The interaction between climate, soil and vine, of a given winegrape region, is attributed internationally to the French term “terroir”. Among these, the climate is the most important determinant and thus the majority of wine growing regions producing wines of high quality and typicity are limited in narrow geographic ranges. Moreover, the influence of environmental factors on vineyards is recognized as a key component of the wines produced and is used to explain the differences in their analytical and organoleptic characteristics.
It is well documented that climate change hasdifferent impact on the quantity and quality of agricultural production including viticulture. Its severity has become a prominent concern for grape growers sincefrost, drought, unseasonal rain andheat wavesevents as well as predicted warmer conditions poses additional pressure.
For the viti-vinicultural sectorthe main impacts of climate change are:
- Shifts on phenological stages.
- Changes in regions classification (viticulture suitability) according to several bioclimatic indices.
- Impacts on berry composition (i.e. sugar accumulation – acid concentration and phenolics) and total yield production.
- Impacts on grape characteristics, wine quality and the special character, which is of great importance especially in winegrape regions, were monovarietal wines are produced (i.e. Protected Designation of Origin, PDO).