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Global Environmental Change Group

Wine Industry

The wine industry is a major economic sector that is extremely sensitive to local environmental conditions, which shape the nature and success of various grapes, vineyards and regions. Climate in particular is known to exert considerable influence on wine production, and several recent reports have noted the challenges related to changing climate in the wine regions of South Africa, California, South America, Australia, Italy, Spain and France.

Our study in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia showed how producers have adapted to changes in demand, marketing arrangements, growing season conditions and water availability. A comparative study in the Niagara Peninsula of Ontario (in collaboration with producers and Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food) identifies the changing exposures and adaptive strategies of grape growers and wine producers. Please visit our Study Sites section to read more about these projects.

We are collaborating with partners in Canada (University of Guelph, University of Regina), Chile (Universidad de Chile), Argentina (Universidad Nacional de Cuyo), and New Zealand (University of Auckland) to undertake additional assessments and to facilitate international comparisons. The fieldwork for a Chile case project is scheduled to take place in 2008.

Please visit our Study Sites section to read more about wine industry research undertaken by our core team. These study sites include Okanagan Valley (British Columbia), Niagara gape and wine region (Ontario), and Maule Valley (Chile).

Some of the accomplishments of our wine industry research are summarized in Belliveau et al. (2006). Visit our Publications section to find the full references for these, and other, publications.