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Terroir Conference Will Draw Winemakers and Earth Scientists

February 28, 2006

From UC Davis News Service -- Some 200 researchers and wine industry representatives will gather March 19-22 at the University of California, Davis, to discuss how the soil, geology and other environmental factors of a vineyard affect the quality of the wine produced there.

"Terroir 2006: A Dialogue Between Earth Scientists and Winemakers" will be a four-day, international conference hosted by UC Davis' Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.

The conference will focus on the popular concept of "terroir" (pronounced ter-WAR), which suggests that a fine wine is not just about the delicate balance of sugars and acids, but truly reflects a variety of environmental aspects of the vineyard. The challenge facing participants in the March conference will be to better define terroir and develop an approach to scientifically studying its
various aspects.

Margrit Mondavi will welcome conference attendees Sunday. The keynote speaker for the conference will be Warren Moran of the University of Auckland, who will discuss the meaning of terroir and the science behind it. The conference will continue through Wednesday with speakers addressing terroir around the world, geology, soils, nutrients, climate, water and the impact of global climate change.

Other speakers will include winemakers, wine writers and academics. Alain Carbonneau of the Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Vigne et du Vin in Montpellier, France, will open the conference Sunday evening.

Speaking from UC Davis will be sensory scientist Jean-Xavier Guinard of the Department of Food Science and Technology; plant biologists Mark Matthews and Douglas Adams, both from the Department of Viticulture and Enology; biometeorologist Richard Snyder of the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources; and wine educator John Buechsenstein of University Extension.

Following the conference, field trips will be held Thursday and Friday to vineyards in the Napa and Sonoma valleys and in Lake and Mendocino counties. Thursday evening, a reception and tour will be held at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, followed by dinner at Beringer Winery.

Complete conference information is available online at
http://terroir2006.ucdavis.edu

The conference host, the Robert Mondavi Institute, was established in 2001 at UC Davis as a global innovator in university-based wine and food programs. The institute is home to the largest and most
prestigious wine and food science academic program in the world. Its teaching and research complex, now under construction, will house a winery, brewing and food science laboratory, vineyard and public education facilities.

Sponsors include Robert Mondavi Winery, Nickel & Nickel Single Vineyard Wines, Stonestreet Alexander Mountain Estate Winery, Duarte Nursery, Beringer Winery, Chateau Montelena Winery, the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers, the Washington Wine Center, Beckstoffer Vineyards, and Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines.

Media contact(s):
* Pat Bailey, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-9843,
pjbailey@ucdavis.edu


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UC Davis News Service
One Shields Avenue
Davis, California 95616-8687
newsservice@ucdavis.edu
Phone: (530) 752-1930; Fax: (530) 752-4068

[Editor's note: News media who would like to attend the conference should contact Pat Bailey, News Service, (530) 752-9843, pjbailey@ucdavis.edu.]


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