Terroir Hesse – Soil determines wine style

The project “Terroir Hesse” works out the main type and characteristics of soil-based terroirs and the resulting wine styles for the hessian wine-growing regions Rheingau and Hessian Bergstrasse. The soils of the examples presented were developed of weathered material of quartzite, loess, windborne sand, clay and fluvial sediments. On the sites, wines were produced from Riesling grapes. Vinification was conducted in a conservative and reserved manner. Typical differences in main wine sensory characteristics could be attributed to soil characteristics such as particle size, geology, nutrient status and lime content (CaCO3). Wine composition such as body, sensorial acidity and aroma potential can partly be explained by water storage and nutrition status. Soil texture has a major influence on vine development and consequently on the characteristics of the wine. In fact, soil characteristics can help to explain differences in wine style within the same region or climatic classification. The results show that the main soil characteristics explain wines of significantly different composition, appearance and flavour.

Authors: Prof. Dr. Otmar LÖHNERTZ, Dr. Peter BÖHM, Stefan MUSKAT

Forschungsanstalt Geisenheim,Fachgebiet Bodenkunde und Pflanzenernährung, Rüdesheimer Str. 18-20, D-65366 Geisenheim

Email: p.boehm@fa-gm.de

Keywords: Terroir, Soil, Wine Style

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