Soil and Wine Quality: Conclusions

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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There can be no doubt that soil characteristics do influence grape quality, yield, and wine individuality, as has been shown by Renouf et al. in grand cru vineyards in Bordeaux. However, in most situations the effects of soil are subsidiary to those of climate, vine variety, and vine management (see van Leeuwen et al.). Of the influential soil characteristics, the most important are those governing the supply of water to the vine, probably followed by those influencing temperatures in and above the soil. Provided that vine growth is healthy, soil chemistry and vine nutrition do not play any particular role, other than the effect of nitrogen in vegetative vigour and berry nitrogen content, and in some situations that of excess potassium on the pH of must and wine.