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  1. US Geologists Challenge Minerality vs. Terroir Theory

    "At the annual meeting of  Geological Society of America held in Portland Oregon, one of the Geologists debunked the idea that the vines absorb minerals from the soil and impart the taste to the flavour of the finished wine, resulting in ‘gout de terroir’ or the ‘taste of the soil’.
    A rocky vineyard in Mosel

     “The idea is romantic and highly useful commercially, but it is scientifically untenable,” wrote Alex Maltman, a professor at the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University. He presented a paper on ‘the Relationship of Geology, Soils, Hydrology and Climate to Wine’ in one of the sessions, reports NY Times.

    organic wine cellar

    Maltman, who is writing a book on geology and wine which will address what he calls the misunderstandings, wrote that while there is no question that vines absorb minerals from the soil, the amounts are far below the human taste threshold. “Whatever ‘minerality’ in wine is, it is not the taste of vineyard minerals,” he wrote.

    Jonathan Swinchatt, a Harvard and Yale trained geologist who consults to several wineries in Napa and Sonoma, wrote that “while a direct link between appears to be largely metaphoric,” there are several indirect influences that might account for the notion — such as soil temperature, drainage and trace element chemistry.

    “The experiments that might unravel these links are devilishly complex and, for the most part, prohibitively expensive,” said Swinchatt. “As a result, it is likely that the connections between geology and wine will remain elusive for some time to come.”

    Swinchatt is the coauthor of the book "The Winemaker's Dance," who has documented scientific differences in vineyard sites and is taking a reasoned look at the topic. His thinking is that the soil differences matter, but we know very little about why, at this point.

    Admittedly this isn't entirely new territory. A couple years ago Daniel Patterson and scientist Harold McGee discussed the same subject and came to a similar conclusion: We don't taste the rocks that the vines are grown in, but we might taste what we perceive as rocks.

    Maltman's stance is close to what a lot of wine experts think- that mineral character can be found in wine, but wine grown in clay doesn't necessarily taste like clay. Wine grown on limestone may have unique characteristics, but it doesn't have to taste like limestone".

    From US Geologists Challenge Minerality vs. Terroir Theory

    Les Chevaux d'Olivier Cousin


    My answer :

    I'm not a scientist but taster of wine. I smell the minerality in retro-olfaction when the vines are organic (without weed killer) and the winegrower use natural yeasts The speaker has forgotten the importance of natural yeasts. Why: Few American winegrower use natural yeasts. In France, there is only 5% who use them.
    We can say whatever you want. But there is a difference between a wine fermented with natural yeasts and chemical yeasts. The taste of stone exists in Alsace, Burgundy, the Loire (all France) when the winegrower uses organic farming and winemaking yeasts.
    There are two styles of wines in the world: buccal and spiritual.
    I recommend this articles :

    two styles of wines
    I think if the American winegrowers are working:
    - With the natural yeasts
    - Less wood
    - With organic farming
    Their wine styles change. They are spiritual and mineral.

    Jean-Charles Botte natural wine advocate from