The question is “what is normal”? Like many meteorologists and climate scientists, I get asked this question all the time. We typically make statements that describe a certain day, or month, or event, as warmer, colder, more extreme, etc. than average or normal. This is because observing and discussing climate is inherently statistical and requires comparison to baseline periods to make sense of how they relate to our lives. By saying goodbye to 2020 – I think we can all agree it’s more aptly good riddance – we are moving from one decade into another and ushering in a new climate baseline period and new statistics to report from. So, with new climate normal period data being released in many countries worldwide, and the USA last month, I thought it would be worth sharing a little about this process and what it means as we start discussing the “new normal”.
VINEAS is a collaborative platform that brings actors and projects together and allows for knowledge and solutions sharing. It also provides methodological support for the Vine & Wine actors willing to search and share knowledge and initiatives around climate change challenges.
Photosynthesis acclimation to high temperature differs among and within species. Grapevine intra-specific variation in photosynthetic acclimation to elevated temperature has been scarcely assessed. A study was carried out to (i) evaluate the mechanisms underlying long-term acclimation of photosynthesis to elevated temperature in grapevine, and (ii) determine whether these responses are similar among two varieties. The study provides evidence that grapevine varieties present different acclimation mechanisms to expected warming.
Sustainable management of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes is a European Union objective supported on multifunctional agri-environment measures. The effectiveness of specific practices implemented to reverse declines in farmland biodiversity should be monitored using straightforward methodologies and indicators. This post is about a study which outlined an innovative hybrid framework integrating monitoring, statistics and spatiotemporal modelling procedures to predict the response of biodiversity indicators to farm management options in a viticultural landscape of Portugal, the Demarcated Douro Wine Region.
Global viticulture has evolved following market trends, causing loss of cultivar diversity and traditional practices. In Montenegro, modern viticulture co-exists with a traditional viticulture that still maintains ancient practices and exploits local cultivars. As a result, this region provides a unique opportunity to explore processes increasing genetic diversity. This post reports the results of a study carried out to evaluate the diversity of Montenegrin grapevines and the processes involved in their diversification. Analyses of genetic structure unveiled several putative proto-varieties, likely representing the first steps involved in the generation of new cultivars or even secondary domestication events.
Southern California has seen a resurgence of winegrowing regions in the past few decades, however the future of winegrape climatic suitability in the area has not been exhaustively explored. This post reports the results of a study that evaluated the future climate suitability for the cultivation of winegrape and potential global warming impacts on southern California’s winegrowing regions through a series of high-resolution surface air temperature and precipitation projections obtained with the WRF-SSIB regional climate model.
The glass bottles used for the packaging of wine, is the main cause of environmental impact of the wine life cycle. Using lighter packaging alternatives (such as bag-in-box, aseptic carton, or PET bottles) significantly decreases that environmental impact. In Italy, there is widespread scepticism towards wine bottled in alternative packaging. This study presents a preliminary survey addressed to a sample of 1000 wine consumers to explore their attitudes and willingness to purchase wine in packaging alternatives that are more sustainable than glass bottles. Read the post to know the results.
This blog post is based on a recently published article in the journal “Sustainability” on the role of territorially embedded innovation ecosystems accelerating sustainability transformations: a case study of the transformation to organic wine production in Tuscany (Italy).
Although cellar door sales generate greenhouse gases that may negatively affect the wine industry’s environmental sustainability, wine tourism also offers many benefits. A regular inflow of visitors can be critical to the survival of many small and medium sized wineries. Moreover, wine tourism contributes to the cultural preservation and social stability of rural communities, and makes significant contributions to the economic and social sustainability of many wine producing regions. To understand both the costs and the benefits of wine tourism, it is time to add a consideration of its carbon footprint to the industry’s comprehensive efforts towards achieving both financial and environmental sustainability.
The bag-in-box is the preferable alternative, followed by the aseptic cartons that had only slightly worse environmental performances. Compared to single use glass bottles, the impacts of bag-in-box were from 60% to 90% lower. Therefore, in order to improve the wine packaging sustainability without substituting glass for wine packaging, a glass bottle reuse program is a convenient alternative only when considering the local market. The study provides useful indications for industry and government stakeholders seeking out new strategies for enhancing the sustainability of the wine life cycle as well as it contributes to counter the prejudice that glass packaging would be more sustainable than plastic or multilayer packaging.