International Journal of Enology and Viticulture ISSN: 3426-7212 Vol. 4 (6), pp. 192-221, November, 2017. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Climate change and grapevine growth in the southernmost Finland

Juha Karvonen

Department of Agricultural Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland. E-mail: juha.i.karvonen@helsinki.fi; Tel: +358400642378.

Accepted 23 October, 2017

Abstract

The study charted the suitability of existing environmental conditions in the southernmost Finland for growing grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.). It examined the effect of snow layer and covers on the earth’s surface and soil temperatures, compared the growing conditions in the Helsinki region (Tuusula) to the growing conditions at viticulture locations in continental Europe and the Swiss mountains, and assessed how the predicted climate change would promote viticulture in southernmost Finland. According to the Heliothermal Index (HI) and Amerine-Winkler Index, Tuusula, Neunbrandenburg, Freyburg and Herrlisheim-prés-Colmar are all classified as ‘very cool’ viticulture climates. Based on the Cool Night Index (CI), Tuusula was classified as ‘very cool nights’, but other locations were classified as ‘cool nights’. In the Helsinki region, the current length of the growing season, effective temperature sum, number of hours of sunshine, solar radiation and soil temperature are sufficient for growing many V. vinifera and hybrid cultivars and correspond to vineyard climate conditions in the Copenhagen region and high-altitude vineyards in Valais. The predicted 2°C temperature increase by the RPC2.6 scenario would bring to the Helsinki area temperatures found currently in the northern viticulture areas of central Europe and make viticulture possible with more V. vinifera cultivars.

Keywords: Northern viticulture, viticulture climate classification, climate change, growing season, air temperature, snow cover.