Climate and Wine Quality: Temperature

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Average mean temperature during ripening strongly influences potential wine style. Defining grape maturity as that appropriate to making dry table wines, mean temperatures averaging above about 21 °C/70 °F in the final month to maturity lead to a rapid loss of malic acid from the grapes, and to lower total acidity and generally higher ph in the juice. Conversely, an average mean temperature below about 15 °C/59 °F in the final month minimizes acid loss to the point that acid levels may be too high. There is also often a risk that the grapes will not ripen fully at all.