Climate Change and the Napa Valley Wine Industry (pdf abstract)
Purchase the full report on WDI Publishing (Case study #1-430-510) – published 04/2017, 22 pages[/text-with-icon]

Developed by:

Alex Engel, Robert Meyer, and Sarah Perry. This case was written under the supervision of Andrew Hoffman.Description: Jon-Mark Chappellet, Director of Operations at Clos Du Val Winery in Napa Valley, is developing a 50-year plan. The effects of climate change are forcing Chappellet and other Napa Valley vineyards to adopt various adaptation strategies to protect the quality of their grapes and wines. Climate change impacts can include decreased water availability, temperature variations outside optimal growing conditions, and increased threat of pests. Napa Valley is a strong, competitive market for grape growers and vintners and is most known for its ideal growing conditions for cabernet sauvignon grapes where estate wineries like Clos Du Val focus their production efforts. Will Clos Du Val have to abandon its signature brand of cabernet sauvignon wines and adopt other grape varietals capable of thriving in the changing climate conditions? What kind of diversification strategy will Chappellet need to implement to address climate change?

Teaching Objectives
After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Outline the factors that owners of capital-intensive businesses consider when facing a major strategic decision about the future of their company.
  • Discuss options available to winemakers in adapting to climate change.
  • Explain how competition and brand/region recognition influences wine producers’ adaptation to climate change.
  • Identify what lessons from wine production climate adaptation more broadly extend to agriculture.