Influence of land on wine, food and tea subject of conference
November 6, 2012
• Two-days of talk and tastings at UC Davis
• “The concept of terroir has almost mystical connotations”
Two days of presentations about the relationship between the land and the food and beverages it produces – sometimes referred to as “terroir” -- will be held Nov. 9-10 at the University of California, Davis.
The public event, coordinated by the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, will feature speakers from UC Davis, other academic institutions and private companies.
"For some people, the concept of terroir has almost mystical connotations," says Clare Hasler-Lewis, executive director of the Robert Mondavi Institute. "During this event, however, we will be hearing from people who have either studied terroir or view it as a key consideration in the daily operation of their businesses."
Friday's sessions will focus on the terroir of the Napa Valley and will feature Ken Verosub, distinguished professor of geology at UC Davis, speaking on "What Makes Napa Valley Wines So Special."
A guided tasting of Napa Valley cabernets that represent six distinct appellations, or growing areas, within Napa Valley will follow his presentation. The tasting will be conducted by Peter Marks, master of
wine and vice president of education at Constellation Wines.
Constellation's Napa Valley wineries include the Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville, and Franciscan Oakville Estate and Mount Veeder Winery, both in St. Helena.
Saturday's presentations, titled "From the Soil to the Table," will explore the latest scientific studies on terroir and how the concept extends to tea, cheese and other foods.
Morning speakers will include Rowan Jacobsen, author of the 2010 book "American Terroir," discussing "The Real Dirt: Why Terroir's Time Has Come;" Kevin Gascoyne, black tea specialist with Camelia Sinensis of Montreal, Canada, discussing "Terroir and Tea: Five Thousand Years" and leading a tea tasting; and UC Davis professor Moshe Rosenberg, a dairy engineering and technology specialist, talking about science and opportunities related to cheese terroir.
Afternoon speakers will include geologist Alex Maltman from the University of Wales at Aberystwyth, environmental studies professor Greg Jones from Southern Oregon University, winemakers Ken Bernards and Curtis Strohl of Ancien Wines, and winemaker Andy Erickson of Favia wines.
A panel discussion titled "What Science Does and Doesn't Tell Us About Terroir" and a terroir tasting of wine, cheese, honey, coffee, chocolate and other foods will close out the day.