Department or Program

Environmental Studies


Climate change will have a profound impact on viticulture across the planet in the coming decades. Viticulture in the Mediterranean Basin will be disproportionately affected, as it is considered a climate change hotspot. This study focuses on how the vineyards of three notable wine regions in southern France will be affected by projected changes in average annual temperature, total annual precipitation, average length of droughts, and average volumetric soil water (VSW) content in layer 1 soils due to climate change. Vineyard soils will also be affected by climate change in this region, indirectly impacting grape cultivation as well. A GIS approach was taken to display the difference in these climate variables on southern French vineyards between 2020 and 2050. Raster and vector datafiles from the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service and the Copernicus Climate Change Service were used under two French climate projection models and the RCP 4.5 climate scenario. The results of this GIS comparison indicated an increase in average annual temperature and average length of dry spells, a decrease in total annual precipitation, and relatively similar average VSW content on southern French vineyards by 2050. Grapes in this region will likely experience a decrease in desired flavors and other specific qualities for wine-production largely due to a shift in grapevine phenology driven by warmer temperatures throughout the growing season. Vineyards are also likely to yield a smaller quantity of usable wine grapes at harvest due to water stress. The stability, and even increase, in VSW content despite less precipitation and longer droughts indicates that there may be other facets of climate change that will impact soil moisture and, thus, viticulture in the future. There are strategies that can be used to mitigate the effects of climate change on viticulture and winemaking, including agricultural approaches and the blending of introduced resistant grape varieties with traditionally grown varieties to maintain quality and quantity.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Holly Ewing

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Open Access

Available to all.