Soil, Weather, Terroir and Wine


Ted Burns interviews David Schildknecht, Robert White and Greg Jones about the influences of soil and weather on wine grapes. David Schildknecht is a well-respected wine critic and writer for the Wine Advocate and has a special interest in the topic of terroir. Robert White is author of the book, Soils for Fine Wine. Greg Jones is a climatologist and vineyard site selection consultant.

The participants discuss the influence of the physical and chemical properties of soil and the influence of weather on wine grapevine growing, the quality of wine and the terroir of many winegrowing regions. The topic of taste of “minerality” is also discussed during this in depth look at these important and usually only superficially-covered topics.

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Show #196
(1:42:29 min 73 MB)

7 Responses to “Soil, Weather, Terroir and Wine”

  1. 1 Scott Hendley Apr 11th, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    This was a an absolutely wonderful podcast! Thoughtful, informative, and analytical, with a great balance of perspectives on a crucial topic. I look forward to more in-depth podcasts of this kind on other important topics.

  2. 2 John D Apr 12th, 2008 at 6:25 am

    I really enjoyed hearing about the more scientific aspects of soil and climate but couldn’t help but thinking throughout the program that there was an “art” to all of this that none of the scientists could explain. In my opinion, that is the beauty of wine: geology, climatology, botany, chemisty and a healthy portion of artistry.

  3. 3 Mark A. Ryan Apr 12th, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Great job getting all these people together in one place, Ted. This is the type of “seminar” that people would pay good money to attend at a place like the World of Pinot Noir.

  4. 4 Horacio Campana Apr 13th, 2008 at 5:35 am

    Great show! It is great to hear scientific opinions on the most debated issue in winedom. Very often discussions about terroir among amateurs are purely speculative. Science brings the rigor and controlled experimentation to get to the truth.

    Interestingly though, there wasn’t any consensus among the 3 guests regarding the influence of the chemical composition of the soil and the perceived taste. As long as science can’t scientifically discharge the speculations regarding terroir, it will leave the door open to continued debate and specualtion, which may not be bad given how interesting it is. Just like discussions about demons taking over bodies must have been before science discovered mental illnesses and epilepsy, terroir will continue to fascinate us wine geeks.

    Regards from sunny Mexico!

  5. 5 Ted Burns Apr 13th, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Thanks for the kind words. I learned so much during the interview and during the preparation for the interview. David, Greg and Robert were really great during the entire process and I really appreciate it all. I’d like to do others about related topics and I’d be interested in knowing what people would want to hear about. I should also mention that I’ll do my best to try not to cover too much so that the interviews are shorter duration. – Ted

  6. 6 Jim Cramer Apr 24th, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    Grape Radio does some great shows and this is another one albeit of a different nature, a bit more hard core content oriented and that is exactly what is so enjoyable about it. WOW, what a great group of people and what depth of knowledge. So much to be learned from listening to this. And big complements to Ted and the participants for how the show was conducted: everyone seemed to completely respect what each other had to say, and offered differing opinions so politely. The listening skills of everyone was very impressive. How did you keep from interrupting one another – did you have an electonic signal?

    Thank you; it was a privilege to listen to this.

  7. 7 Julie Lindsey Jul 15th, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    I was particulary struck by the fantastic job Ted did – leading a podcast where the participants were all in different areas simply cannot be easy! I loved the technical and scientific aspects of this discussion – a lot to learn and ponder. Thanks for a great show that provoked the mind…

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