With it being the largest producer, consumer, exporter and importer of wine, and accounting for 45% of wine-growing areas, 65% of production, 57% of consumption and 70% of exports in global terms, the EU can be considered one of the most important players of the global wine market.

More than 90% of the EU wine sector is made up of small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), who play a key role in the social, economic and rural development of many regions across the EU. Although the sector is dominated by family labor, paid labor is also of high importance as vine is significantly more labor intensive than other crops.

Climate is one of the factors that greatly affects wine grapes and thereby the quality and quantity of wine which can be produced from them. Slight changes in temperature can influence the grapes’ acidity and sugar levels, make them more exposed to pests and diseases or lead to over-ripening, which in turn affects the economic competitiveness of European wines.

As the effects of climate change intensify and temperatures experience a general increase, winegrowers of the EU need to be supported to prepare for the changes which await them. With EU vineyards representing almost half of the global surface covered by vines, the negative effects of such changes, if not dealt with properly, can adversely affect not only EU but also global wine production and trade.

Winegrowers need to have access to up-to-date and precise information in order to be able to make the best decisions and to anticipate and react to extreme weather conditions.

These negative effects become especially prominent when we look at wines with Geographical Indications, whose quality and reputation are associated with the concrete geographical origins where they are produced. Since warming climates can significantly affect both the grapes and the wine-making processes of regions, thorough preparation and timely interventions will be needed to preserve the specific characteristics of such wines.

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