Tap Talk - James Nina Cassidy

Have you ever wondered about the soil under your feet as you walk across a field or through a vineyard row? What's going on down there, and how does it impact you? James and Nina Cassidy will join us for this Tap Talk to provide some answers. 

Most people only have a vague idea of what soil is and how it works. In this talk, James will connect us to the soil by exploring why we are alive, what nutrients are, and how soil stores water and nutrients. The fundamentals that all humans on the planet Earth should know!

Nina will then enlighten us about how soil impacts wine. She'll tell us why Oregon soil is perfect for the wines grown here, and how the soil's water holding capacity over the season creates amazing world class wines.


James has been an Instructor of Soil Science at Oregon State University for over 12 years. The introductory class now has over 200 students each term and is quite a hit. James is also the faculty advisor for the wildly popular OSU Organic Growers Club - OSU's student farm. The project has over 300 student volunteers on its list-serve and continues to grow. The farm cultivates over 50 different fruit and vegetable crops and is just beginning it's 17th season. Coming from a non-traditional background (30 years in the music industry), he is passionate about soil and is popular with students because of his dynamic speaking style.

After living and working in the wine industry in Tasmania, Australia for several years, Nina returned home to Oregon and pursued a degree in Enology and Viticulture at OSU. After graduating and working at different wineries, she joined Emerson Vineyards as Assistant Winemaker in 2010. Emerson Vineyards is a small family owned vineyard and winery located in Monmouth, OR. With 30 acres planted to mostly Pinot Noir, they produce 4000 cases of wine annually. Nina spends her time on wine production, vines and vineyard work, sales, and teaching soil, vines and wine workshops onsite.