Spanish Winemakers Take Heart: Heat-Resistant Grapes Show Promise

An optimistic development that could aid in the future of Spanish winemaking

Good news for Spanish winemakers facing hotter, drier climate. Researchers at the Institute of Vine and Wine of Castilla-La Mancha (IVICAM) highlight two lesser-known grape varieties, Benedicto and Moribel, as promising alternatives to Tempranillo in the context of climate change. These varieties demonstrate resilience under heat stress and drought conditions, outperforming Tempranillo in several qualitative analyses.

The study, part of Sergio Serrano Parra’s doctoral thesis, involved a detailed examination of the physiological and agronomic characteristics of these varieties. Benedicto and Moribel showed superior performance in parameters such as berry weight, must composition, and phenolic content when subjected to elevated temperatures and water scarcity. The research suggests that these grapes could help sustain and potentially enhance wine production in Spain’s warming climate.

But it’s not just about survival – these grapes are making good wines too! The study also included an assessment of the wines produced from these varieties. Sensory analyses indicated that wines from Benedicto and Moribel maintained quality and complexity, even under adverse conditions. These findings provide a valuable foundation for future breeding programs and vineyard management practices aimed at mitigating the impacts of climate change on viticulture.

For more details, see the original article on Decanter here.

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