French Wine

Displaying items by tag: geology

Wednesday, 30 March 2022 20:19

Five Fabled Vineyard Soils with Alex Maltman

Of all the vineyard soils of the world, a dozen or so have acquired a designation of their own. Examples are New Zealand’s Gimblett Gravels (with their astonishing rise to fame), the albarizas of Spain’s sherry district (made of tiny but crucial “architectural marvels”), California’s enigmatic Rutherford Dust, the cherished Kimmeridgian of Chablis, and the spectacular terra rossa of Australia’s Coonawarra. The names probably mean little to most people but to wine enthusiasts they are features to celebrate, prompting images of exceptional places and wines of distinction. In this webinar, Alex Maltman will explore the stories and the science behind these five examples of elite vineyard soils, with names that are legendary in the world of wine.

PRESENTER: ALEX MALTMAN

Alex is Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University, in Wales, U.K. He has a decorated career in university teaching and research together with a long-standing interest in wine: for nearly fifty years Alex has grown vines and made wine at his home in Wales.

Alex’s scientific curiosity has always questioned things about wine including, inevitably, the fashionable but poorly understood relationship between wine and vineyard geology. This has led to publications in both the popular press and academic journals, and to various international lectures. Alex has contributed to a number of wine books, such as the Oxford Companion to Wine and the World Atlas of Wine, and is author of the acclaimed “Vineyards, Rocks, and Soils: A Wine Lover’s Guide to Geology” (Oxford University Press 2018).

 

 

 

Published in Miscellaneous

In Burgundy, the word "terroir" is frequently used to designate the subsoil which is thought to be responsible for the classification of the appellations from "régionales" to "grand cru. This same subsoil is also thought to delineate the puzzling mosaic of "climats" which sculpt the hillside vineyards and influences the wines of the Cote de Nuits' characteristics. This webinar will explore the nature of this rock and see if it it corresponds perfectly to the specific vineyard plots which produce the very high quality and diverse nature of the wines...from Marsannay to Corgoloin.

Presenter: Françoise Vannier

As told by Françoise: 

After studying both at university and the French Insitute of Petroleum (IFP, -École Nationale Supérieure du Pétrole et des Moteurs-), I worked for an oil company until 2000, when my family moved to Burgundy. In this renowned wine country, I decided to transfer my geological skills to the study of “terroir”. I successfully completed a one-year diploma in Wine-tasting and Terroir at the University of Burgundy, (Dijon, France), I now work as a consultant. My new career as a consultant began in 2003, and since March, 2015, with adama, a little company dedicated to the vineyard terroirs. Since 2019, I also work for Terroir Invest, a society dedicated to the sale of vineyard estates.

I performed numerous studies in both the Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune, for the renewing vineyard of Dijon, and for Marsannay, Fixin, Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-Saint-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Pommard, Santenay, Les Maranges, further south for Lugny (Mâconais), or for Coulanges-la-Vineuse to the North (Yonne), but also elsewhere in France, especially with a starting project in the Val de Loire (Sancerre). I have also produced several preliminary technical reports to reclassify certain plots at a higher appellation level (communale for Lugny, 14 premiers crus for Marsannay, and a grand cru for Les Saint-Georges and other AOP). I also work for foreign estates (Chile, Japan, USA -California-, Italy...) in order to characterize the soil and the subsoil, and for terroir expertise.

I have contributed to the geological chapters in Remington Norman’s (UK) book “Grand Cru”, to several articles in “Le Rouge & le Blanc”, “La Revue des Vins de France”, “le Maagzine” of Ficofi; I am now in-house expert for terroir geology in “Bourgogne Aujourd’hui”. I drew the cross-sections geological maps in “The wines of Burgundy” by Sylvain Pitiot and Jean-Charles Servant, and I have done some posters for the Saint-Vincent in Saint-Aubin (January, 2014). Most of my works are available through the educative website http://monocepage.com. I provide information for CDs or websites for numerous estates, highlighting the characteristics of terroir, booklets for some appellations of both Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune. I was the subject of a four-page interview paper in the January 2014 issue of Decanter magazine.

