Monday, January 19, 2015

The O(regon) in Terroir

Over the summer, eight Linfield students embarked on the study of Oregon wine. We spent the days studying soil samples, the story behind Oregon wine, food and wine pairing, and developing our wine palettes. During the fall, each of us participated in fall harvest to increase our knowledge and experience with Oregon wine making and culture. This January, the OWIE group embarked on a new adventure: we are in Beaune, France.

The first week of January was dedicated to looking at Oregon versus Burgundy. What are the similarities and differences? At Adelsheim, David touched on the climates between the two wine-growing regions. Burgundy and Oregon have relatively similar weather because we have close latitudes; however, there is much more rain in the winter and much more sun in the summer in Oregon than Burgundy. This means the grapes get blasted with sun during the summer in Oregon, whereas the Burgundy grapes don't get as much heat.

During our skype discussion with Whitney, we briefly discussed the soils in the two regions. Oregon has a mixture of marine and volcanic sediment whereas Burgundy has limestone, so those differences definitely affect the wines as well.

Lastly, the Oregon Wine Industry is much younger than the Burgundy Wine Industry. The French have been making wine for centuries (dating all the way back to when monks first began making it), and the Oregonians began thinking about wine making around 40 years ago.

That's all I have for tonight!

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