Can vines be grown in the tropical zone?
CLIMATE CONDITIONS OF VINE CULTIVATION
The vine thrives well between 11 and 24ºC, with varieties that adapt well to lower temperatures and others to higher temperatures.
It is true that many varieties are resistant to drought, others to winter frosts and others require few hours of light for their correct maturation.
The tropical climate is characterized by the existence of two seasons: a dry season, the duration of which varies according to proximity to the Equator, and a wet season. This climate does not know winter; the average temperature in the warmest month is above 18ºC, of course it never freezes. The humidity of the air in these areas makes it difficult for the sun’s rays to enter, moderates the terrestrial irradiation and increases the action of the <greenhouse effect>.
The tropical climate prevents the presence of the vine in much of South America, although the cold highlands sometimes allow solving the problem of excess humidity.
VARIETIES THAT CAN BE PLANTED
The most commonly used varieties today are Pinot noir, Riesling, and Riesling vs. Silvaner crosses.
PECULIARITIES OF TROPICAL VITICULTURE
The “tropical zone” is characterized by the absence of winters, the average temperature of the coldest month is above 18 ° C. These conditions mean that the vine does not have vegetative rest or it is very reduced. The climate is humid with rains distributed during all the months of the year. Such conditions do not satisfy the thermoregulation and photoperiod needs of the vine. This induces physiological disorders in the plant that limit the life span of the vineyard to less than 15 years. The vineyards in this area only extend over 23,000 ha, which corresponds to around 0.3% of the world surface. This indicates that at these latitudes vineyard management is laborious (diseases, etc …) and often economically difficult.
Vine cultivation is possible in areas with a tropical climate but they are not the best areas for them.