Viticultural zoning of central chile based on bioclimatic indexes and the impact of climate warming

Climate is considered one of the main factors that determines the aptitude of a specific location for growing grapes and producing high quality wine, being in that sense one of the main elements defining the concept of terroir. Several bioclimatic indexes have been proposed that attempt to describe the climatic aptitude for high quality wine production. Based on this, a study was developed to characterize present and future viticultural potential of Chilean zones considering the dynamic of climate change. 

Maps of central Chile were built based in different climatic parameters and the calculation of bioclimatic indexes like Winkler, Huglin, Mean January Temperature, Cold Nights index and Fregoni. Interactive maps obtained allow determining the aptitude of a locality by introducing the geographic coordinates. 

In a second step, the future evolution of these climatic parameters was studied considering different models of climatic change (CSIRO-Mk3-6-0; GFDL-CM3 and HadCM3), different scenarios (moderate or severe) and different periods of time. Results obtained are also represented in interactive maps allowing seeing the evolution of a climatic parameter in time depending on the model and severity chosen. 

Results obtained show a clear evolution of the aptitude of the main viticultural areas with with an increase in aptitude of regions in the south of Chile that presently have limitations for a good maturation, in particular of red varieties. More to the south and closer to the Pacific Ocean areas that are not suitable for wine production now become apt for wine production Northern areas are in general negatively affected by becoming too hot and having increasing problems with water supply.

Authors: Edmundo Bordeu, David Mordales and Francisco Meza

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile 
Vicuña Mackenna 4860 – Comuna de Macul – Santiago – Chile 
Postal code: 7820426


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