The wine industry in Australia is one of the most highly valued agricultural export commodities (Stokes & Howden 2010). Viticulture is an agricultural sector that is closely associated with climate as the production of unique wine is reliant upon specific combinations of climate, soils and landscape to create particular styles (Stokes & Howden 2010; Webb et al. 2008). Changes in climate have potential to adversely affect the quality of winegrape production. Thus, climate change is set to become a major challenge for the wine industry, and contest the adaptive capability of the industry. As a result of the increasing awareness of the potential consequences of significant climate variability, it is essential that the industry explores possible strategies to enable adaptation to change.
The Margaret River wine region
The Margaret River wine region of Western Australia is highly regarded as a premium wine region in Australia (Jones et al. 2010). The production of high quality wines, however, means that the region has potential to suffer from modifications in quality by the slightest climatic changes. Thus, climate change has potential to adversely impact the viticultural industry. At present, the Margaret River wine region experiences a Mediterranean-style climate, with factors of temperature, soil quality and humidity all well suited to high quality wine production. The economic impact of the Margaret River wine industry is approximately an annual $250 million. Climate