VEN 112: Soils and Climate in Viticulture

Dr. Lambert in the soil
Dr. Lambert surrounded by viticulture soil

The Soils and Climate in Viticulture class presents essential principles of soil science and climate for viticulturists and winemakers, to help prepare them to sustainably manage vineyards and soils during their careers. The emphasis is on material that will be useful to these future professionals for optimizing grape production in vineyards, understanding environmental impacts, and developing sustainable practices. This 3-unit class is taught during the winter quarter by Dr. Jean-Jacques Lambert.

Topics covered in the class include: soils, their distribution in the landscape and their importance in viticulture; site evaluation methods for cultivar and rootstock selections; different approaches to vineyard fertilization and best practices for vineyard soil and floor management; soil health and soil monitoring over time, particularly in relation to climate change; and the concept of “terroir” with examples from different regions.

Course materials are derived from basic texts on soil science (chemistry, physics, morphology, biogeochemistry, ecology) and agro-meteorology, as well as current texts, technical notes and research articles on vine nutrition and fertilization, vine management, vineyard floor management, and the chemistry of musts and wines.