Modeling viticultural landscapes: a GIS analysis of the viticultural potential in the Rogue Valley of Oregon

Terroir is a holistic concept that relates to both environmental and cultural factors that together influence the grape growing to wine production continuum. The physical factors that influence the process include matching a given grape variety to its ideal climate along with optimum site characteristics of elevation, slope, aspect, and soil. While some regions have had 100s and even 1000s of years to define, develop, and understand their best terroir, newer regions typically face a trial and error stage of finding the best variety and terroir match. This research facilitates the process by modeling the climate and landscape in a relatively young grape growing region in Oregon, the Rogue Valley. The result is an inventory of land suitability that provides both existing and new growers greater insight into the best terroirs of the region.

Authors: Gregory V. JONES, Andrew A. DUFF and Joey W. MYERS

Department of Geography, Southern Oregon University, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd, Ashland, Oregon 97520, U.S.A.

Email: gjones@sou.edu

Keywords: grapes, wine, viticulture, terroir, Oregon

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