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CHAPTER 10

The climate: quality and risk factor

The climate is a key factor in the quality and style of the wine. It is common to hear explanations such as “this is a wine from a cold climate and, therefore, of high acidity and great freshness” or “the climatic conditions for this vintage have made it one of the best”.

The climate is a feature of nature – and, consequently, something that is difficult to control. This, unquestionably, imprints a particular stamp on wine.

This chapter explains the whys and wherefores of the relationship between climate and wine flavour. To this end, a detailed study of the climatic conditions of the world’s main wine-growing regions has been carried out, referencing the painstaking work of climate researcher Salvador Rivas-Martinez. In addition, we address some topics so regularly deliberated as to become like dogma, such as: Is there such a thing as a “continental climate”? Does the marked contrast between day and night temperatures produce the ideal level of maturity in a wine?

The chapter ends with a summary of the major risk factors, placing particular emphasis on the terrible potential of climate change.

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