Climate change – variety change?


In Franconia, the northern part of Bavaria in Germany, climate change, visible in earlier bud break, advanced flowering and earlier grape maturity, leads to a decrease of traditionally cultivated early ripening aromatic white wine varieties as Mueller-Thurgau (30 % of the wine growing area) and Bacchus (12 %). With the predicted rise of temperature in all European wine regions the conditions for white wine grape varieties will decline and the grapes themselves will lose a part of their aromatic and fruity expression. Variety change towards the cultivation of later ripening white wine varieties is a very expensive and long-term process, and must be accompanied by special marketing efforts.
In the “cool climate” region Franconia, adapted methods are required for the longer use of traditionally grown aromatic early ripening varieties. Studies about maturity management of the early ripening variety Mueller-Thurgau show first results. Cordon pruning compared with traditional spur pruned training system, leads in dependence of botrytis infection to a maturity delay of 4 up to 6 days. The new natural growth training system, also called “minimal pruning”, results in a maturity delay of 8 up to 12 days in the same varieties.
Later grape harvest times economize energy for must cooling and fermentation control. Lower night temperatures can better conserve the fresh and fruity flavours of these aromatic grapes. The consequences of maturity retardation effects on must and wine quality will be studied.


Publication date: November 23, 2021

Issue: Terroir 2010

Type: Article


Arnold Schwab, Ulrike Maaß

Bavarian State Institute for Viticulture and Horticulture, An der Steige 15, D-97332 Veitshöchheim

Contact the author


Climate change, Franconia, earlier harvest time, variety change, canopy management


IVES Conference Series | Terroir 2010


Related articles…

Rootstock influence on xylem embolized vulnerability and scion behavior under severe water deficit

Severe water stress events can induce cavitation damage by xylem embolism in grapevine, diminishing plant hydraulic conductance. This work aimed to determine the rootstock effects on 1) xylem embolism vulnerability to understand its function failure under severe drought, including segmentation processes from leaf to root; and 2) hydraulic conductance across water deficit and its recovery. For this purpose, two complementary experiments were performed in one-year-old Vitis vinifera cv. Tempranillo grafted onto two different rootstocks (110-Richter and SO4) under well-watered 12L pot conditions. In experiment 1, the water-stress induced xylem embolism was monitored in leaves and stems, above and below grafting-point, by using “Cavicam” for determining the percentage of embolized vessels (at P12, P50 and P88).


The use of toasted vine-shoots (SEGs) as an enological tool is a new practice that seeks to improve wines, differentiating them and encouraging sustainable wine production. The micro-oxygenation (MOX) technique is normally combined with alternative oak products with the aim to simulate the oxygen transmission rate that takes place during the traditional barrel aging. Such new use for SEGs implies a reduction in color due to the absorption by the wood of the responsible compounds, therefore, given the known effect that MOX has shown to have on the modification of wine color, its use together with the SEGs could result in an interesting implementation with the aim to obtain final wines with more stable color over time.

Terroir valorization strategies in a reformed denomination area: the Prosecco case study

Aims: This work summarizes some of the upmost recent studies and valorization strategies concerning the Prosecco wine production area. After the geographical denomination Prosecco (DO) was strongly reformed in 2009, the newborn DOCG (controlled and guaranteed DO) and DOC (controlled DO) areas have required different and specific strategies to promote and protect the value of their production.

Fermentative volatile compounds and chromatic characteristics can contribute to Italian white wines diversity

Perceived aroma plays an important role in wine quality, and it depends mainly on the volatile composition. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from grapes and those formed during winemaking are involved in the sensory complexity of wines. In aroma-neutral winegrape varieties, the winemaking process itself, and particularly alcoholic fermentation (AF), impacts strongly on the organoleptic characteristics of wines due to the formation of volatile alcohols, acids, and esters. In addition, phenolic compounds could contribute not only to the wine color but also to VOCs evolution during AF.

Relation between phenolic content, antioxidant capacity, oxygen consumption rate of diverse tannins

The work was aimed at comparing some analytical methods used to characterize oenological tannins and the measure of oxygen consumption rate (OCR), in order to provide oenologists with a rapid method to test the antioxidant capacity of tannin based products and a tool to choose the best suited product for each purpose.