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climate (GB)
climat (F)
clima (I)
clima (PO)
clima (ES)
klimaat (N)

Term for the entirety of all meteorological processes or possible weather conditions including the typical sequence as well as the daily and seasonal fluctuations, which are responsible for the average state of the earth's atmosphere at a certain location. The name (Greek for climate = curvature) is derived from the curvature of the globe and the resulting locally different angle of incidence. The climate is shaped not only by processes within the atmosphere, but rather by the interplay of all spheres on earth (continents, seas, atmosphere) and solar activity.

Climate - world map with the large climates according to Köppen-Geiger

As a delimitation to Weather (Hours to weeks) and for weather (a few days to a week, up to a month or a season), climate is understood as a state of the earth's atmosphere that has been statistically determined over a period of several decades (at least 30 years). Areas of the same climatic conditions are classified into climatic zones and thereby classified. There are different classifications; the most famous comes from the German-Russian climatologist and biologist Vladimir Peter Köppen (1846-1940). This was then continued by the German meteorologist Rudolf Geiger (1894-1981).

Environmental factors

The climatic characteristics result from many factors such as exposition (Sunlight), precipitation. temperature. humidity and wind as well as their sequence and interaction. Next to the soil type who planted there vine and the individual type of winemaking the climate is a crucial factor for that wine quality, But the very special climatic conditions for a small area in which the vineyard is located (microclimate, layered climate) and even more small-scale conditions (microclimate) play an important role. The vine thrives best in warm, temperate zones of the northern and southern hemisphere, the so-called vines belts, These are the relatively narrow areas between 40th and 50th latitude in the northern hemisphere and between 30th and 40th latitude in the southern hemisphere.

Vine belt - world map with wine regions

Conditions for the grapevine

The grapevine above all needs heat and light. According to studies by the research institute, the optimal temperature for growth is Geisenheim between 25 and 28 ° Celsius. This is mainly determined by the altitude. As a rule of thumb, it drops by 0.6 ° for every 100 meters difference in altitude. A hillside is ideal for sun exposure. In addition, the thermals are favorable, because the cold air currents fall down the slope at night, where they heat up in the morning and move up again during the day. This cycle is especially for white wines in terms of acidification important.

The tops of hills are planted with trees to slow down the influx of cold air, which is used in Europe primarily in Germany, Austria and France. Practice a positive climatic influence on viticulture waters (Rivers, lakes, seas) because these reflect the light. It is no coincidence that many important wine-growing regions are located on water.

The northernmost vineyards for quality wine growing are in Germany (51st latitude) and England (52nd latitude). The southernmost winegrowing borders are at the Cape in South Africa (35th latitude), in Argentina and Chile, as well as on the southern main island New Zealand (40th latitude). From the equator to the 20th degree north and south latitude through tropical Conditions with heat and drought no viticulture, or only in higher areas up to 2,000 meters above sea level such as B. in Kenya, Outside of these areas there is too little sunshine and precipitation or the risk of cold and frost, The suitability of a region or the criteria for quality winegrowing is under Weinbauwürdigkeit described.

Influence on viticulture

The first scientific study of the influence of the climate on viticulture came from the Swiss botanist Augustin Pyrame de Candolle (1806-1893) in the mid-19th century. The two US researchers Albert Julius used this knowledge Winkler (1894-1989) Maynard A. Amerine (1911-1998) by the University of California, In 1944, they introduced the so-called degree days system, the California divided into a total of five climate zones. In the meantime, a number of different climate classification systems have been developed worldwide on this basis. In the period of the annual growth cycle of the vine or for the entire year various criteria measured and used for the evaluation. These include temperature values, number of hours of sunshine and rainfall. See also on this topic temperature sums,

The optimal temperatures for winegrowing are with sufficient supply nutrients, good irrigation and sun exposure between 25 and 28 ° C during the ripening period. Then the reaches photosynthesis their optimal performance. The ideal annual average is 1,300 to 1,600 hours of sunshine, which is around 180 days with seven to nine hours a day. The Weinbauwürdigkeit An area is also measured by the temperature average of the entire growing season or that of the warmest month. With the so-called "MJT" (mean January temperature, in the northern hemisphere, of course, July), a key figure has now been used in Australia for rough comparisons. The precipitation should be at least 300 millimeters in the months of May to October (or in the southern hemisphere November to April), whereby the spring precipitation is particularly important because of the growth of the shoots. At higher quantities fungal diseases like the wrong and the real mildew such as Botrytis promoted. The climate within a year may have a large impact on the quality, which is why one speaks of good or bad vintages,

air areas

A rough division into very large climatic areas is based, among other things, on the annual average temperatures. These have increased at a worrying rate over the past 50 years. The calculated warming trend in the period 1956 to 2005 of 0.13 ° C ± 0.03 ° C per decade is almost twice as large as that over the past 100 years. This global warming and the accompanying climate Change also has a major impact on viticulture.

Air cooling area
These include in Europe Germany. England, the North France ( Beaujolais. Burgundy. Champagne and Loire ), the Switzerland and Austria, as well as overseas Canada, the New England States on the East Coast of the United States, the southernmost part of Chile, Parts California (Anderson Valley, Carneros), the Cape in South Africa, the Australian Tasmania island and the southern tip of the northern main island New Zealand, The average temperature is below 16 ° Celsius. Aromatic white wines from early ripening grape varieties are typical for this area.

Between climate area
These include Bordeaux and the northern one Rhone Valley in France, Rioja in Spain, the Tuscany and large areas in northern Italy, the Napa Valley in California and southwestern Australia. The average temperature is between 16 and 18.5 ° Celsius. Dark, alcohol-rich red wines in particular grow here.

Hot air area
These include southern France, the Portuguese Douro Valley, the island Madeira, Southern Italy, large parts of Spain, and parts of South Australia. The average temperatures there are between 18.5 and 21 ° Celsius. These areas are particularly predestined for alcohol-enriched sweet wines.

Hot air area
These include southern Greece, Turkey and southern Spain with an average temperature of 22 ° Celsius and more. In addition to wine grapes, there are also large quantities of table grapes and raisins produced. Areas or zones with almost the same climate, which can also lie on different halves of the earth, are considered Homoklimata designated.

climate classification

Areas with the same climatic conditions are classified into climatic zones and thereby classified. There are different models in this regard. A common classification is:

Continental climate (mainland climate, rural climate)
This climate is characterized by large seasonal fluctuations in temperature with a relatively large difference between the mean temperature of the hottest and coldest months. Hot summers with mostly low cloud cover and are characteristic humidity, as well as cold winters. The further inside a continent, the less the balancing influence of the oceans, which goes hand in hand with the decreasing number of clouds and falling humidity. Compared to maritime (near-sea) areas, there is relatively little rainfall with peaks in summer due to heat thunderstorms. Temperatures drop rapidly in autumn.

The differences of the vintages can be considerable. With high yields there are significant quality-reducing effects. Continental climate occurs mainly in the Central and Eastern European interior, as well as in the interior of North America (USA and Canada). It is best suited for fruity. dry developed wines with (especially important for white wines) corresponding acid,

Marginal climate
Climatic climate in which viticulture is just still possible (marginal = something on the edge / on the border). It is characterized by relatively low average temperatures and a long one growth cycle out. See also under northernmost vineyard and southernmost vineyard as well as under highest vineyard,

Maritime climate (marine climate, oceanic climate, maritime climate)
This predominates in the vicinity of seas or large lakes, which act as a balancing temperature buffer. Because of the large heat capacity, the water temperature changes more slowly than the temperature in the countryside. As a result, the land near the coast is cooled by the sea in summer and warmed in winter (positive lake effect). For this reason, there are also good conditions for viticulture in high northern latitudes such as in the northeastern United States and Canada through the five “Great Lakes” Erie, Huron, Michigan, Superior and Ontario. The purely geographical location (coastal location) alone is not an indication of maritime climate, since the wind direction also has an influence.

The entire east coast of the United States has a continental climate because the wind is blowing from the west (the vast interior) to the east. The maritime climate is characterized by moderately warm summers and mild but rainy winters. There are evenly warm temperatures with high humidity in front. The temperatures in autumn drop only slowly. Compared to the continental climate, there are much smaller differences between day and night and also summer and winter. Most of Europe is influenced by maritime climates. It also prevails in many areas of the southern hemisphere, such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, even if they are inland.

