From vine to wine: Alicante winemakers tackle climate change

From vine to wine: Alicante winemakers tackle climate change.

From vine to wine: Alicante winemakers tackle climate change. Image: Casa Sicilia / Facebook.

Lower vineyard density and higher costs and prices are likely consequences of climate change for the wine sector in Alicante.

This was the consensus among winemakers and university experts at a conference held at the Casa Sicilia 1707 winery in Novelda.

The event addressed the challenges the sector faces due to increasing drought and rising temperatures, emphasising that while these extreme climate conditions will make cultivation more difficult, they will not halt wine production entirely.

The wine industry in Alicante is increasingly concerned about the impact of climate change on vineyards.

Last year’s harvest saw a significant decline, a trend expected to continue this year.

Multiple Angles

Pepe Mendoza, head of the Casa Agrícola winery, stressed the need to tackle the problem from multiple angles, beginning with reducing vine density. “We can no longer plant 1,500 vines per hectare; we will need to reduce it to 800,” he stated.

Mendoza also recommended lower pruning to create “bonsai vines,” reducing yields, and focusing on traditional native varieties, which are more resilient.

He called for direct support for farmers with vineyards over 25 years old, highlighting the importance of preserving this agricultural heritage.

Antoni Santonja from the Bocopa wine department noted that this shift requires continuous learning.

While recent investments have focused on winery facilities, he emphasised the need to now invest in the fields and return attention to the vineyards themselves.

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Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.

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