Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
11.21.2007  
 

Research Shows Terroir Matters

Tests on German Riesling show strong similarities based on soil types

 
by Gary Werner
 
 
Research Shows Terroir Matters
 
London, England -- Research conducted over three years by an agricultural research center in southwestern Germany appears to offer scientific proof of a nebulous tenet long championed by enophiles: Terroir exists and matters.

The results of the study were presented to the U.K. wine trade and press during a seminar sponsored by the German Wine Institute in London on Nov. 7th. Speaker Andrea Bauer of the DLR-Rheinpfalz in the city of Neustadt, said, "We have tried to explore how conditions in a vineyard influence the sensory profile of the wines that it produces."

To do so, Bauer and research director Dr. Ulrich Fischer focused exclusively on Riesling. Bauer explained that wines from this variety were appropriate for their study because they are recognised as being particularly expressive of their origins--not least because their production traditionally avoids character-altering techniques such as oak-influenced fermentation or malolactic acid conversion.

The study began with the 2004 harvest in Germany, and it enlisted the assistance of several growers across the Pfalz region. From the 2005 vintage, the work expanded to include estates in other regions such as the Mosel and Rheinhessen. Vineyard sites were selected for the program according to criteria including specific soil types--such as sandstone, basalt, limestone and slate. The idea was to determine if there are discernable similarities across wines from well separated sites having comparable soil types, as well as any consistent differences in wines from proximate sites with different soil compositions.

Another aspect of the research went even further to permit site-driven aspects of the wines to manifest themselves--by removing the influence of the winemakers. "We harvested about 100kg of grapes from each test site, with the participating estate owners," Bauer said. "But we vinified the batches ourselves under standardized conditions at the DLR's experimental cellar. So each wine was made in the same type of vessel, and with the same yeast strain before racking and bottling in an identical manner."

She continued, "Then came the centerpiece of the research--the sensory analysis of these Rieslings. We conducted qualitative analysis of each wine with expert panels trained to use sensory descriptors that we developed to highlight the differences between the various samples. Each of them were tasted in duplicate or triplicate."

Research Shows Terroir Matters
 
This clinical approach offered very distinct results. Bauer said, "Diagrams that aggregate the results clearly showed that wines produced on slate were citrusy, with markedly sharp acidity. Basalt showed richer fruit flavours and smoother acidity. Limestone showed more intense color and more tropical fruit and even honey aromas. Sandstone showed mineral and citrus characters on the nose and pronounced acidity on the palate.

"Even when comparing wines from, for example, the very similar soils and steep slopes of the Birkweiler Kastanienbusch vineyard in the southern Pfalz, and the Urziger Wurzgarten site in the Mosel-- which are more than 200km (120 miles) apart--we saw only slight differences. The wine from the warmer south was bigger or more textured on the palate. But more interesting were the similarities. Sensory analysis showed a significant grapefruit and smoke profile in both, which seems to be evidence of the overt role of soil in wine character. And the results were consistent across 2004 and 2005, too, which were quite different viticulturally in Germany."

Bauer said the research is continuing with the 2007 vintage, and that consideration of climatic and topographic factors is an important part of future work. But even now she has been able to conclude, "Sensory analysis showed consistent differences across the wines produced from different vineyard site types, and also very clear similarities among those produced from similar site types. There were some variations, but they never over-rode the essential profiles or characters or, in other words, the terroir of these places."
SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
June 2015 $602 million
5%
$8,101 million
6%
June 2014 $571 million $7,676 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
June 2015 $92 million
6%
$1,901 million
14%
June 2014 $87 million $1,669 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
June 2015 366
22%
261
19%
June 2014 300 220
     
 
MORE » Released on 07.15.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2015
 
Download full report »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • July 20-31
     
    UC Davis, OIV marketing program
     
  • July 28
     
    Crush Strategies to Maximize Quality
     
  • July 31 - August 2
     
    West of West
     
  • August 1
     
    Urban Wine Xperience
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Central Coast Wine Harvest Begins »
 
Here at Flying Goat Cellars in Lompoc we harvested last week the Bien Nacido Pinot...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: The Spiciest Wines You Have Ever Tasted »
 
I'm curious as to how 'guest' defines wine and their rational for claiming this is...
Reader: Rob McDonald
 
Article: The Spiciest Wines You Have Ever Tasted »
 
This is not wine. This is aromatized drink. Like vermouth.
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Gallo, Barefoot Dominate Off-Premise Sales »
 
If the wines listed make up 80% of the US wine sales I'm proud to...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: New York Wine's 'Overnight' Success »
 
A well deserved recognition of Jim's efforts over many years
Reader: Guest
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Tasting Room And Wine ...
 Sonoma County, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Office Assistant
 St. Helena, CA
General Administration and
 Tasting Room Associate
 St. Helena, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Winery Staff Accountan...
 Sonoma, CA
Finance
 Sales Associate
 Sonoma, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Assistant Wine Club Ma...
 Napa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Nyc Wine Tour Guide
 New York City, NY
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Harvest Interns 2015
 Dundee, OR
Cellar, Lab and Production
 Ava Alliance Executive...
 Benton City, WA
Sales and Marketing
 Sales Representative -...
 Austin, TX
Sales and Marketing
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2015 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.