Terroir Talk

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 A few weeks back I was invited on a tour of select vineyards led by Kevin Pogue (Chair of Whitman College Geology Department).  What an amazing time it turned out to be.  I learned so much about the geology of the area and why we are ideal for grapes and make some of the best wine worldwide.   

 
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Walla Walla AVA (American Viticultural Area) includes a variety of differing terroirs resulting in distinctive differences in the characteristics of grape varietals grown in each area.  WW AVA is situated on the same latitude as the Burgundy region in France, 46 degrees.  The combination of terroir and climate at this latitude allows for most all grape varietals to thrive.

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 Notice the rocky soil.  Grapes like to be stressed and do well in this type of soil.  They can also be stressed by withholding moisture during the growing season. 


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WW sits on a bedrock of Miocene basalt.  What is amazing is that grapes are growing in that thin layer of loess on top of this basalt.   
 


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Kevin was a gifted speaker who had the ability to make us see a million years of geological formations as if it was happening as he spoke.  I love geology and this tour was a real treat!

The day ended with tasting of wines from a variety of vineyards.  After seeing we most definitely needed to taste! 

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