A multivariate clustering approach combined with geomatics was applied to delineate and define homogeneous zones (terroir units) within the premium Denomination of Guaranteed Origin Colline Teramane winegrowing area, in the Teramo Province, Italy. A geographical information system (GIS) architecture was set up to incorporate the main factors affecting the geographical differentiation of land capability. Vine-related environmental indices and parameters were interpolated and incorporated in the GIS. A principal component analysis followed by a multivariate clustering algorithm was applied to obtain a continuous topography climate map, in which each cluster represented a homogeneous zone or terroir unit. Terroir units were further characterized by overlaying the topography climate map with land-use information and a geologic map of the same area. This territory classification provides a useful framework for further hypotheses testing, in particular vine interaction with environment and new cultivar suitability. Moreover, the approach represents a potential tool for rational territory management and land-use planning.
- © 2011 by the American Society for Enology and Viticulture