Using GIS to assess the terroir potential of an Oregon viticultural region

Deciding to grow grapes in Oregon is complex issue due to our diverse geography, climate, and relatively short history of grape growing. For any potential grape grower, vineyard site selection is the single most important decision they will face. Combined with matching the site to a grape variety, this decision will ultimately affect the vineyard’s yield, the quality of the wine produced, and the vineyard’s long-term profitability. This research facilitates the process by modeling the climate and landscape in a relatively young grape growing region in Oregon, the Umpqua Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA). The result is an inventory of land suitability that provides both existing and new growers greater insight into the best terroir of the region.

Authors: Gregory V. Jones (1), Peder Nelson (2), and Nicholas Snead (3)

(1) Department of Geography, Southern Oregon University, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd, Ashland, OR 97520, USA
(2) Environmental Education Program, Southern Oregon University, Ashland, OR, USA
(3) Department of Planning Public Policy & Management, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA

Email: gjones@sou.edu

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