Analysis of climate change indices in relation to wine production: A case study in the Douro region (Portugal) Academic Article Conference Paper uri icon


  • Climate change is of major relevance to wine production as most of the wine-growing regions of the world, in particular the Douro region, are located within relatively narrow latitudinal bands with average growing season temperatures limited to 13–21◦C. This study focuses on the incidence of climate variables and indices that are relevant both for climate change detection and for grape production with particular emphasis on extreme events (e.g. cold waves, storms, heat waves). Dynamical downscaling ofMPI-ESM-LR global data forced with RCP8.5 climatic scenario is performed with the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model to a regional scale including the Douro valley of Portugal for recent-past (1986–2005) and future periods (2046– 2065; 2081–2100). The number, duration and intensity of events are superimposed over critical phenological phases of the vine (dormancy, bud burst, flowering, v´eraison, and maturity) in order to assess their positive or negative implications on wine production in the region. An assessment on the statistical significance of climatic indices, their differences between the recent-past and the future scenarios and the potential impact on wine production is performed. Preliminary results indicate increased climatic stress on the Douro region wine production and increased vulnerability of its vine varieties. These results will provide evidence for future strategies aimed to preserve the high-quality wines in the region and their typicality in a sustainable way.
  • The authors wish to thank the financial support of the DOUROZONE project (PTDC/AAG-MAA/3335/2014; POCI- 01-0145-FEDER-016778) through the Project 3599 – Promoting the scientific production and the technological development, and thematic networks (3599-PPCDT) and through FEDER.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017