The criteria for the suitability of a region for viticulture are called viticultural suitability. According to climatic conditions, the countries of the EU are divided into the three main zones A, B and (with 5 subzones) C with regard to viticulture
A: Belgium, Denmark, most of Germany (except cultivation area Baden), England, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Czech Republic (Cechy=Bohemia)
B: Germany (only Baden), North/East France (Champagne, Alsace, Jura, Loire, Lorraine, Savoy), Austria, Slovakia (except Tokay), North Slovenia (Podravje, Posavje), Romania (Podisul Transilvaniei), Czech Republic (Morava=Moravia)
C Ia: South/West France (Bordeaux, Burgundy, Provence, Rhône, Sud-Ouest), North Spain (Asturia, Cantabria, Coruna, Guipuzcoa, Viscaya), North Portugal, Romania (Rest), Romania (Rest), Slovakia (only Tokay)
C Ib: small part of northern Italy (Aosta Valley, South Tyrol), Hungary
C II: Bulgaria (Dunawska, Rawnina, Chernomorski Rajon, Rosowa Dolina), southern France (Languedoc-Roussillon), central and northern Italy (Abruzzo, Emilia-Romagna, F-J-V, Liguria, Lombardy except Sondrio, Marche, Campania, Molise, Piedmont, Tuscany, Umbria, Veneto except Belluno, southern Romania, Spain (e. g. E.g. Penedés, Rioja), coastal area Slovenia (Primorska)
C IIIa: Bulgaria (rest), Greece (cooler parts) with Crete, Cyprus (above 600 m)
C IIIb: France (Corsica, Pyrénées-Orientales), most of Greece, Southern Italy (Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria, Sardinia, Sicily, other islands), Southern Spain (rest), Southern Portugal (rest), Malta, Cyprus (up to 600 m)
All wine-growing areas in Austria belong to wine-growing zone B, in Germany all except the wine-growing area Baden (wine-growing zone B) belong to wine-growing zone A. The minimum values regarding alcohol content and must weight, as well as various wine-making processes such as enrichment, de-acidification and acidification are set differently for each wine-growing zone. It is being considered to reduce to three zones North, Central, South and to gradually increase the minimum requirements in North. In California, there is a subdivision into five climate zones based on special analyses.
Due to the fact of climate change, which can hardly be disputed any more, there may have to be changes in the classification of the wine-growing zones. Since the mid-1990s, Cool Climate Winegrowing has become popular in this context, which means planting vines in higher areas with continental climatic conditions. See also northernmost vineyard, southernmost vine yard and highest vineyard.
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Dozent, Önologe und Weinbauberater, Bad Kreuznach