 

Published in Bourgogne wines

In order to understand better the specificities that leaded not only to the present-day landscape, but also to the soil and subsoil nature and diversity of the French vineyard, a travel in the past times is necessary, in order to understand all the key events that occurred during the hundreds of million years of the geological history. Being aware than a lagoon, a tidal influenced shoreline, a broad river, a collision between two tectonic plates, the occurrence of a tropical climate… or ice ages let to a better comprehension of the identity of each French vine-region.

Presenter: Françoise Vannier

As told by Françoise: 

After studying both at university and the French Insitute of Petroleum (IFP, -École Nationale Supérieure du Pétrole et des Moteurs-), I worked for an oil company until 2000, when my family moved to Burgundy. In this renowned wine country, I decided to transfer my geological skills to the study of “terroir”. I successfully completed a one-year diploma in Wine-tasting and Terroir at the University of Burgundy, (Dijon, France), I now work as a consultant. My new career as a consultant began in 2003, and since March, 2015, with adama, a little company dedicated to the vineyard terroirs. Since 2019, I also work for Terroir Invest, a society dedicated to the sale of vineyard estates.

I performed numerous studies along both Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune, for the renewing vineyard of Dijon, and for Marsannay, Fixin, Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-Saint-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Pommard, Santenay, Les Maranges, further south for Lugny (Mâconais), or for Coulanges-la-Vineuse to the North (Yonne), but also elsewhere in France, especially with a starting project in the Val de Loire (Sancerre). I have also produced several preliminary technical reports to reclassify certain plots at a higher appellation level (communale for Lugny, 14 premiers crus for Marsannay, and a grand cru for Les Saint-Georges and other AOP). I also work for foreign estates (Chile, Japan, USA -California-, Italy...) in order to characterize the soil and the subsoil, and for terroir expertise.

Sharing my scientific experience, my expertise and my knowledge of the Burgundy vineyard either in French or in English, with students (University of Burgundy, Burgundy School of Business, Lycée Viticole de Beaune, ISARA…) winegrowers, people working in and around wine, and for wine-lovers (e.g. the “Master class” of Allen Meadows, the “Masters of Wine”, the “Académie du Vin” of Tokyo and Paris, Jasper Morris MW (Berry Bros and Rudd) and for Anthony Hanson (Christies in London) la Paulée de New York (Daniel Johnes) and so many others…) is a key goal in my work, which has become more of a vocation than a profession. Burgundy needs ambassadors to promote a scientifically grounded in-depth knowledge of terroir. I have given many presentations and organised field trips both in French and in English for the scientific community (International Terroir Congress, 2012), wine professionals, tourists and wine-lover associations. 

I have contributed to the geological chapters in Remington Norman’s (UK) book “Grand Cru”, to several articles in “Le Rouge & le Blanc”, “La Revue des Vins de France”, “le Maagzine” of Ficofi; I am now in-house expert for terroir geology in “Bourgogne Aujourd’hui”. I drew the cross-sections geological maps in “The wines of Burgundy” by Sylvain Pitiot and Jean-Charles Servant, and I have done some posters for the Saint-Vincent in Saint-Aubin (January, 2014). Most of my works are available through the educative website http://monocepage.com. I provide information for CDs or websites for numerous estates, highlighting the characteristics of terroir, booklets for some appellations of both Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune. I was the subject of a four-page interview paper in the January 2014 issue of Decanter magazine.

 

Published in French Wine
Friday, 10 September 2021 09:26

The Myths of Terroir with Dr. Kevin R. Pogue

Terroir has often been defined as an untranslatable French concept with somewhat mystical attributes. Some wine experts view terroir as a an over-hyped myth, while others consider it to be primarily responsible for the unique sensory characteristics and distinctiveness of wines. This webinar will explore how the concept of terroir has evolved over time, and how it is currently defined. Examples of the misuse of the term for marketing will be highlighted as well as the scientific validation of terroir.

