change: There are fears the changing climate is affecting the delicate balance of weather, soil and other factors that are central to the production of one of their main commodities.

Make wine, not war

KATZRIN, Golan Heights— It has been a scorcher of a summer even by Israeli standards, with temperatures settling near 116 degrees Fahrenheit for much of the last month. But among the general hangdog reactions, Israeli vintners are quietly whispering joyfully about what might be a blow out year. An unusually long and cold winter followed by a summer with peaks of heat could be just what the winemaker ordered.

Shattered dreams: A slip of the forklift destroys $1 million worth of Mollydooker shiraz wine

Winemaker Sparky Marquis lost a third of his 2010 production, a total of 5,532 bottles of the $200-a-bottle red wine
Shiraz 7 23 11Enlarge
Dreams were shattered when a forklift dropped a 12-ton container of Mollydooker Velvet Glove Shiraz, the 2010 vintage, on to the Adelaide wharf as it was being loaded onto a ship. (David Silverman/Getty Images)

Shattered dreams.

That's what happened on Thursday when a forklift dropped a 12-ton container of Mollydooker Velvet Glove Shiraz, the 2010 vintage, on to the Adelaide wharf as it was being loaded onto a ship.

All but one of a total of 462 cases was destroyed, according to the New York Times.

As a result of the mishap, winemaker Sparky Marquis lost a third of his production, a total of 5,532 bottles of the $200-a-bottle red wine, according to Australian Associated Press.

“It was unbelievable, crazy. It was not what I wanted to hear,” Mr Marquis said.

“When they opened up the container they said it was like a murder scene.

“There was red everywhere.

“But it smelled phenomenal. They were really impressed with the smell.”

The Mollydooker Velvet Glove Shiraz was to be the winery's debut in the United States market, and demand was expected to be strong, Time reported.

The wine has gotten terrific reviews from American critics, the Wall Street Journal reported. The 2009 vintage of the Velvet Glove shiraz received a rating of 97 points from the Wine Advocate, a newsletter put out by the famous critic Robert Parker.

Mollydooker Wines, located in the McLaren Vale region near Adelaide, South Australia, was founded by Sparky and Sarah Marquis, both of whom are left-handed, according to the New York Times. Their winery is named after that characteristic: Mollydooker is Ozzie slang for a lefty.

Sparky Marquis said that the wine was fully insured and investigators were already on the scene, Australian Associated Press reported.

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