The climate characteristics of a wine region will have significant influence on the viticulture in the area. Pictured are terraced vineyards in Northern Portugal’s Douro Valley. In viticulture, the climates of wine regions viticulture PDF categorised based on the overall characteristics of the area’s climate during the growing season. Large bodies of water, such as Lake Geneva in Switzerland, can have a moderating effect on the climate of a region.
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Beyond establishing whether or not viticulture can even be sustained in an area, the climatic influences of a particular area goes a long way in influencing the type of grape varieties grown in a region and the type of viticultural practices that will be used. In general, grapevines thrive in temperate climates which grant the vines long, warm periods during the crucial flowering, fruit set and ripening periods. Other climate factors such as wind, humidity, atmospheric pressure, sunlight as well as diurnal temperature variations which can define different climate categories, can also have pronounced influences on the viticulture of an area. Most California wine regions have a Mediterranean climate. Penfolds winery, Magill Estate in South Australia.
Central Chilean wine regions experience a Mediterranean climate. Stellenbosch wines from South Africa are from grapes grown in a Mediterranean climate. Wine regions with Mediterranean climates are characterised by their long growing seasons of moderate to warm temperatures. Throughout the year there is little seasonal change with temperatures in the winter generally warmer than those of maritime and continental climates. The Saxony wine region of eastern Germany has a much-more continental climate than the Rhine Valley where most German wines are produced. Hungary is removed from Atlantic and Mediterranean influences by distance and mountains, causing its wine regions to have a continental climate. The Columbia Valley in Washington State and Oregon has a continental climate characterized by hot summers and moderately cold winters.
Although the climate is tempered somewhat by a Great Lake, it is continental in the Lake Michigan Shore AVA of SW Michigan. The Upper Mississippi River Valley AVA in the Midwestern United States has a continental climate. Xinjiang is NW China located near the centre of Asia, so its vineyards have a very continental climate. Wine regions with continental climates are characterised by the very marked seasonal changes that occur throughout the growing season, with hot temperatures during the summer season and winters cold enough for periodic ice and snow.