 Presenter: Dr Kevin R. Pogue

Dr. Kevin R. Pogue has been a professor in the Department of Geology at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington for over 30 years. Dr. Pogue’s research is primarily focused on variations in growing conditions related to vineyard topography, climate, and soil chemistry. He has presented papers at national and international terroir conferences and his research has been featured in the New York Times and on National Public Radio's "Science Friday". He has authored five petitions for federally-sanctioned American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) and was honored with the Walter Clore award by the Washington State Wine Commission for his “significant dedication to the advancement of the Washington wine industry as an ambassador, mentor, and champion of Washington wines.” Dr. Pogue provides vineyard site evaluations, AVA petitions, terroir-related web content, and promotional and educational materials through VinTerra, his consulting business.

You can find him online here:

http://www.vinterra.net  

http://people.whitman.edu/~pogue/terroir.html

Published in Viticulture

This webinar will dig into the basics of rocks and soil, and their respective roles in defining a site’s terroir. This discussion will give you the terms, tools, and scientific foundation to discuss terroir like a pro. We will explore the different types of rocks, how they form, and in which wine regions across the globe you can expect to find them. We will also discuss the difference between bedrock, soil, and subsoil in order to understand how soils form and how they support plant life. Finally, we will review the concept of terroir, and how the geology of a region can influence the character of its wine.

Presenter: Brenna Quigley

Brenna Quigley is a geologist and terroir specialist committed to thoughtfully applying the science of geology to the world of wine. She works with wine professionals in all areas of the trade in order to precisely understand and define the most impactful elements of terroir. Currently based in Napa, CA Brenna has experience around the world including France, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Oregon. She is passionate about making the science of geology accessible to sommeliers and vigneron alike, in order to promote a better understanding of the world around us, and highlight how wine can help us appreciate our dynamic planet. Her websites are brennaquigley.com and roadsideterroir.com

Published in Viticulture
Thursday, 20 May 2021 04:54

WSG Live: Andrew Jefford hosts Dr Pedro Parra

Please note that this webinar takes place on a Tuesday. 
This interview will be recorded for later viewing

Our fifth edition of WSG Live features the Chilean terroir consultant Dr. Pedro Parra. 

Since earning his doctorate in 2004 in Terroirs Viticoles from the Ecole d'Agriculture de Grignon (now part of AgroParisTech), Pedro has travelled the world consulting for many of today's leading wineries, including Liger-Belair and Roulot in Burgundy, Biondi-Santi and Argiano in Montalcino, Quintessa in Napa, Marengo in Barolo, Comando G in Gredos and Altos Los Hormigas in Mendoza. 

His approach to soil studies is unique, combining as it does scientific analyses and detailed site mapping with an intuitive understanding and original reasoning, and always validating his insights with tasting in his quest for minerality (a term he uses freely), tension and freshness. 

Since 2013, too, he has made his own wines in his native Chile, in Itata.

Join Andrew Jefford on TUESDAY, May 18th at 12:00 noon ET for a passionate discussion about Pedro's work and his ideas surrounding terroir!

Published in WSG Live
Friday, 27 November 2020 05:41

Meeting of the Minds - Taste and Terroir

Can you taste ‘minerality’? What do we mean by ‘terroir’? Where do aroma and flavour come from? Is too much attention paid to the role of the soil in discussions of the aromas and flavours of great wines? How rare are truly great winegrowing sites? These are some of the questions we aim to discuss in the upcoming Meeting of the Minds on November 25th.

