Definition - What does Temperate Regions mean?
In the context of wine growing regions, temperate regions refer to regions that have moderate climates during the growing season. Temperate climates can still experience different seasons, but will do so without extremes of temperature.Typically, wine grapevines grow very well in temperate climates, as long, warm periods promote the growth of the vine as well as flowering, fruit set and ripening.
WineFrog explains Temperate Regions
Temperate regions are typical between the tropic of cancer and the tropic of Capricorn, with some exceptions due to elevation. Temperate wine growing regions include regions with Mediterranean and continental climates. These regions are defined by long, hot summers and mild, short winters with the majority of annual rainfall in the warmest part of the year.
Well-known temperate regions with Mediterranean climates include the Napa and Russian River Valleys in California, the Languedoc, Provence and Rhone Valley in France, most regions in Greece and the Chilean Central valley in South America. Well-known temperate regions with a continental climate include; Burgundy and the Loire Valley in France, the Italian Piedmont and most regions in Northern Italy, Austria, Romania, Turkey, the Ukraine and most regions in Russia.
Wine vines grown in temperate climates are less likely to be damaged by frost or freezing temperatures in the winter which promotes better overall health for the vine. Temperate regions not only promote the growth of the vine and provide optimal growing conditions for the grapes, they also affect sugar and acid levels in the grapes.
Grapes grown in temperate climates are typically sweeter and have a balanced acidity, and there are many popular grape varietals that prefer temperate climates such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel.