Vineyard site suitability in Eastern California

Author: Watkins, R.L.

Source: GeoJournal, Volume 43, Number 3, November 1997 , pp. 229-239(11)

Publisher: Springer

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Abstract:

An analysis of the physical characteristics of an established wine region in eastern California, USA was undertaken to discern if a unique combination of environmental parameters in Zinfandel vineyards could be quantitatively identified. Development of a geographic information system (GIS) method to assess land suitability for current and potential viticultural regions in a Mediterranean-type climate is the primary focus. The assessment is based on spatial frequency distributions of measurable environmental criteria derived from characteristics of existing vineyards. In fact, statistically significant differences were found at the 95% confidence interval for 6 variables, and at the 85% confidence interval for an additional 3 variables. Thus 9 of the 15 variables analyzed (53%) were discriminated statistically between the vineyard and non-vineyard areas. The findings of this study illustrate the potential of GIS techniques for viticultural land suitability analysis, while supporting and contributing to the literature on the significance of soil and topographic characteristics in viticulture.

Keywords: California; Zinfandel; geographic information system (GIS); land suitability; viticulture

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Vernon F. Meyer and Assoc., Inc., 3655 SW 2nd AVe., Ste. 3C, FL 32607, Gainesville, U.S.A.

Publication date: November 1, 1997

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