Grape harvest falls 30% in Greece due to Climate Change

grape harvest greece

grape harvest greece

Climate change is one of the key controlling factors in grape and wine production, affecting the suitability of certain grape varieties to a particular region as well as the type and quality of the wine produced.

Euro News has published an article noting that according to a winery chief oenologist in Santorini, the grape harvest is down 30% since 2018 and 50% from 2017 due to climate change.

Those two words which have a detrimental effect is creating new challenges for Greek wine producers.

"Santorini is thought to have some of the oldest vineyards in continuous cultivation in the world. Local wineries say some of the vine roots are centuries old. Thanks to volcanic soil and strong winds, the vines on the island are free from diseases and pests and most farmers cultivate their vineyards organically,” the article notes.

Here is the article that was published in Euro News

Winemakers fear that increasing temperatures are also changing the character of the remaining grapes – Santorini wines are famously sharp but higher temperatures could change the acidity of grape varietals and result in a more fruity, sweeter wine in the future.

Stella Papadimitriou at Hadjidakis winery says the harvest has been smaller every year for the past decade. She believes rising temperatures and changes in rain patterns are among the biggest factors for the decrease.

The wine industry worldwide has been rocked by the effects of climate change, with grape quality and vineyard production immediately impacted by the slightest change of temperature.

She said: "In 2019, the current harvest is 30 to 40 per cent less than what it was in 2018. But if we compared it to 2017, then we are talking about over a 50 per cent reduction."

But it is the potential change in character rather than in yield that is the chief concern of Santorini winemakers.

"The actual vines will certainly continue to exist even in the most difficult areas, but the quantity of grapes will decrease and the quality will change. All we can do, since we cannot go against climate change, is to gradually change some of the techniques that we employ," says Papadimitriou.

*Read the article in full here: Euro News