Journal article

Observed trends in winegrape maturity in Australia

LB Webb, PH Whetton, EWR Barlow

Global Change Biology | WILEY | Published : 2011


An extensive assessment of historical trends in winegrape maturity dates from vineyards located in geographically diverse winegrape growing regions in Australia has been undertaken. Records from 44 vineyard blocks, representing a range of varieties of Vitis vinifera L., were accessed. These comprise 33 short-term datasets (average 17 years in length) and 11 long-term datasets, ranging from 25 to 115 years in length (average 50 years). Time series of the day of the year grapes attain maturity were assessed. A trend to earlier maturity of winegrapes was observed in 43 of the 44 vineyard blocks. This trend was significant for six out of the 11 long-term blocks for the complete time period for w..

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Funding Acknowledgements

I wish to thank Roger Jones (Victoria University), Greg Jones (Southern Oregon University), and Rebecca Darbyshire (University of Melbourne) for assistance with vineyard datasets and analysis. Ian Smith and Peter Briggs (CSIRO) and Ailie Gallant (University of Melbourne) for provision of climate data. Pandora Hope (Australian Bureau of Meteorology) for useful discussions regarding the climate trends. Lynda Chambers (Australian Bureau of Meteorology), Jonas Bhend (CSIRO) and three anonymous reveiwers for useful critical comments. Finally, Paul Petrie (Fosters Group Limited), Nat White (Main Ridge Estate), Alister Purbrick and Robyn Sutherland (Chateau Tahbilk), Stephen and Bill Chambers (Chambers Rosewood Wines), Trevor Kent and Vanya Cullen (Cullen Wines, Western Australia), Stephen and Prue Henschke (Henschke Wines) and Colin Kay (Kay Brothers Amery Wines) and their forebears who all recorded vineyard datasets and made them available for this analysis. This work was partly funded by the CSIRO Climate Adaptation National Research Flagship and also by the Australian Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation.