Definition - What does Maritime Climate mean?
Maritime Climates, also known as oceanic or marine climates, are categorized by their geographical location and temperature. These climates are present on the western coastline of continents located on the mid-latitude regions. They have moderate temperatures, with stable temperature ranges and predictable precipitation patterns year-round due to the oceanic winds and temperature.
WineFrog explains Maritime Climate
For vineyards planted in Maritime Climates, the grapes are exposed to cooler temperatures that are stable due to the oceanic winds from the coast. These temperatures are relatively cool but have a large amount of sunny days making them ideal for some grape species. These vineyards also benefit from a humidity index that varies on their distance from the coastline. Most varieties do well in these environments, producing smooth, subtle tasting wines but some that thrive in these climates include, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
It is important to realize that while a region may be classified as having a Maritime Climate, it does not mean that it will produce the same quality or taste in grapes as other maritime regions. Their overall temperature and stability depends on the ocean that borders their coastline. The maritime climates most influenced by the ocean are the UK coastal regions of France, Portugal and England, the Australian and New Zealand coastlines and the United States western coastline (California). Due to their different oceans and relative temperatures, these maritime climates will all produce different grapes and different tasting wines.