From Bordeaux to Marlborough : The Climate

Despite being located on opposite sides of the globe, Bordeaux and Marlborough share several climatic similarities that make them exceptional wine regions. Their maritime climates, with mild temperatures, consistent rainfall, and long growing seasons, create ideal conditions for viticulture. These similarities contribute to the unique and high-quality wines that each region is famous for, highlighting the importance of climate in wine production.


Situated on the 45th parallel, Bordeaux enjoys a Mediterranean maritime climate, perfectly balanced between the equator and the North Pole. This unique position contributes to its distinct weather patterns, characterized by mild winters, warm summers, and a significant influence from the Atlantic Ocean. The maritime climate moderates temperatures and provides ample humidity, creating an ideal environment for viticulture. However, extreme heat events and erratic rainfall pose major challenges to winegrowers.

Climate change has intensified the frequency of heatwaves and unpredictable weather, exacerbating pest and disease pressures. Grapevines thrive between 25°C and 32°C; temperatures above this range halt photosynthesis and ripening, resulting in smaller grapes, lower yields, and potentially bitter flavors. This changing climate is significantly impacting Bordeaux's traditional viticulture, threatening the region's renowned wine production.


In contrast, Marlborough, located at the northeastern tip of New Zealand's South Island, experiences a temperate maritime climate. Known for its long, sunny days and cool nights, Marlborough benefits from high diurnal temperature variation. This stable climate, with consistent sunshine and cool evenings, is ideal for producing Bordeaux-style blends.

The favorable conditions allow for the development of rich, balanced flavors in Bordeaux varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Marlborough's climate offers a more predictable and stable environment, reducing the risk of extreme weather and ensuring reliable ripening conditions. This consistency supports the region's reputation for high-quality wine production, making Marlborough a standout in the global wine industry.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published