Strategies for adaptation to climate change in vineyards in the Mediterranean basin: the case of the DOCa Rioja

Teodoro Lasanta, Carlos Baroja-Sáenz, Melani Cortijos-López, Estela Nadal-Romero, Ignacio Martín, Enrique García-Escudero

Abstract


Climate change is promoting increasingly hot and dry conditions in the vineyards of the Mediterranean basin, affecting both the physiology and phenology of the vine, as well as the production and quality of the grape. In this context, adaptation and mitigation measurements against climate change are necessary to maintain high quality wines and varietal typicity, as well as to respond to market demands. The objective of this study is to show adaptation strategies that are being carried out or considered by winegrowers of the Denomination of Origin Qualified Rioja (DOCa Rioja). Among the strategies, the following should be highlighted: changes in the location of the vineyard, either towards areas with irrigation possibilities and very fertile soils (mainly low terraces), or towards higher altitude areas (mainly high glacis), thus trying to avoid the effects of water stress and increased temperatures; and (ii) modifications in the strain conduction system, often replacing the vessel conduction with the trellis conduction, in order to match a greater degree of mechanization of the agronomic tasks and the improvement of the improvement of the vine’s microclimate, especially in the new plantations in very fertile soils. These strategies will be increasingly relevant, taking into account the foreseeable increase in temperatures and droughts in the future climate scenarios. However, the question arises as to whether these strategies will be sufficient or whether it will be necessary to eliminate current restrictions imposed by DOCa Rioja, such as expanding the vineyard in mountain areas or introducing new varieties.

Keywords


Viticultura; regadío; viñedos de altitud; gestión de viñedos; Denominación de Origen

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18172/cig.5062

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