International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 60, Issue 9, pp 1405–1422 | Cite as

Potential effect of atmospheric warming on grapevine phenology and post-harvest heat accumulation across a range of climates

  • Andrew HallEmail author
  • Adam J. Mathews
  • Bruno P. Holzapfel
Original Paper


Carbohydrates are accumulated within the perennial structure of grapevines when their production exceeds the requirements of reproduction and growth. The period between harvest and leaf-fall (the post-harvest period) is a key period for carbohydrate accumulation in relatively warmer grape-growing regions. The level of carbohydrate reserves available for utilisation in the following season has an important effect on canopy growth and yield potential and is therefore an important consideration in vineyard management. In a warming climate, the post-harvest period is lengthening and becoming warmer, evidenced through studies in wine regions worldwide that have correlated recent air temperature increases with changing grapevine phenology. Budbreak, flowering, veraison, and harvest have all been observed to be occurring earlier than in previous decades. Additionally, the final stage of the grapevine phenological cycle, leaf-fall, occurs later. This study explored the potential for increased post-harvest carbohydrate accumulation by modelling heat accumulation following harvest dates for the recent climate (1975–2004) and two warmer climate projections with mean temperature anomalies of +1.26 and +2.61 °C. Summaries of post-harvest heat accumulation between harvest and leaf-fall were produced for each of Australia’s Geographical Indications (wine regions) to provide comparisons from the base temperatures to projected warmer conditions across a range of climates. The results indicate that for warmer conditions, all regions observe earlier occurring budbreak and harvest as well as increasing post-harvest growing degree days accumulation before leaf-fall. The level of increase varies depending upon starting climatic condition, with cooler regions experiencing the greatest change.


Climate change Viticulture GIS Carbohydrate reserves Growing degree days 



Adam Mathews was supported in this research project by an Endeavour Research Fellowship provided by the Australian Federal Government through the Department of Industry, Innovation Science, Research and Tertiary Education. Thank you to Jason Smith, who worked in conjunction with Bruno Holzapfel, to produce the carbohydrate accumulation data shown in Fig. 1. The authors appreciate ongoing support provided by Charles Sturt University’s Spatial Data Analysis Network (CSU-SPAN).


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Copyright information

© ISB 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Hall
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Adam J. Mathews
    • 3
  • Bruno P. Holzapfel
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute for Land Water and SocietyCharles Sturt UniversityAlburyAustralia
  2. 2.School of Environmental SciencesCharles Sturt UniversityAlburyAustralia
  3. 3.Department of GeographyOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA
  4. 4.National Wine and Grape Industry CentreNSW Department of Primary IndustriesWagga WaggaAustralia

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