Climatic Change

, Volume 73, Issue 3, pp 319–343 | Cite as

Climate Change and Global Wine Quality

  • Gregory V. JonesEmail author
  • Michael A. White
  • Owen R. Cooper
  • Karl Storchmann


From 1950 to 1999 the majority of the world's highest quality wine-producing regions experienced growing season warming trends. Vintage quality ratings during this same time period increased significantly while year-to-year variation declined. While improved winemaking knowledge and husbandry practices contributed to the better vintages it was shown that climate had, and will likely always have, a significant role in quality variations. This study revealed that the impacts of climate change are not likely to be uniform across all varieties and regions. Currently, many European regions appear to be at or near their optimum growing season temperatures, while the relationships are less defined in the New World viticulture regions. For future climates, model output for global wine producing regions predicts an average warming of 2 C in the next 50 yr. For regions producing high-quality grapes at the margins of their climatic limits, these results suggest that future climate change will exceed a climatic threshold such that the ripening of balanced fruit required for existing varieties and wine styles will become progressively more difficult. In other regions, historical and predicted climate changes could push some regions into more optimal climatic regimes for the production of current varietals. In addition, the warmer conditions could lead to more poleward locations potentially becoming more conducive to grape growing and wine production.


Climate Change Future Climate Future Climate Change Warming Trend Climatic Regime 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Amerine, M. A. and Winkler, A. J.: 1944, ‘Composition and quality of musts and wines of California grapes’, Hilgardia 15, 493–675.Google Scholar
  2. Ashenfelter, O., Ashmore, D., and Lalonde, R.: 1995, ‘Bordeaux wine quality and the weather’, Chance 8(4), 7–19.Google Scholar
  3. Ashenfelter, O. and Byron, R. P.: 1995, ‘Predicting the quality of an unborn Grange’, Econ. Rec. 7(212), 40–53.Google Scholar
  4. Ashenfelter, O. and Jones, G. V.: 2000, The demand for expert opinion: Bordeaux Wine. VDQS Annual Meeting, d'Ajaccio, Corsica, France. October, 1998. Published in Cahiers Scientifique from the Observatoire des Conjonctures Vinicoles Europeenes, Faculte des Sciences Economiques, Espace Richter, Ave. de La Mer, BP 9606, 34054 Montpellier Cedex 1, France.Google Scholar
  5. Bindi, M., Fibbi, L., Gozzini, B., Orlandini, S., and Miglietta, F.: 1996, ‘Modeling the impact of future climate scenarios on yield and variability of grapevine’, Clim. Res. 7, 213–224.Google Scholar
  6. Bindi, M. and Fibbi, L.: 2000, ‘Modeling climate change impacts at the site scale on grapevine’, in Downing, T. E., and Harrison, P. A. (eds.), Climate Change, Climatic variability and Agriculture in Europe: An Integrated Assessment, pp. 117–134.Google Scholar
  7. Bindi, M., Fibbi, L., and Miglietta, F.: 2001, ‘Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) of grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.): II. Growth and quality of grape and wine in response to elevated CO2 concentrations’, Eur. J. Agron. 14(2), 145–155.Google Scholar
  8. Broadbent, M.: 1980, The Great Vintage Wine Book. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.Google Scholar
  9. Butterfield, R. E., Gawith, M. J., Harrison, P. A., Lonsdale, K. J., and Orr, J.: 2000, ‘Modelling climate change impacts on wheat, potato and grapevine in Great Britain’, in Downing, T. E., Harrison, P. A., Butterfield, R. E. and Lonsdale, K. G. (eds.), Climate Change, Climatic Variability and Agriculture in Europe: An Integrated Assessment. Final Report. Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford.Google Scholar
  10. Carter, T. R., Parry, M. L., and Porter, J. H.: 1991, ‘Climatic change and future agroclimatic potential in Europe’, Int. J. Climatol. 11, 251–269.Google Scholar
