Alex Maltman is Professor of Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University, in Wales. He has a long and decorated career in academic teaching and research, which has involved some of the Earth’s high mountains, drilling below the floors of the deepest parts of the oceans, and a lot of geological matters in between. At the same time, for over forty years he has grown vines and made wine at his home in Wales. It’s strictly a hobby and there are only twenty vines – but the basic principles are exactly the same as dealing with two thousand vines!
Right from the start of this viticultural odyssey, Alex’s scientific curiosity questioned why things were done in certain ways and, inevitably, to the much mentioned but little understood relationship between wine and vineyard geology – the rocks and soils in which the vines are rooted. In turn, this lead to publications on the subject, in both academic journals and the popular press. These include the Journal of Wine Research, the Oxford Companion to Wine, the World of Fine Wine, and Practical Winery and Vineyard.
His book “Vineyards, rocks, and soils: The Wine Lover’s Guide to Geology” is due for publication later this year, by Oxford University Press. Alex has researched vineyard geology on four continents and has lectured on the subject in a number of countries and at various international conferences.