In South Africa, viticulture originated and still mainly takes place at a latitude of 27°-34° south in an area with a Mediterranean climate. The
Rain falls mainly between May and August, and diminishes in a northerly and north-westerly direction, caused by the cold Benguela current along the West Coast and the prominent mountain ranges which follow the coastline, making irrigation essential in these areas. Temperature is probably one of the most important factors affecting the grapevine as it has an effect on almost every aspect of its functioning. Temperatures follow an inverse pattern to rainfall, increasing in a northerly direction and with distance from the sea.
Macro-, Meso- and Microclimates
Climate is described in viticulture on three levels, namely macroclimate, mesoclimate (also named topoclimate) and microclimate. Macroclimate is the climate of a region. Mesoclimate differs from the macroclimate of the region due to differences in altitude, slope inclination, aspect or distance from large bodies of water; this term usually describes the climate of a particular vineyard. Microclimate is the climate surrounding the bunches within the vine canopy as modified by vine and canopy management characteristics, and can differ within a few centimetres.
This legendary – and sometimes ferocious – south-easterly wind blows across the south-western
The Effect of Sea Breezes
The ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij automatic weather station network has been installed in the