Cart 0 items: $0.00


Qty Item Description Price Total
  Subtotal $0.00

View Cart

Your Account
aristocratic wines at democratic prices

A to Z Wineworks

Karen Peterson
June 12, 2015 | Education, Viticulture & Sustainability | Karen Peterson


In celebration of the UN naming 2015 the International Year of Soils (IYS), I think it is only fair to write about soils; however, there is only one way to do it justice…a SOIL SERIES! So, we will be bringing a series of soil related blog postings that will hopefully get everyone just as excited as we are about soils.

To kick off the series, I’ll share with you an epiphany I had while reminiscing about the soil classes I took during my undergrad: When describing a wine, many of the terms used to identify specific qualities of that wine are shared by soil scientists when describing soils. Our Tasting Room Manager, my fellow Karen at A to Z, and I have put together a table of descriptors for your enjoyment.




A healthy soil will have a “good” aroma – if you’re getting off aromas from a soil, that’s a clue that there’s something going on with it.


Also known as ‘the nose’ of a wine, aroma is what the wine smells like, from the “good” aromas of fruit to floral to earthy components. If the wine has an off aroma, it could be an indication of a wine fault.




Structure is simply the arrangement of soil aggregates. Soil structure influences water, air and nutrient relations in the soil. Promoting good soil structure is crucial to keeping a vineyard healthy.


Structure refers to the relationship and, ultimately, the balance of different components in wine such as acid, tannin, alcohol, body, texture, etc. A good structured wine has greater potential to age longer.




Texture refers to the percent of clay, silt and sand particles in the soil. Soil scientists are often able to tell a lot about a soil based on how it feels (i.e. a soil with a higher percent of sand may feel gritty).


Texture is a component of structure, and is the general sensation or overall mouthfeel of the wine that incorporates the weight, body, tannins, etc. (i.e. a wine with more tannin may feel chalky or grippy on your palate).




Soil acidity is important to take into consideration when planting any crop, and can be altered by many farming practices. Blueberries, for example, thrive in acidic soils (a pH of 4.5 – 5ish), whereas wine grapes need a slightly higher pH soil (5.5 – 6.5ish).  The soil pH affects the availability of nutrients in the soil. If plants that are not suited to a soil’s specific pH are planted, nutrient deficiencies and/or toxicities will become apparent, and the plant will not thrive.


Acidity is another part of the structure of wine, and it refers to the amount of perceived acid in the wine. Without acidity, wines taste flat, soft or flabby, but with too much acidity, wines can taste tart, sharp or sour.




A loaded term when it comes to soils – this is a drastic over-simplification, but a healthy balanced soil works like a well-oiled machine. In agriculture, we have to be very aware of the consequences management has on the soil’s natural systems lest we throw a balanced soil system out of balance.


A loaded term when it comes to wines as well – on a broad scale, balance refers to the overall perception of the structure at the end of each taste. It is the relationship and equilibrium of all the components in wine (acid, tannin, alcohol, body, texture, etc.). When no one component sticks out more than another, the wine has balance, a sense of elegance and completeness, which is a hallmark of great wines.


Pure Juvenate's Gravatar
Pure Juvenate
@ Jun 23, 2015 at 3:20 AM
Wow! Thank you! I continuously wanted to write on my blog something like that. Can I include a portion of your post to my site? Great article, thank you. I signed to your blog rss feed.

Formula 41 Extreme's Gravatar
Formula 41 Extreme
@ Jun 25, 2015 at 12:51 AM
Just to let you know, this post looks a little bit funny from my smart phone. Who knows maybe its just my mobile phone. Great post by the way.'s Gravatar
@ Jun 28, 2015 at 5:08 AM
Very interesting post. Your own web site is swiftly turning out to be certainly one of my favorites.

CogniQ's Gravatar
@ Jun 29, 2015 at 2:48 AM
on), so cheers mate for not wasting any of my time! Only desire to say your post is spectacular. The clearness as part of your put up is quickly remarkable and i can assume you happen to be an authority on this area.

king Size's Gravatar
king Size
@ Jul 27, 2015 at 12:54 AM
actually enjoyed what you posted actually. it really isnt that simple to find even remotely good text to read (you know.. really READ and not just going through it like some uniterested and flesh eating zombie before moving on), so cheers mate for really not wasting any of my time! :p some really nice and useful information on this web site

ProGain 350's Gravatar
ProGain 350
@ Aug 3, 2015 at 12:37 AM
I am going to go ahead and save this article for my sis for a study project for class. This is a beautiful web page by the way. Where did you find the template for this website?

Elite Test 360's Gravatar
Elite Test 360
@ Aug 4, 2015 at 3:09 AM
Okay if I ask something kinda off subject? I'm trying to view this web page on my new iPad nevertheless it will not exhibit up correctly, do you've any alternatives? Must I try and locate an update for my software program or anything? Thanks upfront! Jennine x :)

Brain Peak's Gravatar
Brain Peak
@ Aug 8, 2015 at 1:11 AM
Very detailed post! I agree with above poster! Ive your website bookmarked! I discovered this weblog quite helpful. The facts and exact suggestions are precisely what I was searching for. I really enjoyed reading through this write-up! I most certainly will be coming back to read some more intriguing ideas! Thank you!

Testo Xplode's Gravatar
Testo Xplode
@ Aug 12, 2015 at 2:00 AM
I do agree with all the ideas you have presented in your post. Theyre very convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are very short for newbies. Could you please extend them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post. This blog has a lot of extremely helpful info on it! Cheers for informing me.

NeuroFuse's Gravatar
@ Aug 13, 2015 at 12:41 AM
Took me time to read all the comments, but I seriously enjoyed the write-up. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am positive to all the commenters right here Its always good when you can not only be informed, but also entertained Im sure you had fun writing this article. Thanks for posting this. Was looking for this info all over the web.

Synagen IQ's Gravatar
Synagen IQ
@ Aug 20, 2015 at 2:02 AM
Ive been meaning to read this and just never received a chance. Its an issue that Im really interested in, I just started reading and Im glad I did. Youre a wonderful blogger, one of the very best that Ive seen. This weblog stionably has some data on subject that I just wasnt aware of. Thanks for bringing this things to light.

Synagen IQ's Gravatar
Synagen IQ
@ Aug 22, 2015 at 12:52 AM
Great post here. Lots of information, I look forward to reading more from you.Thanks for the excellent post. I added you to digg. Keep up the hard work. The style that you write make it really trouble-free to read. And the design you use, wow. Its a really good combination. And I am wondering what is the name of the template you use?

Brainfinity's Gravatar
@ Aug 26, 2015 at 12:30 AM
I just added your blog to my blog roll, I hope youd take into consideration doing the same.Hey, I think your really on target with this, I wont say I am completely on the same page, but its not really that big of a issue.

Add A Blog Comment
E-Mail me when someone comments on this post

Leave this field blank: