Gasconade County, Missouri

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Gasconade County is a county in the U.S. state of Missouri located on the south side of the Missouri River, which once served as the chief route of transportation in the state. Located in the area called the Missouri Rhineland, the county had a population of 15,342 as of the 2000 U.S. Census. A 2008 estimate, however, showed the population to be 15,261. The county seat is Hermann[1]. The county was named after the Gasconade River. Some of the land on the eastern border of the county is considered to be part of the rural exurbs of the Greater Saint Louis metropolitan area.

Because of its distinctive conditions, the Hermann area was designated an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 1983. The southern part of the county is within the larger Ozark Highlands AVA, established in 1987.

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Origin of name

Gasconade County (and the Gasconade River) received its name from French-speaking settlers. They came from the Gascony region in southwest France during French colonial rule of New France (Louisiana Territory).

According to Ramsay, the French colonial inhabitants of this region had the same boastful character as the inhabitants of Gascony in France. Hence the name Gasconade, meaning 'Gascony-like'.[citation needed]

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