Viniculture United Kingdom
Opportunities in Scotland
Many current wine grape producing regions may decline in the coming decades, largely due to warmer growing seasons pushing grape varieties beyond their optimum growing conditions (5). One way of adapting wine production to climate change would be the poleward movement of viticultural regions. A recent study (based on one regional model downscaling one GCM) explored to what extent Scotland might become suitable for wine production under high-end climate change (the so-called RCP 8.5 scenario) (4).
Under this scenario annual average temperature in Scotland is projected to increase by about + 3 °C at the end of this century (the period 2071-2100). This rise is mainly due to milder winters, rather than hotter summers. Temperature analogues alone match with several current wine grape growing regions of Europe, suggesting that future climates in Scotland could support wine production. However, when precipitation and/or lithology and topography are also taken into account, no matches were found with existing European wine grape growing regions.
The annual rainfall projections for Scotland are significantly higher than the current precipitation in existing European wine grape growing regions that currently have similar temperatures as Scotland at the end of this century. Too much precipitation is a limiting factor because of the prevalence of fungal diseases under wet conditions and physical damage to grapes under intense rainfall.
These findings suggest that wine grape production in Scotland under high-end climate change remains implausible on a commercial scale at the end of the century.
Opportunities in England
In the UK, the rapid growth of the viticultural sector in the twenty-first century has been related to climate warming, as new areas of England and Wales have become suitable for cool climate viticulture. The increasing inter-annual variability of climate factors may continue to threaten productivity, however (6).
It is to be expected that higher temperatures and CO2-concentrations will benefit viniculture in Southern England (1). Relatively little has been published on the impact of climate change on viniculture in Europe, however. In Europe, areas that may be suitable for viniculture will increase especially in Northern Germany, Denmark and Southern England (2). In fact, the area that is being used for viniculture in Southern England has already increased by 250% between 1985 and 2000 (3).
The references below are cited in full in a separate map 'References'. Please click here if you are looking for the full references for the United Kingdom.
- Stock et al. (2004)
- Harrison and Butterfield (1999); IPCC (2001), both in: Stock et al. (2004)
- Palutikof (2000), in: Stock et al. (2004)
- Dunn et al. (2019)
- de Orduña (2010); Jones et al. (2005); Webb et al. (2011), all in Dunn et al. (2019)
- Nesbitt et al. (2016), in: Patriche and Irimia (2022)