GST best measure for viticulturists

GST (growing season temperature) may be the climatic index of choice for viticulturists.

Pioneering cool climate viticulturist Dr Andrew Pirie, of Tamar Ridge, revitalised GST as a single measure offering a refined definition of cool climate at the opening session of the 8th International Cool Climate Symposium in Tasmania.

Pirie tested some of the current climate indices by trialling how successful they are in Tasmania, no easy task in a complex viticultural environment.

Such parameters as air temperature, soil temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind, solar radiation, UV, soil moisture and evapo-transpiration “changed more than I expected, and will all have a bearing on the climate of a vine.”

While “no one index will tell you everything” Pirie said, he arrived at GST, which has been around for some time, because “it seems to work everywhere” across the winemaking world, whereas, he added, indices such as HDD (heat degree days) and MJTs (mean January/July temperatures) do not.

Pirie used the GST band from 14C to 16C to define cool climate. Cool climate thus includes places such as Champagne, Mosel, Rheingau, Tamar Valley, Macedon Ranges, Willamette Valley, Alsace, Marlborough, Mornington, Central Otago, Martinborough and Burgundy. He refined 13-14C as very cool, and under 13C as too cool. Very cool places include East Sussex, Puget Sound and Surrey.

Another advantage of GST is that it “tells you which grapes will grow” Pirie said. In “very cool” regions, the likes of Müller-Thurgau, Seyval, Reichensteiner, Schonberger, Huxelrebe and Bacchus are found, while in “cool climate”, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris/Grigio, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Gamay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling are best suited.

Over 16C, and varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, in Bordeaux, begin to be grown.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

We encourage debate in the comments section and always welcome feedback, but if you spot something you don't think is right, we ask that you leave an accurate email address so we can get back to you if we need to.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Brand Manager

Elixir Distillers
Park Royal, London UK

Marketing Assistant

Speciality Brands
Park Royal, London, UK

Key Account Manager

MMI Maldives

Financial Controller

London City Bond
Barking, UK

Duty Manager

The Whisky Exchange
Great Portland Street, London

Spirits Advisor

The Whisky Exchange
London, UK

International Sales Manager

Elixir Distillers
Park Royal, London, UK

Brand Marketing Executive

Elixir Distillers
Park Royal, London, UK

Millésime Bio 2020

27th Jan 2020

Maisons Marques et Domaines Annual Tasting

London,United Kingdom
29th Jan 2020

Austrian Wine Tasting

London,United Kingdom
3rd Feb 2020
Click to view more