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Wine Growing Climates


Between latitude 30° and 50°


Most of the world's wine production and the best suitable climate is found between latitude 30° and 50°, both North and South.

Cool Climate

Regions close to 50° North or South such: Germany, Northern France , South Argentina.

Closer to the Poles, with lower temperatures and lower sunlight, the grapes struggle with ripening (sugar, acid, and PH balance).

Cool climate suits best white wine production because white grapes generally ripen earlier.

Best suited white varieties are Riesling, Chardonnay, Grüner Veltliner, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Albariño and Sauvignon Blanc.

Best suited red varieties are Pinot Noir, Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch.

Cool climate enhances acidity and reduces sugar. Tannins and color are often low due to low ripeness.

Definition of cool climate wines

Wines made from grapes grown either:

  • South of latitude 37.5 degrees south
  • North of latitude 37.5 degrees north
  • An average July (South: January) temperature below 19°C (66°F)
  • Vineyards above 800m in altitude

Medium Climate

Regions close to parallel 45 North or South such: Piedmont, Rhône Valley, Bordeaux, Willamette Valley in Oregon.

45 is exactly half way between the Pole (90) and the Equator (0).

Warm Climate

Regions close to 30° North or South such: California, Italy, Southern Spain, Argentina, Australia, South Africa.

Closer to the Equator with average high temperatures, and high sunlight.

Warm climate is associated with ripeness, deep flavor, jammy fruit.

Warm climate tends to produce sweeter wines.

Overripe and oxidized fruit tends to color white wines towards golden shades of yellow, and red wines towards brown shades.

Warm climate enhances sugar and reduces acidity. Tannins, color and alcohol are often high due to ripeness.


Wine growing areas in EU. Source: Eurostat.

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