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France's Champagne country has little to celebrate as global warming threatens to wreak havoc on production, forcing winegrowers to take a sober look at their future.The past 20 years has seen the harvest brought forward by about two weeks; grapes are bigger and the alcohol content has risen by around one degree.Joining forces with the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) and a winegrowers institute in the southern region of Montpellier, they have embarked on a 15-year program to create grape varieties that will beat climate change.Hybrid grapes are not new to Champagne – or for that matter most of France's winegrowing regions – which used hybridization as well as grafting to create varieties resistant to the phylloxera aphid that wiped out vast swaths of the country's viticulture in the second half of the 19th century.
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