Terroir, the concept that growing conditions contribute to the character of a crop or agricultural product, has long been applied to grapes and wine. The site characteristics often cited as likely contributors to the flavor of a wine include factors such as soil type, soil moisture, air temperature, solar exposure, and elevation. Both the site characteristics and the grape juice or wine characteristics can be measured and quantified, which means they lend themselves to exploration with quantitative and statistical methods of investigation. The DataLab will be working with Professor Ron Runnebaum to build a data infrastructure capable of comparing how these quantifiable growing conditions impact the characteristics of the resulting grape juice.
For this project we will be working with data regarding Pinot noir wine grapes growing in California and Oregon, specifically in the Santa Maria, Arroyo Seco/Monterey, Sonoma Coast, and Willamette Valley American Viticultural Areas.