Mediterranean climate (Mediterranean climate)
Hot, dry summers and mild, humid winters are typical of this climate. Due to a lack of precipitation, it is not unusual for an artificial one irrigation required in various forms. By low humidity there is usually a lower risk for fungal diseases, The best locations are at a higher altitude. The Mediterranean climate is characteristic of many coastal regions located on the western sides of the continents. These are the entire Mediterranean basin, southwestern and northern Australia, the west coast of the USA, Chile, and the Cape Province in South Africa. The climate produces fully ripe, sugar-rich but sometimes low-acid grapes, which are excellent for high-alcohol Sweet wines suitable.

Pannonian climate
Area of influence of the Hungarian lowlands, which mainly affects northern Burgenland / Austria. Foothills are noticeable right up to the borders of the wine-growing regions of Wachau, Kremstal and Kamptal, which are characterized by the contrasting interplay of the Pannonian and the western-continental climate.

dry air
Intended for parts of Israel, Italy, Spain, South Australia, South Africa and Chile as well as for the Central Valley in California. Due to the low rainfall and risk of drought is without regular artificial irrigation no viticulture possible.

European wine-growing zones

Europe has been included in the three largest under EU wine legislation growing zones A, B and (with sub-zones) C divided, which have similar climatic conditions. Special wine law provisions then apply to these, such as regarding enrich (Alcohol-increase), leavening and sweetening, Within these large climate zones, a distinction is made between smaller climatic areas, although there are no 100% generally valid definitions. The hierarchy is based on the size of the vineyard and is usually as follows (topdown):

Larger area (also large climate) with at least 500 kilometers of horizontal expansion. It refers to the climate of a wine-growing region or a region. As a rule, this is understood as the term “climate”. However, it is difficult to speak of a uniform climate within these large areas, since height, slope, cardinal direction and soil type have a large influence with different effects. This is then expressed, for example, by different ones vegetation cycles in the vineyards.

Intermediate area between macro and topo climate in the range of ten to several hundred meters. It is increasingly replacing the terms top climate and microclimate.

Term for one of the topography specific, localized climate. This can affect a single hill, slope or valley, for example.

Commonly used term for small-scale conditions that give a vineyard a very typical and individual touch, which can be different in a vineyard even in extreme cases. Components such as the proximity of a pond, a river or a forest, soil heat storage, solar radiation, mountains (which can protect against wind), but also those training system the vines play a role. This term is related to the French terroir,

Specific climate in the smallest dimension of a few meters within a vineyard, for example a vine, even on leaves and grapes.

Graphic with the criteria for the terroir

temperature sums

Based on the measured temperature sums (Heat sums) are among others the most suitable varieties selected and the optimal time for the vintage certainly. in the precision viticulture one tries to take into account certain climatic conditions with highly scientific methods in the cultivation of vineyards. From the 1980s onwards, climatic changes on Earth became visible and palpable and became a hotly debated topic. Although the fact of one (too quickly) climate change is still contested and played down, sometimes dramatic changes. The division into winegrowing zones and related Weinbauwürdigkeit it will change. From the mid-1990s onwards Cool climate winegrowing (Cooling climate wine growing) popular, which includes the planting of vines in higher areas with continental climatic conditions.

Medieval warm period

In the course of the history of the earth there have always been periods of time with serious changes in the climate, which, however, by far did not happen so quickly within a few decades, but in extremely long periods of time. In the period 900 to 1350, there was a pronounced temperature high, especially in Europe, which as Medieval warm period referred to as. At that time the climate was so warm that viticulture could be successfully carried out even in southern England. From 1450 the climate began to deteriorate again.

Little ice age

With the term Little ice age is a climate phenomenon that lasts for a relatively long time at 400 years in the period from 1450 to 1850 and that focuses on regional and temporal focuses worldwide Europe North america Russia and China occured. Particularly cold periods spanned from 1570 to 1630 and from 1675 to 1715. Linked to this was a worldwide expansion of the glaciers. This has developed dramatically in the opposite direction in a relatively short period of a few decades. See under climate Change,

Climate change - burning earth, withered tree, polar bear on floe

Climate zones: By LordToran - self-created, CC BY-SA 3.0 , link
edited by Norbert Tischelmayer Feber 2019
Vine belt: The winegrower 1 - viticulture, Ulmer Verlag 2019, 4th edition
Climate change: Pixabay
Main source: WIKIPEDIA climate and subsequent links

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