What to know about climate change and global warming?
Climate is the set of meteorological elements that affect a certain place: temperature, pressure, wind, humidity, solar radiation and precipitation. It is a fundamental element for the cultivation of the vines and the characteristics of the wines that will be obtained in a region.
Today, most of the wine-growing areas, and we could say all, suffer the effects of climate change and global warming caused by the increase in greenhouse gases:
- Increase in temperature during the growth cycle of the vine.
- Increased frequency of weather hazards and extreme weather events: hailstorms, heat waves, floods, fires, etc.
- Uneven distribution of rainfall with periods of extreme drought and heavy rainfall.
- High interannual variation of meteorological elements.
What are the consequences on the vine and the wine?
All these factors have direct consequences on the vine and the wine.
Some examples are:
- Situations of increased water stress.
- New pests and diseases appearing in an area.
- Early budding, increasing risks of spring frost.
- Reduction of the typicality of the wines associated with an area.
- Increase in the concentration of sugar and potential alcohol, reduced acidity and increased pH in warm climate conditions.
- Reduction of yields due to dehydration of the grape.
- Greater unbalance in grape and wine composition.
Short term and long term consequences
You can talk about consequences and decisions to be made in the short and long term.
In the short term it affects the cultivation and production of annual wine, impacting the quality and style of the wine.
In the long term, it may become impossible to grow vines or at least some varieties in warm traditional wine-growing areas, while viticulture is spreading to colder countries and regions where it was not possible before.
How to mitigate the effects of climate change?
Aware of the enormous consequences for viticulture and wine, the wine sector is putting in place a multitude of measures to help curb climate change and reduce greenhouse gases.
It is important to practice a more sustainable viticulture, work with natural products and reduce the use of chemical products and continue researching.
Wine growers and winemakers are challenged to adapt viticulture and oenology to minimize the effects of climate change on grapes and wine.