Designation (from ancient Greek trópoi Hēliou, German solstice regions) for the geographical area between the two tropics of Cancer at plus 23° and 27' northern latitude and Capricorn at minus 23° and 27' southern latitude, on which the sun is at its zenith at noon on the respective solstice. Climatically, this is the hottest climate zone on earth. Characteristic are high annual mean temperatures with small annual but large daily fluctuations, lush vegetation (rainforest, jungle), as well as savannahs or deserts depending on the annual precipitation and humidity.
Productive or qualitatively noteworthy viticulture is only possible to a limited extent, and in areas with a dry-hot climate it is difficult or impossible due to great heat and lack of water. In the warm and humid regions near the equator, fungal diseases are a further difficulty, and to a large extent, hardly controllable. In some tropical areas the climate is tempered by higher altitudes and/or frequent precipitation. Therefore vines can grow here all year round. With artificial irrigation, high yields can be achieved with a high sugar content but little acidity and aroma. Mainly table grapes and raisins are produced, as well as dessert wines, sparkling wines or wines for distillation.
Countries (or parts thereof) belonging to the tropical or peripheral regions are Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Cape Verde, Ecuador, India, Indonesia (on Bali), Kenya, Laos, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tahiti (Rangiroa), Thailand, Uganda, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. In some there are two (Brazil, India, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, Tahiti, Uganda, Venezuela) and in some even three (Ecuador, Indonesia) harvests per year. For some of these countries, the term New Latitude Wines, first used in 2003, applies. See further lists of the wine-growing countries in geographical terms under the keywords Africa, Asia, Europe, New World, South America and USA, as well as under Wine Production Volumes.