  11. Chahine, M. T.: 1992, ‘The hydrologic cycle and its influence on climate’ Nature 359, 373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dai, A., Del Genio, A. D., and Fung, I. V.: 1997, ‘Clouds, precipitation and temperature range’, Nature 386, 665.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. de Blij, H. J.: 1983, ‘Geography of viticulture: Rationale and resource’, J. Geog. 82, 112–121.Google Scholar
  14. Easterling, D. R. et~al.: 2000, ‘Observed variability and trends in extreme climate events: A brief review’, Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 81, 417–425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fischer, G., Shah, M., and van Velthuizen, H.: 2002, ‘Global Agro-ecological Assessment in the 21st Century’, Climate Change and Agricultural Vulnerability. (IIASA, Austria).Google Scholar
  16. Forest, C. E., Stone, P. H., Sokolov, A. P., Allen, M. R., and Webster, M. D.: 2002, ‘Quantifying uncertainties in climate system properties with the use of recent climate observations’, Science 295, 113–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gladstones, J.: 1992, Viticulture and Environment. Winetitles, Adelaide.Google Scholar
  18. Gordon, C., Cooper, C., Senior, C. A., Banks, H., Gregory, J. M., Johns, T. C., Mitchell, J. F. B., and Wood, R. A.: 2000, ‘The simulation of SST, sea ice extents and ocean heat transports in a version of the Hadley Centre coupled model without flux adjustments’, Clim. Dyn. 16, 147–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Houghton, J. T. et~al.: 2001, Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Contribution of the Working Group 1 to the Third Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  20. Johnson, H.: 1985, The World Atlas of Wine. Simon and Schuster, New York, 3rd Edition.Google Scholar
  21. Jones, G. V.: 1997, A Synoptic Climatological Assessment of Viticultural Phenology, Dissertation, University of Virginia, 410 pp.Google Scholar
  22. Jones, G. V. and Davis, R. E.: 2000, ‘Climate influences on grapevine phenology, grape composition, and wine production and quality for Bordeaux, France’, Am. J. Viti. Enol. 51, 249–261.Google Scholar
  23. Jones, G. V. and Storchmann, K.: 2001, ‘Wine market prices and investment under uncertainty: An econometric model for Bordeaux Crus Classés’, Agr. Econ. 26, 115–133.Google Scholar
  24. Jones, G. V. and Hellman, E.: 2003, Site Assessment: in “Oregon Viticulture” Hellman, E. (ed.), 5th Edition, Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, Oregon, pp. 44–50.Google Scholar
  25. Jones, G. V.: 2005a, Climate and terroir: Impacts of climate variability and change on wine. GeoScience Canada, Terroir Series (in press).Google Scholar
  26. Jones, G. V.: 2005b, Climate change in the western United States grape growing regions. Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium on Grapevine Physiology and Biotechnology. Davis, California, June 2004. In press: Acta Horticulturae.Google Scholar
  27. Jones, G. V., White, M. A., Cooper, O. R., and Storchmann, K.-H.: 2004, Climate and wine: Quality issues in a warmer world. Proceedings of the Vineyard Data Quantification Society's 10th Πonometrics Meeting (in press). Dijon, France, May 2004.Google Scholar
  28. Karl, T. R. et~al.: 1993, ‘A new perspective on global warming: Asymmetric trends of daily maximum and minimum temperature’, Bull. Am. Meteor. Soc. 74, 1007.Google Scholar
  29. Kenny, G. J. and Harrison, P. A.: 1992, ‘The effects of climate variability and change on grape suitability in Europe’, J. Wine Res. 3, 163–183.Google Scholar
  30. Le Roy Ladurie, E.: 1971, Times of Feast, Times of Famine: A History of Climate Since the Year 1000. Doubleday, Garden City, New York.Google Scholar
  31. Legates, D. R. and Willmott, C. J.: 1990, ‘Mean seasonal and spatial variability global surface air temperature’, J. Theor. Appl. Climatol. 41, 11–21.Google Scholar
  32. Lough, J. M., Wigley, T. M. L., and Palutikof, J. P.: 1983, ‘Climate and climate impact scenarios for Europe in a warmer world’, J. Clim. Appl. Meteorol. 22, 1673–1684.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mazur, M.: 2002, ‘Wine Enthusiast's 2002 Vintage Chart,’ The Wine Enthusiast Magazine (
  34. McCarthy, J. J. et~al.: 2001, Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Contribution of the Working Group 1 to the Third Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  35. McInnes, K. L., Whetton, P. H., Webb, L., and Hennessy, K. J.: 2003, ‘Climate change projections for Australian viticultural regions’, The Aust. NZ. Grapegrower and Winemaker. February 2003, 40–47.Google Scholar
  36. Menzel, A. and Fabian, P.: 1999, ‘Growing season extended in Europe’, Nature 397, 659.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Moisselin, J.-M., Schneider, M., Canellas, C., and Mestre, O.: 2002, ‘Climate change over France during the 20th century: A study of long-term homogenized data of temperature and rainfall’, La Météorlogie 38, 45–56.Google Scholar
  38. Moonen, A. C., Ercoli, L., Mariotti, M., and Masoni, A.: 2002, ‘Climate change in Italy indicated by agrometeorological indices over 122 years’, Agri. Forest Meteorol. 111, 13–27.Google Scholar
  39. Mullins, M. G., Bouquet, A., and Williams, L. E.: 1992, Biology of the Grapevine, Cambridge University Press, Great Britain, 239 pp.Google Scholar
  40. Nemani, R. R., White, M. A., Cayan, D. R., Jones, G. V., Running, S. W., and Coughlan, J. C.: 2001, ‘Asymmetric climatic warming improves California vintages’, Clim. Res. 19, 25–34.Google Scholar
  41. Palutikof, J. P., Goodess, C. M., Watkins, S. J., and Holt, T.: 2002, ‘Generating rainfall and temperature scenarios at multiple sites examples from the Mediterranean’, J. Clim. 15, 3529–3548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Parker, R. M.: 1985, Bordeaux: The Definitive Guide for the Wines Produced Since 1961. Simon and Schuster, New York.Google Scholar
  43. Penning-Rowsell, E.: 1989, Wines of Bordeaux, Penguin Books, London/New York, 6th Edition.Google Scholar
  44. Pfister, C.: 1988, Variations in the spring-summer climate of central Europe from the High Middle Ages to 1850, in Long and Short Term Variability of Climate, H. Wanner, U. Siegenthaler (eds.) Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp. 57–82.Google Scholar
  45. Pope, V. D., Gallani, M. L., Rowntree, P. R., and Stratton, R. A.: 2000, ‘The impact of new physical parameterizations in the Hadley Centre climate model – HadAM3’, Clim. Dynam. 16, 123.Google Scholar
  46. Raval, A. and Ramanathan, A.: 1989, ‘Observational determination of the greenhouse effect’, Nature 342, 758.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Renner, B.: 1989, ‘The shape of things to come’, Wine and Spirit, December 1989, 55–57.Google Scholar
  48. Schultz, H. R.: 2000, ‘Climate change and viticulture: An European perspective on climatology, carbon dioxide, and UV-B effects’, Aust. J. Grape and Wine Res. 6, 2–12.Google Scholar
  49. Stevenson, T.: 2001, New Sothebys Wine Encyclopedia: A Comprehensive Reference Guide to the Wines of the World, Dorling Kindersley, London, 3rd Edition.Google Scholar
  50. Tate, A. B.: 2001, ‘Global warming's impact on wine’, J. Wine Res. 12, 95–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Unwin, T.: 1991, Wine and the Vine: An Historical Geography of Viticulture and the Wine Trade, Routledge, London and New York.Google Scholar
  52. Willmott, C. and Matsuura, K.: 2002, Terrestrial Air Temperature and Precipitation: Monthly and Annual Time Series 1950–1999. (
  53. Winkler, J. A., Andresen, J. A., Guentchev, G., and Kriegel, R. D.: 2002, ‘Possible impacts of projected climate change on specialized agriculture in the Great Lakes Region’, J. Great Lakes Res. 28, 608–625.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory V. Jones
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michael A. White
    • 2
  • Owen R. Cooper
    • 3
  • Karl Storchmann
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of GeographySouthern Oregon UniversityAshlandU.S.A.
  2. 2.Department of Aquatic, Watershed, and Earth ResourcesUtah State UniversityLoganU.S.A.
  3. 3.Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)University of Colorado/NOAA Aeronomy LaboratoryBoulderU.S.A.
  4. 4.Department of EconomicsYale UniversityNew HavenU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations