Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Edgefield History Pub

The Dynamic Terroir of the Willamette Valley: The Relationship between Geology, Soil, Climate and Wine

Edgefield - Blackberry Hall

5 pm doors, 6:30 pm event

Free. First come, first served. Arrive early!

All ages welcome

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About The Dynamic Terroir of the Willamette Valley: The Relationship between Geology, Soil, Climate and Wine

The Dynamic Terroir of the Willamette Valley: The Relationship between Geology, Soil, Climate and Wine

Presented by: Scott Burns, Professor of Geology, Portland State University

Terroir is a French term that is over 400 years old and was used to describe why wines of one area tasted different from wines of another area, even though they were the same variety.  It is the “taste of the place”.  It is determined by the geology, soil, climate and soil biota.  One of the greatest places in the world to taste differences in terroir is the Willamette Valley (wine region of the year for the whole world for 2017 – Wine Enthusiast).  The valley grows primarily cool climate grapes like Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling, Muller-Thurgau, and Gewürztraminer.  Terroir is best expressed in cool climate grapes like the thin-skinned red grape, pinot noir.  There are four main geological units, three of which are the main wine producing soils:  volcanic soils (Columbia River Basalts and the Jory Soil), marine sediments (sandstones and shales and the Willakenzie Soil), volcanic soils with old silt mixed in (Laurel wood Soil) and the lesser used Missoula Flood deposits (Woodburn Soil).  The same winemaker can produce three different wines in the same year with similar clones if different soils are used.  Learn how to be an educated wine taster in Oregon by attending this talk.

About the Speaker:

Scott is a Professor Emeritus of Geology and Past-Chair of the Dept. of Geology at Portland State University where he just finished his 27th year of teaching.  He was also Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at P.S.U. from 1997-1999.  He has been teaching for 47 years, with past positions in Switzerland, New Zealand, Washington, Colorado and Louisiana.  He is a 6th generation Oregonian who grew up in Beaverton and is very happy to be "home" after a 25 year hiatus! 

Scott specializes in environmental and engineering geology, geomorphology, soils, and Quaternary geology. In Oregon, he has projects involving landslides and land use, environmental cleanup of service stations, slope stability, earthquake hazard mapping,  Missoula Floods, paleo sols, loess soil stratigraphy, radon generation from soils,  the distribution of heavy metals and trace elements in Oregon soils,  alpine soil development, and the terroir of wine.  He has been active in mapping landslides in the Pacific Northwest since his return to Portland.

Scott has won many awards for outstanding teaching with the most significant being the Faculty Senate Chair Award at Louisiana Tech University in 1987, the Distinguished Faculty Award from the Portland State Alumni Association in 2001, and the George Hoffmann Award from PSU in 2007.  He has authored over 100 publications  and has had over 25 research grants.  His first book, Environmental, Groundwater and Engineering Geology: Applications from Oregon, came out January of 1998. His second book, Cataclysms on the Columbia, the Great Missoula Floods came out in October of 2009 and is co-authored by Marjorie Burns, a friend and professor at PSU.  Scott has been the president of the Faculty Senate at three different universities: Louisiana Tech University and the American College of Switzerland and Portland State University.  He actively helps local TV and radio stations and newspapers bring important geological news to the public. For the past 47 years he has been studying wine and terroir – the relationship between wine, soils, geology and climate.

His BS and MS degrees are from Stanford University in California, plus a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Colorado, Boulder.  He is has memberships in  over 20 professional organizations and is most active in the Association of Engineering Geologists, Geological Society of America, National Association of Geology Teachers, and the Soil Science Society of America.  He is past president of the Oregon Society of Soil Scientists and the Oregon Section of the Association of Engineering Geologists.  He was national chair of the engineering geology division of the Geological Society of America (GSA) in 1999-2000. . He was national president of the Association of Engineering Geologists from 2002-2003. He is today president of the International Association of Engineering Geologists.  He was chosen a fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2004.  Scott was chosen a fellow with the Kellogg National Fellowship Program from 1990 - 1993 based on his national leadership performance.  He was president of the Downtown Rotary Club of Portland, Oregon’s oldest and largest Rotary club in 2009.

 He has been active working with youth as a basketball coach. Scott enjoys all sports, especially basketball, running, skiing, hiking, swimming, tennis, and golf.  He has been married for 42 years to Glenda, and they have three children: Lisa (39), Doug (35) and Tracy (32).  The Burns family lives in Tualatin.

About Edgefield History Pub

Edgefield History Pub

These monthly, free events are open to everyone interested in Oregon and Pacific Northwest history. Co-sponsored by like-minded historical and civic organizations, we bring you experts, scholars, first-person experiencers and historians who expound on topics from Lewis and Clark to shipwrecks, hop growing to women pioneers and far, far beyond. It's like being back in the classroom - except this time you get to settle into comfortable seats and enjoy a drink or two with dinner while you listen and learn.

This event is eligible for a History Pub Stamp