, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 61-73
Date: 31 Jul 2008

European winegrowers’ perceptions of climate change impact and options for adaptation

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

A questionnaire on the perception of climate change and the impact of climate change was distributed among winegrowers in France, Germany, and Italy. These countries are located in three macro-climatic regions that experienced different patterns of climatic change in the twentieth century—Atlantic, transition to Continental and Mediterranean. The majority of winegrowers perceived changing climatic conditions in the last few decades. The characterization of these changes is consistent with results obtained by the analysis of long-term trends in climatic records. The winegrowers noted impacts on harvestable quantities (mainly in Italy), must quality, and risks of pests and diseases. The majority of respondents (66%) indicated an impact on wine quality, which was perceived as quality improvement in 55% of the cases. Perceived impacts on pests and diseases were reported in 56% of the responses. A strong majority of this group (80%) also reported increasing threats. Perceived climatic change and its noticeable impacts has led to growing interest in adaptation options, combined with a need for more information, among winegrowers. Thus, the transfer of technical knowledge from scientific research to practice is necessary for adaptation. Plans for adaptation by a change of wine varieties were reported with substantially different results among the regions. A majority of German growers said they would consider changing varieties to adapt to warming temperatures, while only a minority of the Italian and French growers said they would consider such changes. However, readiness to adopt adaptation measures is correlated with the degree of changes already planned, independent of climatic change.