Climate, Weather and Vineyard Management (eVineyard)

Climate and weather

Climate and weather play an important role in viticulture. While weather can change in a short period of time, like minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour,… climate represents the average of the weather over a period of time. Therefore, the weather is the condition of the atmosphere over a short period of time, while climate represents the weather pattern over a long period of time. While vineyard management practice depends on the climate in which the grapes are grown in, the weather is dictating winegrower’s daily work.

Viticulture and climate

Adequate sun, heat, and water during the growing season, and enough cold during the dormancy phase are crucial for healthy growth of vines and production of premium quality grapes. Grapevines thrive best in climates with long warm summers, and rainy winters. Warm weather during the growing period enables grapevine to flower, fruit set and ripen. On average, grapevines require about 1390 to +2220 growing degree days (temperatures above 10°C (50°F)) in order to ripe properly, depending on the growing region and vine variety. Grapevines also need water in order to thrive. In some areas and climates, there is more than enough rain for the vines to survive, while in other regions, vines needs to be irrigated. How much water grapevines need depends on several factors, such as climate, heat, soil, wine variety, etc. Apart from already mentioned climatic factors, also wind, humidity, atmospheric pressure, and sunlight have effect on grape growth.

World Grape Growing Map

Looking from the viticulture point, climate can be divided into three categories:

  • Macro-climate: this is the climate of a larger area, such as region or a country (most of the premium quality wines are grown in Mediterranean, martime, and continental climates)
  • Meso-climate: this is a climate in a specific site determined by altitude, ocean proximity, prevailing winds, water, etc.
  • Micro-climate is a climate within the vineyard canopy on which winegrowers have the influence with vineyard management practices.
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