Agriculture is a highly dependent sector on heat, sunlight and water, and therefore very sensitive to climate change. According to the current climate projections, weather events worldwide are very likely to become more extreme and frequent. In Europe, Southern countries will be frequently affected by heat waves, therefore making this region more vulnerable to droughts and wildfires, which will lead to economic, environmental, and even human losses. In addition, Mediterranean countries are prone to undergo hydrological resources´ decrease, due to climate modification (lower precipitation rates) and demographic concentration changes. On the other hand, extreme precipitations will occur especially in the central and northern parts of Europe, giving rise to floods, resulting in a decrease of water quantity and quality due to the fact that hydrological systems will be altered, which may also decrease the water availability in the surrounding regions.
Grape production is not different from the rest of agricultural activity, and they are likewise inherently interconnected to climate and weather, and, although grapes may grow worldwide, premium wine-grape production occurs in Mediterranean-like climate ranges. Changes in climate and weather patterns are threatening premium wine-grapes (i.e. decrease of the grape quality and quantity, undesirable changes in alcohol production, and acid and sugar concentrations), directly affecting the European wine industry. This is because grapevines are extremely sensitive to their surrounding environment, with seasonal variations in yield much higher than other common crops, such as cereals.
With a view to making South European wine industry resilient to climate change, VISCA intends to deploy a climate service tool that will provide wine producers with well-founded information to be able to apply correctly adaptation strategies on specific grape varieties and locations, to achieve optimum production results (yield, quantity).It is validated by real demonstration with end-users on three demosites belonging to wine stakeholders from Spain, Italy and Portugal, which are likewise partners in the consortium:Codorniu, Mastroberardino and Symington.