March 19, 2024 by
Maytte Rivera

Albariza is a type of soil made primarily of chalk that can be found in the wine growing region of Jerez in Spain.  It can contain up to 80% chalk combined with limestone, clay, and sand and it is regarded for its excellent ability to retain water. Jerez has a Mediterranean climate with very hot summers and most of the rain falls during the autumn and winter months.  Irrigation is not permitted, so after harvesting the grapes most wineries dig rectangular pits between the rows of vines to trap water during the rainy season.  Albariza acts like a sponge, retaining large amounts of water that will sustain the vines in the heat of summer.  When the dry, hot months arrive, the top layer of this soil becomes a hard crust, preventing water evaporation.  The white color of albariza also works as a mirror, reflecting sunlight to the vines so they can develop properly. Another example of how nature knows what the vines need!

Author: Maytte Rivera

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