Cool Climate Wines Explained

Cool Climate Wines Explained

When it comes to wine, the climate that grapes are planted in will affect not only how they grow, but how they taste. Cold climate wines come from wine regions that specialise in specific wine varieties such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc. 

These wines are widely famous and pair well with many foods. Certain varieties will not fully ripen if they are grown in a cool climate—you will rarely find groups like these growing successfully in cooler regions. When it comes to cool climate wines, you should expect to find more white wine varieties or even elegant and aromatic reds. Here are some examples of exceptional wines produced when grown in a cool climate: 

Red Varieties 

If you’re a red wine connoisseur, you should check out Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin, Pinot Noir, Rondo, Regent, Lagrein,  Gamay, and Schiava since they will never cease to amaze and please palettes. Cool climate red wines tend to have a lighter acidity, a little more spice, a lower alcohol content, and a lighter body. If this is more of your style when it comes to wines, try one of these varieties listed. You will not regret pairing it with some delicious cheese and crackers! 

White Varieties 

White wines from cool climates will usually have a higher acidity, lemon-lime aromas, lower alcohol content, and a lighter body. If you are looking for some good options, we recommend Chasselas, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Müller-Thurgau, Riesling, Madeleine Angevine, Bacchus, and Solaris. 

Cool Climate Regions 

Different varieties will flourish in different climates. Therefore, different regions will specialise in producing different wines. Climate variations influence wine growth, and there are different wine varieties in cooler and warmer regions. 

Cool climate regions are locations where the average growing season temperatures range from around 55-59 ºF, or 13–15 ºC. Cool climate regions mostly have all four seasons with cooler summer days and a shorter growing season. If you are still wondering where these wines come from, here are some of the cool climate wine regions: 

Marlborough, New Zealand specialises in lean Sauvignon Blanc wines. 

Chablis, France is known for its lean, zippy, unoaked Chardonnay. Willamette Valley, 

Oregon has more elegant Pinot Noir and fruitier Pinot Gris wines.

Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy, and valleys in the foothills of the Italian Alps will specialize in minerally white wines as well as sparkling options. 

Mosel, Germany produces higher quality Riesling wines in its steep river valleys.

Okanagan Valley, Canada features great Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Pinot Gris in their drier climate whereas Champagne, France specializes in sparkling wines made with Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Noir. 

Climate Change

Climate change is making cool regions warmer, enabling them to grow grapes. These new regions are starting to get on the wine-making bandwagon, producing potentially great cool climate wines! We're talking about: 

  • Michigan's Riesling
  • Pinot Gris
  • Chambourcin, and French-Hybrids
  • Poland's Riesling
  • Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
  • Denmark's Rondo
  • Müller-Thurgau, and Solaris
  • Netherlands's Chardonnay
  • Pinot Gris
  • Müller-Thurgau
  • Sweden's Chardonnay
  • Vidal
  • Regent, and Solaris
  • Washington's (specifically Puget Sound) Müller-Thurgau
  • Madeleine Angevine
  • Melon Wine
  • England's Chardonnay
  • Pinot Noir and Bacchus
  • Canada's Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay
  • Tasmania, Australia's Pinot Noir
  • Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.


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