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

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

Climate - Welkarte with the big climates after Köppen-Geiger

As a demarcation to the Weather (Hours to weeks) and weather conditions (a few days to a week, even a month or a season) is understood as climate over the period of several decades (at least 30 years) statistically determined state of the earth's atmosphere. Areas of the same climatic conditions are classified and classified in climatic zones. There are different classifications; the best known is 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 climate 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 nature of the winemaking Climate is a deciding factor for the climate wine quality, But even the very special climatic conditions for a small area in which the vineyard is located (small climate, climate location), and even smaller occurring conditions (microclimate) play an important role. The vine grows best in warm, temperate zones of the northern and southern hemispheres, the so-called vines belts, These are the relatively narrow areas between 40th and 50th latitude on the northern 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, it needs warmth and light. The optimum temperature for growth is according to research by the research institute Geisenheim between 25 and 28 ° Celsius. This is mainly determined by the altitude. As a rule of thumb, it drops by 0.6 ° per 100 meters difference in height. A hillside is ideal for sun exposure. In addition, the thermals are cheap, because the cold air currents fall down the slope at night, where they are heated from the morning and wander back up during the day. This cycle is mainly for white wines in terms of acidification important.

The tops of hills are planted with trees to curb the influx of cold air, which is used in Europe especially in Germany, Austria and France. To exert a positive climatic influence on viticulture waters (Rivers, lakes, oceans) because it reflects the light. It is no coincidence that many important winegrowing areas are located in waters.

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

Influence on viticulture

The first scientific study concerning the Kima influence on viticulture was made by the Swiss botanist Augustin Pyrame de Candolle (1806-1893) in the middle of the 19th century. These findings were used by the two US researchers Albert Julius Winkler (1894-1989) Maynard A. Amerine (1911-1998) of the University of California, In 1944 they introduced the so-called Degree Days system, the California divided into a total of five climatic 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 whole year different criteria measured and used for the evaluation. These include temperature values, number of hours of sunshine and rainfall amounts. See also on this topic temperature sums,

The optimal temperatures for viticulture are with sufficient supply nutrients, good irrigation and solar irradiation between 25 and 28 ° C during the maturation period. Then it reaches photosynthesis their optimal performance. The ideal annual average is 1,300 to 1,600 hours of sunshine, or around 180 days with seven to nine hours a day. The Weinbauwürdigkeit of an area is also measured by the temperature average of the entire growing season or the warmest month. With the so-called "MJT" (mean January temperature, in the northern hemisphere, of course, July), a frequently used indicator for approximate comparisons was created in Australia. The precipitation should be at least 300 millimeters in the months of May to October (or in the southern half of the world from November to April), whereby the spring precipitation is particularly important because of the instinctual growth. At higher amounts will be fungal diseases like wrong and true mildew such as Botrytis promoted. The climate within a year has an impact on the quality of large areas, so we speak of good or bad vintages,

air areas

A rough classification into very large climatic areas occurs among other things on the basis of the average annual temperatures. These have increased at a worrying rate over the past 50 years. The calculated warming trend over the period 1956-2005, at 0.13 ° C ± 0.03 ° C per decade, is almost twice that of the last 100 years. This global warming and the associated climate Change also has a big 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. For this area aromatic white wines from early ripening grape varieties are typical.

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 the south of Western Australia. The average temperature is between 16 and 18.5 ° Celsius. Here grow mainly dark, alcohol-rich red wines.

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

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

climate classification

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

Continental climate (mainland climate, country climate)
This climate is characterized by seasonal large temperature fluctuations with a relatively large difference between the mean temperature of the hottest and coldest month. Characteristic are hot summers with predominantly low clouds and humidity, as well as cold winters. The further inside a continent, the lower the balancing influence of the oceans, which is accompanied by a decreasing number of clouds and falling air humidity. Compared to maritime (marine) areas, there are relatively low rainfall peaks in summer due to heat storms. In autumn, the temperatures drop rapidly.

