Understanding Vineyard Soils

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Oxford University Press, Apr 28, 2009 - Technology & Engineering - 240 pages
Terroir connotes a sense of place that imparts a distinctive character to wine. A central component of terroir is the soil and its immediate surroundings. Thus, an understanding of the basic properties of soils and how they function as a "living skin" on the earth's surface is of fundamental importance to grape growers and winemakers. Stripped of scientific jargon, Understanding Vineyard Soils explains to a wide audience how soils form and why they are so variable. Robert White describes essential chemical and physical processes involving nutrients, water, oxygen and carbon dioxide, moderated by the activities of soil organisms, and proposes remedies to alleviate adverse conditions such as soil acidity, compaction, poor drainage and salinity. The pros and cons of organic viticulture are discussed, as are the possible impacts of climate change. The author explains how sustainable wine production requires grape growers and winemakers to take care of the soil and minimize the impact of their activities on the environment. This book is a practical guide for viticulturists and for the lay reader who is seeking general information about soils, but who may also wish to pursue in more depth the influence of different soil types on vine performance and wine character. Understanding Vineyard Soils will discuss new developments, especially in precision viticulture and organic viticulture. The introduction will address new technologies (near and remote sensing, digital soil mapping) as well as traditional soil classification. Following a chapter on site selection are the three core chapters on vineyard and soil management - The Nutrition of Grapevines, Where the Vine Roots Live, and The Living Soil. The book is written from an international perspective - the important points discussed in Chapters 1 through 6 are illustrated with examples drawn from many wine regions around the world.

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About the author (2009)

Robert White has had an outstanding international career in soil, water and nutrient management for more than 40 years. After working for many years in broad-acre agriculture, he turned his attention to the fascinating interaction between soil and the flavor and aromas of wines world-wide, a topic that happily marries sensory pleasure with science. Books by same author White, R. E. 2006. Principles and Practice of Soil Science. Fourth Edition, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, 363 pp (being translated into Portuguese) (limp) Third edition, 1997. Blackwell Science, Oxford, 348 pp (limp) Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Soil Science, second edition, 1987. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, 244 pp. (also published in an English Language Book Society edition) (limp) White, R.E. Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Soil Science, 1979. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, 198 pp (translation in Italian) (limp) White, R. E. 2003. Soils for Fine Wines, Oxford University Press, New York, 279 pp (hard cover)

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