Terroir 2016 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 The importance of soil and geology in tasting terroir; a case history from the Willamette valley, Oregon

The importance of soil and geology in tasting terroir; a case history from the Willamette valley, Oregon

Abstract

Wines differ from each other based on seven different factors: the type of grape; the bedrock geology and resulting soils; the climate; the soil hydrology; physiography of the site; the winemaker and the vineyard management techniques. The first five of these factors make up what the French call terroir, “the taste of the place”. All around the world the geology and soils make up an important component of the terroir of the wine. In the Willamette Valley of Oregon in the United States, the terroir is strongly influenced by the bedrock geology and soils. The three dominant groups are the volcanic soils, the Jory Series, that are developed on the Columbia River Basalts and the Willakenzie Series of soils developed on uplifted marine sedimentary rocks in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Range. The third group is developed on Laurelwood Soils in weathered loess with pisolites in it on weathered Columbia River Basalt. The wines developed out of grapes from the three different soils are very different. They are so different that the Willamette Valley AVA has been subdivided into six new AVA’s based on the differences in terroir, primarily the soils and geology.

DOI:

Publication date: June 23, 2020

Issue: Terroir 2016

Type: Article

Authors

Scott Burns

Department of Geology, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, 97205 USA

Contact the author

Keywords

Pinot Noir, mineralogy, wine chemistry, soil chemistry, sensory analysis, Willamette Valley

Tags

IVES Conference Series | Terroir 2016

Citation

Related articles…

DETERMINATION OF FREE AMINO ACIDS, AMINO ACID POTENTIAL AND PROTEASE ACTIVITY IN THE LEES AND STILL WINES OF CHAMPAGNE

Prior to winemaking, organic or mineral nitrogen compound concentrations are usually measured in the vineyard and in grape musts. These indicators facilitate vine cultivation decisions, usually through yield or vigor. During vinification, yeast and bacteria metabolize nitrogen compounds in the musts in order to generate biomass. After fermentation, the microorganisms rerelease a part of this nitrogen as soluble compounds into the wines. Another part remains bound in the lees and can be lost during racking. The must’s natural nitrogen quantities, additional supplements during fermentation, and lees contact management enhance the release of nitrogen compounds to the wines. During ageing these nitrogen compounds – primarily the amino acids – are implicated in the generation of odorous compounds such as heterocycles(1).

Influenza delle componenti climatiche e pedologiche sulla variabilità dei contenuti polifenolici in alcuni ambienti vitati della DOCG Sagrantino di Montefalco

Obiettivo del progetto è la valutazione dell’influenza climatica e pedologica dell’areale di Montefalco sul vitigno Sagrantino, ponendo particolare attenzione alla componente polifenolica e antocianica. Sono stati quindi messi a confronto, a partire dal 2001 fino al 2008, sei differenti zone tutte situate all’interno dell’areale DOCG Sagrantino di Montefalco; per ciascun vigneto alla vendemmia sono state effettuate analisi sui parametri analitici e sul contenuto polifenolico e antocianico delle uve. Ognuna delle sei zone è inoltre stata caratterizzata dal punto di vista pedoclimatico, valutando l’influenza del clima e della tipologia di suolo sui parametri analitici presi in considerazione.

Vine phenology and climate in Bordeaux, since the beginning of the XIXth century

We analyze the effects of climate (temperature and pluviometry) on the phenologic stages of the vine (débourrement, flowering, ripening and grape harvest). We rebuilt time series starting from the beginning of the XIXth century for the Medoc and the area of Bordeaux, data very seldom mobilized by researchers.

NOVEL BENZENETHIOLS WITH PHENOLS CAUSE ASHY, SMOKE FLAVOR PERCEPTION IN RED WINES

Smoke impacts on wines are becoming a worldwide problem; the size and severity of wildfires increasing due to influences from changing climates.¹ For over a century, wines have been known to have a unique issue of absorbing chemical compounds derived from wildfire smoke wherein the flavor of the subsequent wine becomes ashy, rubbery, campfire-like, and smoky.² The economic impacts of a smoke-impacted wine can last for years depending on the grape varietal, costing Oregon and Washington states in the United States over a billion dollars from the 2020 wildfires, as an example.³ While years of research have indicated elevated concentrations of smoke-related compounds, such as guaiacol and syringol, in wines after smoke events, unfortunately, replicating the sensory experience using smoke-associated phenols has not had much success.⁴

Berry maturity effects on physic and chemical characteristics of traditional sparkling wines produced from Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc grapes.

One of the consequences of global warming is the quick berry development giving rise to a disconnection between sugar accumulation and the formation of important quality minor compounds such as phenolics and volatile compounds being a huge challenge for the oenologist [1]. Thus, this phenomenon is forcing the search on strategies for maintaining the quality of wines despite this situation. One possibility is to make an early harvest with a low sugar concentration (18ºbrix) and advanced harvest for sparkling wine (20-21ºbrix) and afterwards to combine base wines properly and carry out the second fermentation trying to compensate the lack of secondary metabolites due to the quick berry development and higher alcohol degree of the second one, not adequate itself for sparkling wine. The aim of this study was to assess the chemical and physical characteristics, mainly volatile profile, and foaming properties of sparkling wines from grapes of Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc.