When attempting to estimate the impacts of future climate change it is important to reflect on information gathered during the past. Understanding historical trends may also aid in the assessment of likely future agricultural and horticultural changes. The timing of agricultural activities, such as grape harvest dates, is known to be influenced by climate and weather. However, fewer studies have been carried out on grapevine yield and quality. In this paper an analysis is undertaken of long-term data from the period 1805-2010 on grapevine yield (hl/ha) and must sugar content (°Oe) and their relation to temperature. Monthly mean temperatures were obtained for the same time period. Multiple regression was used to relate the viticulture variables to temperature, and long-term trends were calculated. Overall, the observed trends over time are compatible with results from other long term studies. The findings confirm a relationship between yield, must sugar content and temperature data; increased temperatures were associated with higher yields and higher must sugar content. However, the potential increase in yield is currently limited by legislation, while must sugar content is likely to further increase with rising temperatures.
Bibliographical note© 2013 Bock et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
- grapevine yield
- must sugar content
- climate change