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.

DataCool ClimateWarm Climate
BodyLight to MediumMedium to Full
AlcoholLow to MediumMedium to High
AcidityMedium to HighLow to Medium
TanninsLow to MediumMedium to High
AromasElegant and DelicatePronounced Fruit
FlavorsFresh and ZestyBold and Tropical

Cool Climate Wines

Wines made from grapes grown:

  • North of latitude 37.5° north
  • South of latitude 37.5° south
  • Average growing temperature 16.5°C (62°F) or below
  • Vineyards above 800m in altitude

Examples: Germany, Northern France, Oregon, and South Argentina.

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

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

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

Best known white varieties are Chardonnay, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Best known red varieties are Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and Gamay.

Medium Climate Wines

Wines made from grapes grown:

  • Close to parallel 45° north and south
  • Average growing temperature between 16.5°C (62°F) and 18.5° (65°F)

Examples: Piedmont, Rhône Valley, Bordeaux, Willamette Valley in Oregon.

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

Warm Climate Wines

Wines made from grapes grown:

  • Close to parallel 30° north or south
  • Average growing temperature from 18.5°C (65°F) to 21.5° (70°F)

Examples: 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.