Home / Agricultural Economy / Agribusiness / Dr. Nazan An – Dr. Tufan Turp: Drought may change the flavour of grapes!

Dr. Nazan An – Dr. Tufan Turp: Drought may change the flavour of grapes!

The effects of climate change on viticulture areas in Türkiye were investigated. According to the results of the study, drought and increasing temperatures in the next 30 years will cause quality and flavour changes in grapes.

Dr. Nazan An

According to a new study investigating how viticulture areas in Türkiye will be affected by climate change, expected temperature hikes are expected to reduce grape yield and quality. The study, which reveals that the calculated changes in climatic conditions may also change the areas suitable for the cultivation of different grape species, stated that production may need to be shifted to regions that can offer suitable conditions.

The study conducted by Dr. Nazan An and Dr. Tufan Turp, co-founders of the Boğaziçi University Climate Change and Policy Implementation and Research Centre (iklimBU), concluded that rising temperatures and decreasing precipitation in the country in the next 30 years will change the favourable conditions in grape-producing regions and that the temperature extremes, expected changes in the precipitation regime and drought in the Mediterranean Basin, where Türkiye is located, may adversely affect viticulture activities.

Commenting on the research, Dr. Nazan An said, “Grapes, which can be widely grown in more than forty countries around the world, are very sensitive to climatic changes, even though they can be grown in a wide area.”

“Therefore, climate change significantly affects the production quantity and quality of grapes. While summer drought as a result of climate change is expected to cause both yield losses and quality problems by limiting quality production, this situation may mean a high risk factor for grape production if adaptation measures are not taken,” she explained.

Dr. Tufan Turp

Yield decline expected in Manisa and Denizli regions…

Underlining that the expected temperature extremes, expected changes in the precipitation regime and drought will adversely affect viticulture activities, Dr. An added, “A decrease in yield is expected in Manisa and Denizli provinces where Sultana grapes, which account for about half of the total grape production in the country, are grown. On the other hand, it is estimated that favourable conditions for Sultana grapes may shift to the interior of the Western Black Sea and the west of Eastern Anatolia. Similarly, it is predicted that the coastal and inland areas of the Aegean Region will become more suitable for varieties that require high temperatures such as Boğazkere, Öküzgözü and Şire.”

“Varieties resistant to water stress should be produced”

Emphasising the importance of rapid reflection of adaptation measures on agricultural activities in the coming period, such as determining alternative locations for some species, Dr. Turp noted, “In line with indices that deal with the temperature totals that vines are exposed to during growth and ripening, it is possible to predict whether grapes will grow in a certain region and to make predictions about the quality of the vines. Within the scope of sustainable viticulture efforts, it is necessary to identify alternative locations for some species and shape future investments accordingly.”

Rapid adaptation is a must in agriculture

Pointing out that in order to minimise the negative effects of climate change on grape production, it is also an option to grow the varieties in regions that offer suitable conditions, Dr. Turp concluded, “In addition, adaptation measures can be taken, such as the production of varieties that can better withstand high temperatures and water stress. In some regions that were previously considered too cold or too cold for viticulture, favourable conditions for some crops may occur with temperature increases due to climatic changes.”

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