International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 56, Issue 5, pp 853–864

Grape harvest and yield responses to inter-annual changes in temperature and precipitation in an area of north-east Spain with a Mediterranean climate

Original Paper


This study presents an analysis of temperature and precipitation trends and their impact on grape harvests in the Penedès region (NE Spain). It includes analyses of maximum, minimum and mean daily temperatures (for both the growing and ripening seasons) and daily rainfall (for the hydrological year, the growing season and each phenological stage) for three observatories in the immediate area. We analysed a series of factors: beginning and end harvest dates; the day on which a given potential alcoholic degree was reached; and yield for several varieties of grape grown in the area in relation to climatic variables. Maximum temperatures increased at all the observatories, with greater values being recorded in recent years (1996–2009) than in previous decades (1960s–2000s): we observed increases in average growing season temperatures of 0.11°C per year for the period 1996–2009 vs 0.04°C per year for the period 1960–2009 at Vilafranca del Penedès. These temperature changes were due mainly to increases in maximum temperatures and an increase in the incidence of extreme heat (number of days with T > 30°C). Crop evapotranspiration also increased significantly during the same period. The Winkler index also increased, so the study area would correspond to region IV according to that climatic classification. There were no significant trends in annual rainfall but rainfall recorded between bloom and veraison decreased significantly at the three observatories, with the greatest decrease corresponding to the period 1996–2009. The dates on which harvests started and ended showed a continuous advance (of between −0.7 and −1.1 days per year, depending on the variety), which was significantly correlated with the average mean and maximum daily growing season temperatures (up to −7.68 days for 1°C increase). Winegrape yield was influenced by the estimated water deficit (crop evapotranspiration minus precipitation) in the bloom-veraison period; this value increased due to a reduction in precipitation and an increase in evapotranspiration. Yield may have been reduced by up to 30 kg/ha for each millimetre increase in the estimated water deficit. Under these conditions, new strategies need to be followed in this area in order to maintain grape quality and yield.


