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Modelling Chablis vintage quality in response to inter-annual variation in weather

Biss, A. J. and Ellis, R. (2021) Modelling Chablis vintage quality in response to inter-annual variation in weather. OENO One, 55 (3). pp. 209-228. ISSN 2494-1271

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To link to this item DOI: 10.20870/oeno-one.2021.55.3.4709


Weather during grape production affects wine quality. Changes in the weather in the Chablis region of France and in the quality of Chablis wines (vintage scores) from 1963 to 2018 were analysed. Chablis wine quality improved over this period, with no Poor vintages after 1991. Summer temperature and sunshine duration both increased progressively between 1963 to 2018 with fewer frost days but no linear change detected in precipitation. Chablis vintage score was modelled as a function of mean temperature from April to September (curvilinear relation, maximum score at 16-17 °C), mean minimum temperature in September (an index of cool nights; negative relation), and total rainfall from June to September (negative relation). This simple three-factor model distinguished between Poor and higher-quality Chablis vintages well, but less so between Good and Excellent vintages. Application of the model to different climate change scenarios (assuming current viticultural and oenological practices) suggests that vintage scores will decline (slightly to substantially, dependent upon emissions scenario) by the 2041 to 2070 period. This reduction in quality would, however, be minimised if warming of cool nights is less than currently forecast. The Chablis vintage score model may help identify sites with suitable climates for premium white wine from Chardonnay grapevines in emerging cool climate viticulture regions as well as aid Chablis producers mitigating the effects of climate change.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Crop Science
ID Code:99264
Uncontrolled Keywords:Chablis, Burgundy, Chardonnay, viticulture, vintage, weather, climate change
Publisher:International Viticulture and Enology Society (IVES)


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