On the Use of Viticultural Climatic Indices in southern Quebec

Authors: Norman Jones*, Bishop's University
Topics: Applied Geography, Climatology and Meteorology, Environmental Science
Keywords: Climate Change, Wine, Viticultural Indices
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Climate and weather are key factors influencing wine grape growing conditions. Temperature variables (maximum, minimum and average) and precipitation variables (annual, monthly and daily) are often used to assess the regional climate, and monitor any changes in climatic conditions. A number of viticultural climatic indices formulated from these variables have been used in many regions to describe the the climate of vineyards. Southern Quebec has been recognized as an emerging cool climate region where climatic conditions, particularly warming temperatures, are slowly altering growing conditions. Wineries are starting to switch from cold-resistant hybrid grapes to the more delicate Vitis vinifera varieties. The present study uses five temperature base indices (Huglin, Latitude-Temperature, Cool Night, Temperature Variability, Growing Degree Days) and one precipitation based index (Drought) to investigate any trends in the regional climate. The most significant positive trends were seen in the Huglin and Growing Degree Days indices; less significance was seen in the Cool Night, Latitude-Temperature and Temperature-Variability indices. No significant trend existed in the Drought index. Overall, the trends indicate significant changes in the temperature and viticultural possibilities of the region.

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