Bioclimatic index Climate change Phenology Probable alcoholic degree Vine 


  1. Allen RG, Pereira LS, Raes D, Smith M (1998) Crop evapotranspiration. Guidelines for computing crop water requirements. FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper, no. 56. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, RomeGoogle Scholar
  2. Amann R (2008) Wie sich das Klima verändert hat. Der Badische Winzer 1:32–35Google Scholar
  3. Beniston M (2008) Sustainability of the landscape of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Lake Geneva region (Switzerland) in a greenhouse climate. Int J Climatol 28:1519–1524CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brunet M, Jones PD, Sigró J, Saladié O, Aguilar E, Moberg A, Della-Marta PM, Lister D, Walter A, López D (2007) Temporal and spatial temperature variability and change over Spain during 1850–2005. J Geophys Res D 112:D12117Google Scholar
  5. Caprio JM, Quamme HA (2002) Weather conditions associated with grape production in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia and potential impact of climate change. Can J Plant Sci 82:755–763CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chaves MM, Zarrouk O, Francisco R, Costa JM, Santos T, Regalado AP, Rodrigues ML, Lopes CM (2010) Grapevine under deficit irrigation: hints from physiological and molecular data. Ann Bot 105(5):661–676CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Coombe BG (1987) Influence of temperatura o composition and quality of grapes. Acta Hortic 206:23–36Google Scholar
  8. CRDOP (Consejo Regulador de la Denominación de Origen Penedès) (2010) Estadísticas de viñas. Denominación de Origen Penedès. Campaña 2008–2009. Available online at: http://www.doPenedè [September 2010]
  9. Dalla Marta A, Grifoni D, Manncini M, Storchi P, Zipoli G, Orlandini S (2010) Analysis of the relationships between climate variability and grapevine phenology in the Nobile di Montepulciano wine production area. J Agric Sci 148(6):657–666CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. de Luis M, González-Hidalgo JC, Longares LA, Štepánek P (2009) Seasonal precipitation trends in the Mediterranean Iberian Peninsula in second half of 20th century. Int J Climatol 29(9):1312–1323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Duchêne E, Huard F, Dumas V, Schneider C, Merdinoglu D (2010) The challenge of adapting grapevine varieties to climate change. Climate Res 41(3):193–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Duchêne E, Schneider C (2005) Grapevine and climatic changes: a glance at the situation in Alsace. Agron Sustain Dev 24:93–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ganichot B (2002) Évolution de la date des vendanges dans les Côtes-du-Rhône méridionales. In: Proceedings of the 6th Rencontres rhodaniennes. Orange, France, pp 38–41Google Scholar
  14. Greven M, Green S, Neal S, Clothier B, Neal M, Dryden G, Davidson P (2005) Regulated Deficit Irrigation (RDI) to save water and improve Sauvignon Blanc quality? Water Sci Technol 51(1):9–17Google Scholar
  15. Idescat (2007) Municipis de Catalunya: població, superfície i altitud. Institut d’Estadística de Catalunya.]. Accessed 3 September 2007
  16. Iglesias A, Quiroga S, Schlickenrieder J (2010) Climate change and agricultural adaptation: Assessing management uncertainty for four crop types in Spain. Climate Res 44(1):83–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. IPCC (2007) Climate Change 2007: the physical science basis. In: Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor M, Miller HL (eds) Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  18. Jones GV (2005) Climate change in the western United States grape growing regions. Acta Hortic 689:41–60Google Scholar
  19. Jones GV, Davis R (2000) Climate influences on grapevine phenology, grape composition and wine production and quality for Bordeaux, France. Am J Enol Vitic 51(3):249–261Google Scholar
  20. Jones GV, Duchêne E, Tomasi D, Yuste J, Braslavksa O, Schultz H, Martinez C, Boso S, Langellier F, Perruchot C, Guimberteau G (2005) Changes in European winegrape phenology and relationships with climate. In: Proceedings of XIV GESCO Symposium 2005, Geisenheim, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  21. Koch E, Maurer C, Hammerl C, Hammerl T, Pokorny E (2009) BACCHUS grape harvest days and temperature reconstruction for Vienna from the 16th to the 18th century. 18th World IMACS / MODSIM Congress, Cairns, Australia, 13–17 July 2009, pp 2632–2638.
  22. Laget F, Tondut JL, Deloire A, Kelly MT (2008) Climate trends in a specific Mediterranean viticultural area between 1950 and 2006. J Int Sci Vigne Vin 42(3):113–123Google Scholar
  23. López MI, Sánchez MT, Diaz A, Ramirez P, Morales J (2007) Influence of a deficit irrigation regime during ripening on berry composition in grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) grown in semi-arid areas. Int J Food Sci Nutr 58(7):491–507CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mira de Orduña R (2010) Climate change associated effects on grape and wine quality and production. Food Research Int 43:1844–1855CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mitchell JM, Dzerdzeevskü B, Flohn H, Hofmeyr WL, Lamb HH, Rao KN, Wallén CC (1966) Climatic Change, WMO Technical Note 79, WMO No. 195, TP-100. World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, p 79Google Scholar
  26. Mullins MG, Bouquet A, Williams LE (1992) Biology of the grapevine. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  27. Nemani RR, White MA, Cayan DR, Jones GV, Running SW, Coughlan JC (2001) Asymmetric climatic warming improves California vintages. Clim Res 19:25–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ojeda H (2007) Riego cualitativo de precision en vid. Congreso Internacional sobre vino y viticultura (CONCLIVIT). 10–14 2007, pp 310–318Google Scholar
  29. Olesen JE, Bindi M (2002) Consequences of climate change for European agricultural productivity, land use and policy. Eur J Agron 16:239–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Padgett-Johnson M, Williams LE, Walker MA (2003) Vine water relations, gas exchange, and vegetative growth of seventeen Vitis species grown under irrigated and non-irrigated conditions in California. J Am Soc Hortic Sci 128(2):269–276Google Scholar
  31. Peacock B (1998) Water management for grapevines. Publication IG1-95, The University of California Cooperative Extension, Tulare County (
  32. Petgen M (2007) Reaktion der Reben auf den Klimawandel. Schweiz Z Obst Weinbau, 9:6–9Google Scholar
  33. Petrie PR, Sadras VO (2008) Advancement of grapevine maturity in Australia between 1993 and 2006: Putative causes, magnitude of trends and viticultural consequences. Aust J Grape Wine Res 14(1):33–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ramos MC, Martínez-Casasnovas JA (2010) Soil water balance in rainfed vineyards of the Penedès region (Northeastern Spain) affected by rainfall characteristics and land levelling: influence on grape yield. Plant Soil 333:375–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Reynolds AG, Lowrey WD, Tomek L, Hakimi J, de Savigny C (2007) Influence of irrigation on vine performance, fruit composition, and wine quality of chardonnay in a cool humid climate. Am J Enol Vitic 58(2):217–228Google Scholar
  36. Saladié O, Nadal M, Aguilar E, Lampreave M (2007) Variaciones en la fecha de inicio de la vendimia en Cataluña durante el periodo de máximo forzamiento antrópico del clima (1971–2006). En Actas del Congreso sobre Clima y Viticultura [CD-ROM]. Zaragoza: MAPA, OIV, GESCO, Gobierno de Aragón,  pp 77–83Google Scholar
  37. Salazar Parra C, Aguirreolea J, Sánchez-Díaz M, Irigoyen JJ, Morales F (2010) Effects of climate change scenarios on Tempranillo grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) ripening: response to a combination of elevated CO2 and temperature, and moderate drought. Plant Soil 337(1):179–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Schultz HR (2000) Climate change and viticulture: a European perspective on climatology, carbon dioxide and UV-B effects. Aust J Grape Wine Res 6(1):2–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Schultz HR, Jones GV (2010) Climate induced historic and future changes in viticulture. J Wine Res 21(2):137–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Steel CC, Greer DH (2008) Effect of climate on vine and bunch characteristics: bunch rot disease susceptibility. Acta Hortic 785:253–262Google Scholar
  41. Tourjee K R (2004) Water relations and vineyard water management. Extension Toolkit Notes. Roots of Peace. University of California, DavisGoogle Scholar
  42. Von Storch H (1995) Misuses of statistical analysis in climate research. In: von Storch H, Navara A (eds) Analysis of climate variability: applications of statistical techniques. Springer, Berlin, pp 11–26Google Scholar
  43. Winkler AJ, Cook JA, Kliere WM, Lider LA (1974) General viticulture, 2nd edn. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-02591-1Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ISB 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environment and Soil ScienceUniversity of LleidaLleidaSpain

Personalised recommendations