MISSOURI'S TERROIR: MAPPING THE PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE AUGUSTA AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREA (AVA)
In this study, we evaluate the physical geography of Augusta, the first AVA designated in the United States. USDA National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) aerial photographs and soil maps, USGS digital elevation models, and Missouri Division of Geology and Land Survey surficial sediment and geologic maps were used to develop a geodatabase for use in ESRI ArcMap. Only four wineries are located in the Augusta AVA; 53 tracts comprising 138 acres (55.85 ha) are under vine. The largest tract is 8.7 acres (3.52 ha), and the smallest is approximately 0.2 acres (0.08 ha). Elevation ranges from 450 feet (137 m) to 880 feet (268 m). Values for slope range from 2° to 11°; the average slope is 6.5°. The bedrock geology is lower and middle Ordovican mixed carbonates, sandstone, and shale. Loess and sandstone colluvium are primary sources for the overlying Menfro silt loam soils. The geospatial database developed in this study serves as a model for our continuing studies of other AVAs in Missouri. It is anticipated that this information will be useful for oenologists, consumers, and the tourism industry.