This is a guest post by French sommelier Olivier Magny, author of the new book, Into Wine: An Invitation to Pleasure.
When you like wine, and start to learn more about it, you quickly realize that the soil makes a difference. Studying how vineyards were farmed has helped me grasp that the importance of the soil actually goes far beyond wine, and that the implications of mistreating it are also much more far-reaching that we think.
Under the combined effects of chemical pesticides, chemical fertilizers, deep plowing and tractors, we’ve managed to eradicate most of the life of our soils. Even though it may come across as unchanged on the surface, the truth is that for the most part, our soil has now turned to dirt.
After a few decades of mining our soils instead of farming them, we have destroyed them. Messing with the soil is a gigantic mistake—and Nature has already started to get back at us for it.
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