Exploring Terroir Zone and Tourism Cluster Based on GIS Mapping

Exploring Terroir Zone and Tourism Cluster Based on GIS Mapping

Ya-Hui Hsueh (National Taichung University of Education, Taiwan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3473-1.ch114
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This chapter uses GIS mapping to locate a set of points of locations of agricultural farms of the terroir zones, and aims to explore the relationship between terroir zone and tourism cluster to respond to the concept of industry cluster. Companied with tourism cluster, the terroir specialties are transformed to tourist foods to demonstrate increasing tourist attractiveness by creative cuisines and place brands. This chapter shows the spatial concentrations of different terroir specialties based on GIS mapping including point density analysis, terrain analysis and overlay analysis to identify the terroir zones. Instead of focusing on innovation atmosphere, knowledge intensive or technology transfer, this chapter explores the importance of terroir zone for what makes this district having the competitive advantages of tourism cluster. To identify the characteristics of terroir zone, this chapter evokes the implication of creative cuisine and food trail associated with its geographical proximity and creativeness to establish a new flourishing tourist zone.
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Terroir in term of agro-viticulture at the plot scale demonstrates significant differences of grape varieties, rootstocks and soil management practices in which different degrees of variability of environmental factors. Terroir related to agro-viticulture primarily focuses on the relationships between environmental factors related to vines, the quality of grapes and wines in order to assess the potential of vineyard quality and the indigenous knowledge in the defined area (Goulet & Morlat, 2011). Terroir is a spatial, ecological and cultural concept that links the cultivators with the special agricultural practices (traditional knowledge and cultivating technology), and it focuses on environment factors such as terrain, soil and climate conditions. Terroir conveys geographical distinctiveness, culture identity of a collective memory and a framed place name against globalization food production (Bowen & Zapata, 2009).

Even the agricultural products are not cultivated on a terroir zone, the linkage between agriculture and tourism is still evident. The nature of agricultural products, availability of other supporting cultural and tourism products, and proximity to markets vary from place to place. These factors influence the form and strength of links that can be fostered between agriculture and tourism. Stratford and Muskoka, both at a similar distance from metropolitan Toronto with strongly seasonality in their agricultural products and tourism, demonstrate different extent of agriculture linkages with tourism. Stratford with possessing more productive farmlands has a much stronger agricultural resource base than Muskoka, while Muskoka has longer history for tourism development based on the forested-lakes complex. Although neither of Stratford and Muskoka has the reputation to claim status as a “terroir” in the absence of a specific place branding strategy, both have successfully developed culinary tourism by the linkage of agriculture and tourism (Lee, Wall & Kovacs, 2015).

The Niagara Region has become home to an emerging New World Wine Route by the competitive advantages of winery clusters on the increasing in scale for marketing is the horizontal cluster advantage of the wineries surrounding the heritage-shopping town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The complementary to the wineries of close to 60 tourist shops, numerous accommodation establishments, a historic fort and a festival theater reveals the advantage of tourism cluster. At the Regional level, the entire Niagara Wine Route with over 50 wineries, which are connected to the major tourist attractions of Niagara Region. Label of origin is particularly useful for the embeddedness and convention for marketing terroir specialties. By insisting upon a strong link in production to the ecology and culture of terroir, a local brand in the natural process labeled by terroir is essential. Several destinations and festivals promote their terroir specialties to serve as major tourist foods (Telfer, 2001).

A viticultural terroir is related to a particular area with a distinct quality of grapes and their wines in France. Although the conception of terroir is used as an analysis unit for comparing chemical composition of vintage products in different viticultural zones (Schlosser, Reynolds, King & Cliff, 2005; Bonfante, Basile, Langella, Manna & Terribile, 2011; Bowen & Zapata, 2009). Terroir means a small area of land reveals characteristics of a cultivation zone, an environmental complex including conditions of terrain, climate, and soil. Terroir related researches have mostly focused on the relationships between the quality of grapes or wines and a few environmental factors for the past 30 years. Until 1990s, GIS mapping was used on the concept of terroir by focusing on spatial analysis of diversity of viticultural environments in different areas (Vaudour, 2002). Thus, there is a need for empirical research on a better meaning of linkage between terroir and tourism by using GIS mapping to define terroir zone and its impacts on tourism cluster. This chapter aims to define different agricultural terroir zones, analyze the influencing factors on the spatial distribution of terroir zones by processing GIS mapping to examine the role of terroir specialty on how to shape a tourism cluster.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Terroir Zone: A zone defined by the special agricultural practices of traditional knowledge and cultivating technology related to the environment factors such as terrain, soil, and climate conditions.

Tourism Cluster: A confined area related to tourism development including tourist spots and tourist service facilities such as restaurants, accommodations, and traveler centers.

Tourist Food: A local food with place brand to experience a place culture rather than simply physical consumption for travelers.

GIS Mapping: A mapping way to define meaningful areas by spatial analysis according to different given indexes for the representation of a set of points, lines, or areas data.

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