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The Sensitivity and Adaptability of the Grape and Wine Industry in the Maule Region of Chile to Climate Change (M.Sc. Thesis, University of Guelph
Hadarits, M. 2009 English

This paper examines the sensitivity and adaptability of the Chilean grape and wine industry to climate change in the context of other stresses via a case study in the Maule Region. The research was conducted using a vulnerability approach, which is based on the empirical documentation of exposures and adaptive capacity. Key informant interviews, semi-structured interviews and a focus group were used as the primary data sources. The climatic exposures to which growers and producers are exposed include wet springs, spring frosts, wet falls, high growing season temperatures, and drought. These exposures were placed in the context of other conditions, including market price, currency fluctuations, national and international rules and regulations, and labour availability. The Maule Region has not developed extensive suites of adaptation strategies because the grower- and producer-identified exposures have not yet threatened their operations’ viability. Future climate change may be beneficial and accommodate the cultivation of new varieties. However, many of the climatic exposures are projected to be exacerbated into the future, and the adaptive strategies currently used may not be effective into the future. The national government, a lack of education and market uncertainty hinder the industry’s ability to manage exposures.

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