First Advisor

Hejunn Chang

Date of Publication

Summer 10-2-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Geography






Viticulture -- Climatic factors -- Oregon, Wine and wine making -- Climatic factors -- Oregon, Grapes -- Climatic factors -- Oregon



Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 59 pages)


American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) are susceptible to small variations in climate and microclimates and are found within a narrow latitudinal range of prime climate conditions. These AVAs are geographically determined based on the best soil, climate, precipitation and temperature combinations for specific winegrape regions. As climate change continues to alter the local weather and the greater climate region of the Western United States, winegrape growing regions in Oregon are being affected. In an effort to determine what the pattern of change is, and compare previous studies of climate change using climate indices, a comparative study based in part on prior research was conducted. Using 800 meter resolution Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM) climate datasets, four individual climate indices were analyzed for statistical correlation with the climate data. These climate indices are: growing degree-days (GDD), the average growing season temperatures (GST), Huglin Index (HI) and the biologically effective degree-day (BEDD). Based on currently available data for this research, these climate indices were statistically analyzed during the years 2000 to 2010. A further avenue of research included a statistical analysis of the reported winegrape production, although this data was available only at an aggregated county-level. Results show that all four climate indices exhibit statistical significance, although the inclusion of the winegrape production data exhibited no statistical significance for many of the analyses, most likely due to subjective and aggregated data, few did result in significance with the climate indices. The research discussed here confirms the accuracy of the four climate indices and suggest that a longer time frame, coupled with less aggregated and subjective winegrape production data could produce interesting results in future research on the results of climate indices in winegrape growing regions.


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