Terroir 2016 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 The terroir of Pinot noir wine in the Willamette valley, Oregon – a broad analysis of vineyard soils, grape juice and wine chemistry

The terroir of Pinot noir wine in the Willamette valley, Oregon – a broad analysis of vineyard soils, grape juice and wine chemistry


Wine-grapes in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, are grown on three major soil parent materials: volcanic, marine sediments, and loess/volcanic. This study examines differences in the soil properties and elemental chemistry of the soil parent materials at various vineyards to document their effect on wine chemistry. The physical characteristics of soils from all the three parent materials indicate: they are old (>50,000 years) based on their high clay content, low cation exchange capacity, red colors, and high Fe and Al content. In my study region, volcanic and marine sediment soils are more developed with slightly lower acidity than the loess/volcanic soils. A new finding for this region is the presence of pisolites (Fe/Mg concretions) in the volcanic and the loess/volcanic soils, but absent in the marine sediment soils. Volcanic soils have the highest P, S, Fe, Co, Mn, and V concentrations and the lowest As and Sr values.

Marine sediment soils have higher Cl and Sr and lower P, Co, Mn, Ba, and V concentrations than volcanic soils. Loess soils have the highest values of K and Mg and are similar to volcanic soils with higher P and V values and similar to marine sediment soils with higher Sr values. The main elements found to be significant in determining one parent material from another are V and Mn (volcanic soils), Mg and K (loess soils), and Sr (marine sediment or loess soils). Sr is slightly higher in grape juice and wine from vines grown on marine sediment parent material compared to volcanic and loess parent material, whereas Mn is higher in the juice and wine from grapes grown in volcanic parent material. P, S, Fe, Co, V, Cl, Ba, Mg, and K did not maintain their relative concentration levels from soil to grape juice to wine. The principal component analysis shows that soil and wine chemistry differs between parent material, but is inconclusive for grape juice chemistry.


Publication date: June 23, 2020

Issue: Terroir 2016

Type: Article


Kathryn Nora Barnard (1), Scott F. Burns (1)

(1) Department of Geology, Portland State University, 1825 SW Broadway Avenue, Portland, Oregon., USA

Contact the author


Pinot Noir, ICP-MS/AES, particle size, cation exchange capacity, X-ray fluorescence, clay mineralogy, grape juice chemistry, wine chemistry, soil chemistry


IVES Conference Series | Terroir 2016


Related articles…

The effect of viticultural treatment on grape juice chemical composition

Viticultural management regimes influence the soil elemental profile of a vineyard, determining the microbial community distribution, insect life, and plant biochemistry and physiology

Combined use of Lachancea thermotolerans and Schizosaccharomyces pombe in winemaking

Commercial red wines use the malolactic fermentation process to ensure stability from a microbiological point of view. In this second fermentation, malic acid is converted into L-lactic acid under controlled steps.


The pre-fermentative steps play a relevant role for the characteristics of white wine [1]. In particular, the grape pressing can affect the chemical composition and sensory profile and its optimized management leads to the desired extraction of aromas and their precursors, and phenols resulting in a balanced wine [2-4]. These aspects are important especially for must addressed to the sparkling wine as appropriate extraction of phenols is expected being dependent to grape composition, as well.

Influence of the number of CPPU applications on growth, mineral composition and Bunch Stem Necrosis incidence in table grape clusters

The forchlorfenuron (CPPU) application is recommended in table-grape after fruit-set to boost berry sizing, albeit growers also apply CPPU during pre-flowering with controversial advantages. We examined the effect of single (BBCH 15) and double (BBCH 15 and 57) CPPU applications (2.25 mg/L a.s.) in a commercial vineyard. At each time, 75-100 bunches belonging to 6-9 vines were sprayed, and compared with unsprayed (CTRL). Leaf stomatal conductance (gs), cluster stem diameter and length were measured. At harvest, 25 berries/repetition were sampled for chemical composition, BSN incidence was counted (N° necrotic laterals/10 cm of stem) in 40 bunches/repetition. To test the role of air VPD on mineral composition, at BBCH 77, 50 CTRL clusters were bagged to induce a low VPD.

Evolution of flavonols during Merlot winemaking processes

The phenomenon of quercetin precipitation in wine (flanovol haze), has been manifested for many years in several wine-producing regions