A climate index proposal for the wine sector: a descriptive statistical approach

Costa, Ana Alexandra Vilela Marta Rio
Cerveira, Maria Adelaide da Cruz
Matias, João Luis Honório
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Understanding the role of the climate on the wine production is one of the major concerns of this sector since the environment usually determines the output of this industry. There are only a few previous studies that attempted to compile these environmental effects as an index, usually considering the temperature and the precipitation as their core variables. The present study suggests a new climate index which is based on descriptive statistics. Our index tries to mimic the target region characteristics and avoid the past studies premise of imposing previously conceived restrictions such as a fixed optimal climate. We then used yearly production and daily temperature data (1950-2016) from the Portuguese Minho wine region to test our proposed index and compare it with Ribéreau-Gayon and Peynaud (RGP, Ribéreau-Gayon et al., 2003) and Growing Degree-Days (GDD, Winkler et al., 1974) indexes. Our results showed that the newly proposed index may outperform the explanatory power of the other indexes and, in addition, may output interesting and unknown characteristics such as the different ideal temperatures regarding the studied region.