Date of Graduation

Spring 2009


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

Kevin Evans


Missouri, American Viticultural Area (AVA), terroir, viticulture, land suitability, geographic information systems (GIS), wine

Subject Categories

Geographic Information Sciences | Viticulture and Oenology


The concept of terroir, based on the French word meaning 'sense of place,' suggests that flavor and quality of wine is associated with certain physical characteristics of the earth as well as viticulture and viniculture practices. The physical characteristics of terroir include soil, geology, topography, and climate. Designated American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) are discrete appellations in the United States that have well-established and historic viticultural practices, but the relationship between terroir and AVA appellations is complex. Wineries are a growing industry in the United States and the use of a GIS and remote sensing has proved useful in many other studies on terroir and in consulting vineyard owners on management practices. This study examines the relationships between terroir and viticultural areas in Missouri. USDA National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) aerial photographs and soil maps, USGS digital elevation models, and Missouri Division of Geology and Land Survey geologic maps are used to develop a Missouri vineyard geodatabases for four study areas. These data are used to create suitability maps for viticulture regions, describe the physical characteristics of vineyards in these four Missouri wine regions, and finally describe the terroir of each region and propose a new AVA appellation be created in the Ste. Genevieve wine-region of Missouri.


© Kathryn Nora Barnard

Open Access