Written by Stephen Lesefko
Production Winemaker of Kerloo Cellars
Volcanic soils tend to be high in mineral content (iron, magnesium and potassium) and low in organic content. They also tend to be very porous which results in poor water retention and deep rooting plants. As a result vines grown on volcanic soils have low vigor (the amount of growth produced over a season) and generally yield less fruit than vines grown on more fertile soils. However, fruit from volcanic soils are high quality and are regarded as being crisp, aromatic and minerally driven.
Look for wines from Lanzarote, Chile, Santorini and Mount Etna among others. In the USA, volcanic soils can be found in parts of Napa (Howell Mountain, Stags Leap, Atlas Peak) and the Willamette Valley (Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills).
Did you know that Oregon’s Dundee Hills AVA is world renowned for wines produced on their red volcanic Jory soil?