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

Marginal climate
Climatic climate in which viticulture is just possible (marginal = marginal = marginal). 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 near seas or large lakes that act as balancing temperature buffers. Because of the large heat capacity, the water temperature changes more slowly than the temperature on the land. As a result, the land near the coast is cooled by the sea in summer and heated in winter (positive lake effect). For this reason, there are good conditions for viticulture in high northern latitudes such as the northeastern US and Canada, with the five Great Lakes of Erie, Huron, Michigan, Superior and Ontario. The pure geographical location (coastal location) alone is not an indication of maritime climate, because in addition the wind direction has an influence.

The entire east coast of the United States of America has a continental climate because the wind goes east from the west (the vast interior of the country). Maritime climate is characterized by moderately warm summers and mild but precipitous winters. There are uniformly warm temperatures with high humidity in front. The temperatures in autumn fall only slowly. Compared to the continental climate, there is much less difference between day and night and also summer and winter. The majority of Europe is influenced by maritime climate. It is also prevalent in many parts of the southern hemisphere, such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, even though they are inland.

Mediterranean climate (Mediterranean climate)
Typical of this climate are hot, dry summers and mild, humid winters. Due to lack of rainfall is often an artificial 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 that lie on the western sides of the continents. These are the entire Mediterranean Basin, Southwest and North Australia, the West Coast of the USA, Chile, as well as 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
Influence of the Hungarian Great Plain, which mainly affects northern Burgenland / Austria. Spurs make their way to the border of the Wachau, Kremstal and Kamptal wine regions, which are characterized by the contrasting interaction of the Pannonian and Western-Continental climates.

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 became one of the three major EU wine legislation growing zones A, B and classified (with subzones) C, which have similar climatic conditions. For these then special wine-law provisions apply, such as for example enrich (Alcohol-increase), leavening and sweetening, Within these large climates, a distinction is made between smaller climatic zones, although there are no 100% general 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 extent. It refers to the climate of a wine-growing region or region. As a rule, this is understood as the term termed "climate". However, it is difficult to speak of a uniform climate within these large areas, as altitude, slope, compass and soil have a major impact with different impacts. This manifests itself then for example by different vegetation cycles in the vineyards.

Intermediate area between macro and topoclimate in the extent of ten to several hundred meters. It increasingly replaces the terms topoclimate or microclimate.

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

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

Specific climate in the smallest scale 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) will be among others the appropriate ones varieties selected and the optimal time for the vintage certainly. in the precision viticulture one tries to use high-scientific methods in the cultivation of vineyards to take account of certain climatic conditions. From the 1980s, climatic changes on Earth have become largely visible and perceptible and become a hot topic. Although the fact of one (too fast) climate change are still contested and played down, there are some dramatic changes. The division into wine-growing zones and related Weinbauwürdigkeit will change as a result. From the mid-1990s was Cool Climate Winegrowing (Climatic Creeper), which means the cultivation of vines in higher areas with continental climatic conditions.

Medieval warm period

In the course of geological history there have been periods of time with serious changes in the climate, but compared to today by far not so fast within a few decades, but in enormously long periods of time. In the period 900 to 1350 prevailed, especially in Europe a pronounced temperature high, which as Medieval warm period referred to as. The climate was so warm at the time that even in southern England winegrowing was successful. From 1450, the climate began to deteriorate again.

Little ice age

With the term Little ice age is a 400 years relatively long lasting climate phenomenon in the period 1450 to 1850 referred to, the world with regional and temporal priorities in Europe, North America, Russia and China occured. Especially cold periods stretched from 1570 to 1630 and from 1675 to 1715. Associated with 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 plaice

Map Climate Zones : Created by LordToran - Self, CC BY-SA 3.0 , Link
edited by Norbert Tischelmayer February 2019
Grapevines: The Winzer 1 - Weinbau, Ulmer Verlag 2019, 4th edition
Climate change: Pixabay
Main source: WIKIPEDIA Klima and Folgelinks

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