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Modern viticulture in southern Europe: Vulnerabilities and strategies for adaptation to water scarcity


  • Costa, J.M.
  • Vaz, M.
  • Escalona, J.
  • Egipto, R.
  • Lopes, C.
  • Medrano, H.
  • Chaves, M.M.


Water is now considered the most important but vulnerable resource in the Mediterranean region. Nevertheless, irrigation expanded fast in the region (e.g. South Portugal and Spain) to mitigate environmental stress and to guarantee stable grape yield and quality. Sustainable wine production depends on sustainable water use in the wine’s supply chain, from the vine to the bottle. Better understanding of grapevine stress physiology (e.g. water relations, temperature regulation, water use efficiency), more robust crop monitoring/phenotyping and implementation of best water management practices will help to mitigate climate effects and will enable significant water savings in the vineyard and winery. In this paper, we focused on the major vulnerabilities and opportunities of South European Mediterranean viticulture (e.g. in Portugal and Spain) and present a multi-level strategy (from plant to the consumer) to overcome region’s weaknesses and support strategies for adaptation to water scarcity, promote sustainable water use and minimize the environmental impact of the sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Costa, J.M. & Vaz, M. & Escalona, J. & Egipto, R. & Lopes, C. & Medrano, H. & Chaves, M.M., 2016. "Modern viticulture in southern Europe: Vulnerabilities and strategies for adaptation to water scarcity," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 164(P1), pages 5-18.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agiwat:v:164:y:2016:i:p1:p:5-18
    DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2015.08.021

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Costa, J.M. & Egipto, R. & Sánchez-Virosta, A. & Lopes, C.M. & Chaves, M.M., 2019. "Canopy and soil thermal patterns to support water and heat stress management in vineyards," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 216(C), pages 484-496.
    2. Alrajhi, Abdullah & Beecham, Simon & Hassanli, Ali, 2017. "Effects of partial root-zone drying irrigation and water quality on soil physical and chemical properties," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 182(C), pages 117-125.
    3. Pisciotta, Antonino & Di Lorenzo, Rosario & Santalucia, Gioacchino & Barbagallo, Maria Gabriella, 2018. "Response of grapevine (Cabernet Sauvignon cv) to above ground and subsurface drip irrigation under arid conditions," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 197(C), pages 122-131.
    4. Santesteban, L.G. & Miranda, C. & Marín, D. & Sesma, B. & Intrigliolo, D.S. & Mirás-Avalos, J.M. & Escalona, J.M. & Montoro, A. & de Herralde, F. & Baeza, P. & Romero, P. & Yuste, J. & Uriarte, D. & M, 2019. "Discrimination ability of leaf and stem water potential at different times of the day through a meta-analysis in grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.)," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 221(C), pages 202-210.
    5. Fraga, H. & García de Cortázar Atauri, I. & Santos, J.A, 2018. "Viticultural irrigation demands under climate change scenarios in Portugal," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 196(C), pages 66-74.
    6. Luigino Barisan & Marco Lucchetta & Cristian Bolzonella & Vasco Boatto, 2019. "How Does Carbon Footprint Create Shared Values in the Wine Industry? Empirical Evidence from Prosecco Superiore PDO’s Wine District," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(11), pages 1-13, May.
    7. Fraga, Helder & Santos, João A., 2018. "Vineyard mulching as a climate change adaptation measure: Future simulations for Alentejo, Portugal," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 107-115.
    8. Ma, Xiaochi & Sanguinet, Karen A. & Jacoby, Pete W., 2019. "Performance of direct root-zone deficit irrigation on Vitis vinifera L. cv. Cabernet Sauvignon production and water use efficiency in semi-arid southcentral Washington," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 221(C), pages 47-57.
    9. Ines Campos & Esther Marín-González & Guilherme Luz & João Barroso & Nuno Oliveira, 2019. "Renewable Energy Prosumers in Mediterranean Viticulture Social–Ecological Systems," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(23), pages 1-16, November.
    10. Torres, Nazareth & Goicoechea, Nieves & Carmen Antolín, M., 2018. "Influence of irrigation strategy and mycorrhizal inoculation on fruit quality in different clones of Tempranillo grown under elevated temperatures," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 202(C), pages 285-298.
    11. García-Tejero, I.F. & Costa, J.M. & Egipto, R. & Durán-Zuazo, V.H. & Lima, R.S.N. & Lopes, C.M. & Chaves, M.M., 2016. "Thermal data to monitor crop-water status in irrigated Mediterranean viticulture," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 80-90.


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