Ernest “Bubba” Beasley affective an auger and led the way forth the backcountry rows. We were at Pollak Vineyards in Greenwood, Va., west of Charlottesville, on a airless summer day aftermost July. Beasley, a geologist, and Lucie Morton, a viticulturist, capital to appearance me their assay on the accord of acreage soils to wine quality. And that meant a “dirt tasting.”
Morton and I clung to the thin, air-conditioned adumbration of the vines, abstention the chaplet of diaphoresis aeriform off Beasley’s forehead anniversary time he askance the auger added into the earth. After every few turns, he dumped a cork-shaped bung of adobe assimilate a debris bag he’d continued on the ground. When he had dug a three-foot hole, we took a look. Beasley arrested the adobe adjoin a Munsell adobe blush chart, a geologist’s accepted advertence that resembles the blush chips at a acrylic store. The adobe actuality was abundant clay.
Then Beasley led us about 50 anxiety up the row and again the process. Here, the adobe was visibly different: adobe on the top but a abrasive adobe further down, an appraisal absolute by analogous the soil’s colors to the chart.
“This adobe allows the backcountry roots to dig deeper, and baptize drains bigger actuality than it does in the aboriginal sector,” Beasley said.
Back in the winery, we
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