Northern European viticulture compared to Central European high altitude viticulture: annual growth cycle of grapevines in the years 2012–2013
Department of Agricultural Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki, Finland
Abstract: As a result of global warming and grape breeding, viticulture is spreading to the Baltic Sea Region and Southern Scandinavia. The aim of the study, conducted in 2012–2013, was to determine the extent of the differences between the current climate and growth conditions of Tuusula and Ålsgårde vineyards that are located in the Baltic Sea Region, and the highest European vineyards that are located in Central Europe's Unterstalten. The research material consisted of measurements taken of the soil and air temperatures, and the thickness of the snow layer, all of which were taken simultaneously all year round (October 20, 2012–October 20, 2013). The study revealed that the soil temperature at Ålsgårde did not differ significantly from the soil temperature at Unterstalten during the growing season, but the soil temperature at Tuusula was significantly lower than that of Unterstalten (P<0.001). The air temperature at Ålsgårde during the growing season was significantly higher than that of Unterstalten (P<0.001), but the air temperature at Tuusula did not differ significantly from that of Unterstalten (P>0.05). In June, July, and August, the air temperatures at Tuusula and Ålsgårde were significantly higher than at Unterstalten (P<0.001). In midsummer, Tuusula experienced 1 hour and 31 minutes more daylight than Ålsgårde, and 3 hours and 19 minutes more than Unterstalten. The average snow cover in the winter months at Tuusula was 41 cm and in Unterstalten it was 50 cm. There was no permanent snow cover in the winter at Ålsgårde. Based on this study, the grapevine growing conditions in the Baltic Sea Region do not differ crucially from the growing conditions of vineyards that are located in the highest regions of Central Europe; consequently, the wine growing that is carried out by several European Vitis vinifera L. and hybrid varieties is already possible in Tuusula and Ålsgårde.
Keywords: Nordic wine growing, climate change, cool climate, daylight length
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