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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Climate change: How it is going to affect viticulture in the Douro Valley

 When dealing with climate change, natural climate variations should never be discarded. There is “climate variability”, which is the change in the weather behavior at a certain location from time to time. However, climate change due to human activities is happening and will have a large impact and many implications everywhere on the planet. The world’s major wine-producing countries – Italy, France, Spain, USA and Australia – are all at risk. Vines are extremely sensitive to the numerous changes associated with climate change, but this paper will have the subject under a microscope and only discuss how it’s going to affect viticulture in the Douro Valley (and it assumes a ‘business as usual’ approach). This discussion is about what needs to be done in a scenario where the temperatures are higher (with an increase in frequency of extremely hot days), the droughts are more severe, and there’s increased surface evaporation. Efforts need to be made to keep viticulture and winemaking viable and profitable in this traditional wine region.
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