Intensely cold winters and a relatively short growing season limit the types of wine grapes grown in the southern Quebec cool climate wine region. The wine producers in the Monteregie and Estrie regions have historically been limited to growing cold-resistant hybrid varieties. Recently, numerous studies have documented the existence of climate change, especially global warming. This study uses graphical and statistical methods to examine the climate of the Monteregie and Estrie regions over a 31-year period in order to determine if recent regional climate change is having an effect on the local wine industry. Four principal climatic factors are analysed: annual number of intensely cold days, mean minimum growing season temperature, number of growing season frost-free days and number of growing season days. In southern Quebec, recent climate change, regional warming, is changing the wine grape-growing environment. The amelioration of winter temperatures and lengthening of the growing season is allowing the introduction of the less cold hardy Vitis vinifera varieties. Continued warming will allow more widespread use of these varieties. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
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