Wine Scholar Guild Academic Advisor Andrew Jefford, speaking from France, will be bringing together a panel of key thinkers, educators, writers and experts in four countries to talk through these and other issues. Wales-based Professor Alex Maltman has had a forty-year teaching career, and now divides his time between writing about the relationship between geology and wine production as well as the influence of geology on other beverages and tending his own vineyard. California-based Professor Hildegarde Heymann teaches sensory science within the viticulture and oenology department of UC Davis, one of the world’s leading wine-educational institutions. Former plant scientist and science editor Dr Jamie Goode, speaking from the UK, writes, blogs and tweets about wine and wine science via his own Wine Anorak website as well as for The World of Fine Wine and other publications. Finally, speaking from Turckhiem in Alsace, comes Olivier Humbrecht MW, one of the world’s leading exponents and practitioners of site-sensitive winemaking and a widely acclaimed viticulturalist and winemaker.

This Meeting of the Minds aims to explore one of the most misunderstood yet also the most important topics in today’s wine world.

PRESENTER: ANDREW JEFFORD

Andrew, Academic Advisor to the Wine Scholar Guild, has been writing about wine since 1988, notably for The Evening Standard and The Financial Times among other UK newspapers.  He has columns in every edition of Decanter magazine and World of Fine Wine magazine, and is co-chair of Decanter World Wine Awards and vice-chair of Decanter Asia Wine Awards.  His books include The New France, Whisky Island and Andrew Jefford’s Wine Course.


MEET THE PANEL:

Emeritus Professor Alex Maltman, Aberystwyth University, geologist, teacher, writer

Professor Hildegarde Heymann, UC Davis, sensory scientist, teacher

Dr Jamie Goode, wine writer, wine judge

Olivier Humbrecht MW, wine grower, winemaker

Published in Wine Tasting

Clay is very familiar: in garden soils, for modelling toys, baked as bricks and tiles, pots and plates. It’s very widely used commercially: in landfill linings, drilling muds, animal housing, insulation, explosives, medicines, cosmetics, etc. etc. And yet it’s a rather mysterious substance. What is it exactly? What is it made of? Why does it behave in such unique ways?

In this webinar I will explain the basics of clay and clay soils. In particular I will show how two fundamental properties of the minuscule flakes that constitute clay underpin its multifarious significance. In the wine world this includes critical influences on the nutrient status and the drainage properties of vineyard soils, and also its use for such things as a rooting medium for vine cuttings, a sunscreen on vine foliage, and a wine clarifying agent. Clay foundations can affect the very stability of winery buildings. Even fermentation vessels, in recent years so fashionably made of oak or stainless steel, are for some producers now shifting back to the material used 8,000 years ago – clay.

It’s a bewildering array of applications, but an understanding of the basics of what clay is goes a very long way to explaining just why it’s such a special material and so important in the world of wine.

Alex Maltman is Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University, in Wales, U.K. Besides a long and decorated career in academic teaching and research, which has involved some of the Earth’s high mountains, drilling below the floors of the deepest parts of the oceans, and a lot of geological matters in between, for over forty years he has grown vines and made wine at his home in Wales.

His scientific curiosity always questioned things about wine, and particularly its much-mentioned relationship with vineyard geology. This led to research on vineyard soils on four continents and eventually to presentations at international conferences, workshops and masterclasses, together with publications both in the popular press and academic journals. Alex was responsible for the geological entries in the Oxford Companion to Wine and has advised on the geological content of a number of wine books, including the World Atlas of Wine. He is author of the widely acclaimed volume: “Vineyards, Rocks, and Soils: A Wine Lover’s Guide to Geology”.

Presenter: Professor Alex Maltman

Alex Maltman is Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University, in Wales, U.K., with a long and decorated career in university teaching and research.

In addition, for over forty years Alex has grown vines and made wine, his scientific curiosity prompting questions about why things were done in certain ways and, inevitably, to the much- mentioned relationship between wine and vineyard geology.

This has led to numerous publications, in both the popular press and academic journals, and to international lectures.

Alex has advised on the geological content of a number of wine books, including the Oxford Companion to Wine and the forthcoming 8th edition of the World Atlas of Wine.

He is the author of the much acclaimed “Vineyards, Rocks and Soils, a Wine Lover’s Guide to Geology” (Oxford, 2018).

 

Published in Miscellaneous
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