Jones - Climate change: observations, projections, and general implications for viticulture and wine production

Gregory V. Jones
Department of Geography, Southern Oregon University (USA)

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Key words: climate change, viticulture, grapes, wine.

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Abstract

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Climate change has the potential to greatly impact nearly every form of agriculture. However, history has shown that the narrow climatic zones for growing winegrapes are especially prone to variations in climate and long-term climate change. While the observed warming over the last fifty years appears to have mostly benefited the quality of wine grown worldwide, projections of future warming at the global, continent, and wine region scale will likely have both a beneficial and detrimental impacts through opening new areas to viticulture and increasing viability, or severely challenging the ability to adequately grow grapes and produce quality wine. Overall, the projected rate and magnitude of future climate change will likely bring about numerous potential impacts for the wine industry, including – added pressure on increasingly scarce water supplies, additional changes in grapevine phenological timing, further disruption or alterations of balanced composition and flavor in grapes and wine, regionally-specific changes in varieties grown, necessary shifts in regional wine styles, and spatial changes in viable grape growing regions.

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