The microorganisms in specific vineyards may be the first step toward understanding wines sense of place


Terroir is a concept at the heart of French winemaking, but one so mysterious that the word has no English counterpart. It denotes the holistic combination of soil, geology, climate and local grape-growing practices that make each regions wine unique. Click here for the New York Times article. 

Many wine lovers consider terroira sense of place you can taste in the glassto be what makes great wine special. Whether thats determined by soil, climate or other factors, however, is understood vaguely at best. Can we prove that individual wine regionsindeed, individual vineyardsconvey site-specific signatures into finished wines? Click here for the Wine Spectator article. 

Sommeliers touting a wines aroma, body, and acidity may eventually add microbial community to what makes a vintage unique. Researchers at the University of California, Davis sampled grapes from nearly 300 locations in Californias famous wine country and found that the bacteria and fungi living on the fruit show patterns based on location, climate, and grape variety. Click here for the Science Friday article. 

Terroir -- the name given to the unique blend of a vineyard's soils, water and climate -- sculpts the flavor and quality of wine. Now a new study led by UC Davis researchers offers evidence that grapes and the wines they produce are also the product of an unseen but fairly predictable microbial terroir, itself shaped by the climate and geography of the region, vineyard -- and even individual vine. Click here for the Central Valley Business Times article.