Warden Silt-Loam

Boushey Vineyards Soil Composition

The soil where the Syrah is grown, at Boushey Vineyards, is described as warden silt-loam over caliche and fractured basalt. Warden silt-loam covers a huge swath of Washington and Oregon because of the Missoula Floods that happened a very long time ago.

During the ice age, an ice sheet expanded from Canada into Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Towards the end of the ice age, as things were warming up, the ice damn blocking the Clark Fort River (Idaho/Montana boarder) would weaken and Glacial Lake Missoula would drain with a force ten times greater than the force of all the rivers in the world combined. This vast amount of water would be travelling so fast that Lake Missoula would be only half full within a day’s time and the water would carry everything from fine silt to large boulders and trees. This would happen 40 times in a 2000 year span- about every 50 years. This massive flooding just pummeled the topography and you can see erosional remnants to this day where they traveled (Some are pointed out in the video).

You can see from the simulation the path of the floods and where warden silt-loam can be found. And as it turns out, warden silt-loam is great for grapes because it drains well and is low in nutrients. Can you find Boushey Vineyards on the video?

Film Credit: Ice Age Floods Institute