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

J. M. Costa, Aline Martins Vaz, J. Escalona, R. Egipto, C. Lopes, Hipolito Medrano, M. M. Chaves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-18
Number of pages14
JournalAgricultural Water Management
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2016


  • Environmental impact
  • Grapevine stress physiology
  • Mediterranean
  • Sustainable water use in the vineyard and winery
  • Water management
  • Water metrics and water use indicators


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