Terroir 2014 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 International Terroir Conferences 9 Terroir 2014 9 Grape growing climates, climate variability 9 High resolution climatic zoning of the Portuguese viticultural regions

High resolution climatic zoning of the Portuguese viticultural regions


Viticulture and winemaking represent a key sector for the Portuguese economy. As grapevines are strongly governed by atmospheric factors, climate change may impose a major threat to this crop. In this study, the current-past (1950-2000) and future (2041-2070) climatic conditions in Portugal are analyzed using a number of bioclimatic indices, including a new categorized index (CatI). A two-step method of spatial downscaling is applied in order to attain a very high spatial resolution (near 1 km) over Portuguese mainland. Future projections are established using an ensemble of 13 regional climate models, under the IPCC A1B-SRES emission scenario. Results show that CatI integrates the most important bioclimatic characteristics of a given region, and allows the direct comparison between them. Outcomes for the recent-past are in clear agreement with the current geographical distribution of this crop and of the established winemaking regions. Conversely, under future scenarios, projections point to a lower bioclimatic diversity, due to the expected warming and drying throughout the country. This will likely lead to changes in grapevine suitability and wine characteristics of each viticultural region, which may result in additional challenges for the winemaking sector. As such, suitable adaptation measures need to be developed in order to mitigate climate change impacts on the Portuguese viticulture. 


Publication date: August 11, 2020

Issue: Terroir 2014

Type: Article


Gregory V. JONES (1), Helder FRAGA (2), Aureliano C. MALHEIRO (2), José MOUTINHO-PEREIRA (2), Fernando ALVES (3), Joaquim G. PINTO (4,5), João A. SANTOS (2)

(1) Department of Environmental Studies, Southern Oregon University, Oregon, USA 
(2) CITAB, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal (
(3) ADVID Associação para o Desenvolvimento da Viticultura Duriense, Godim, Portugal 
(4) Institute for Geophysics and Meteorology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany 
(5) Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom

Contact the author


Viticultural zoning, Bioclimatic downscaling, Climate models, Climate change, Portugal 


IVES Conference Series | Terroir 2014


Related articles…

Physiological and growth reaction of Shiraz/101-14 Mgt to row orientation and soil water status

Advanced knowledge on grapevine row orientation is required to improve establishment, management and outcomes of vineyards on terroirs with different environmental conditions (climate, soil, topography) and in view of a future change to more extreme climatic conditions. The purpose of this study was to determine the combined effect of row orientation, plant water status and ripeness level on the physiological and viticultural reaction of Shiraz/101-14 Mgt.

Effects of mechanical leafing and deficit irrigation on Cabernet Sauvignon grown in warm climate of California

San Joaquin Valley accounts for 40% of wine grape acreage and produces 70% of wine grape in California. Fruit quality is one of most important factors which impact the economical sustainability of farming wine grapes in this region. Due to the recent drought and expected labor cost increase, the wine industry is thrilled to understand how to improve fruit quality while maintaining the yield with less water and labor input. The present study aims to study the interactive effects of mechanical leafing and deficit irrigation on yield and berry compositions of Cabernet Sauvignon grown in warm climate of California.

The effects of cane girdling on berry texture properties and the concentration of some aroma compounds in three table grape cultivars

The marketability of the table grapes is highly influenced by the consumer demand; therefore the market value of the table grapes is mainly characterized by its berry size, colour, taste and texture. Girdling could cause accumulation of several components in plants above the ringing of the phloem including clusters and resulting improved maturity. The aim of the experiments was to examine the effect of girdling on berry texture characteristics and aroma concentration.

Application of a fluorescence-based method to evaluate the ripening process and quality of Pinot Blanc grape

The chemical composition of grape berries at harvest is one of the most important factors that should be considered to produce high quality wines. Among the different chemical classes which characterize the grape juice, the polyphenolic compound, such as flavonoids, contribute to the final taste and color of wines. Recently, an innovative non-destructive method, based on chlorophyll fluorescence, was developed to estimate the phenolic maturity of red grape varieties through the evaluation of anthocyanins accumulated in the berry skin. To date, only few data are available about the application of this method on white grape varieties.

Different yield regulation strategies in semi-minimal-pruned hedge (SMPH) and impact on bunch architecture

Yields in the novel viticulture training system Semi-Minimal-Pruned Hedge (SMPH) are generally higher compared to the traditional Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP). Excessive yields have a negative impact on the vine and wine quality, which can result in substantial losses in yield in subsequent vintages (alternate bearing) or penalties in fruit quality. Therefore yield regulation is essential. The bunch architecture in SMPH differs from VSP. Generally there is a higher amount but smaller bunches with lower single berry weights in SMPH compared to VSP.