To identify the possible measures for vineyards to adapt to the risks of climate change, taking into consideration the specific area or region where that vineyard is located, is the basis of the discussion which took place in WineBiodiversity. This event was held last 14th of March 2019 in the Cultural Centre La Asunción (Albacete, Spain), and several key actors of the wine sector and experts such as Jordi Domingo from Fundación Global Nature (FGN) attended. “Taking care of the soil and improving its organic matter content is essential to face water deficit and extreme temperatures, two of the main changes that climate change will bring along”, stated Jordi Domingo who, besides, focused the attention on the idea that the product to be obtained from vineyards within 30 years will be very different to what we obtain now. That`s why an adaptation process is necessary in which it makes more sense to focus on quality than on quantity, something that will also help to differentiate the product in increasingly competitive markets. “Climate change will bring along an impact not only upon quantity but also upon the quality of our wines. Beyond the measures implemented on our vineyards, we will have to introduce new mechanisms such as educating consumers in new wine profiles and valuing our varieties”, he emphasized.
Then, the debate turned into a discussion about the importance of enhancing and conserving biodiversity in vineyards as a key factor for adapting to climate change. The importance of green pruning, green covers, organic matter applications from livestock and agrifood industries and water management, among others, were also discussed. The debate was complex and varied, but they agreed on some points like the necessity of innovating and breaking with current production schemes, focusing on enhancing the transfer of knowledge from investigation to the agricultural community.
Following the same reasoning it was also discussed that, although the production of great volumes is a resource which currently provides important benefits to wineries and cooperatives, a bet in the sector exists to differentiate wines in terms of quality and not only of quantity. In fact, focusing on quantity is a trend dictated by the market itself that accelerates climate change. From the event was learned that along this path, changes coming from agriculture are necessary, but the support of administration and marketing is also essential.