Meet Dr. Dirt

Joan Davenport, Ph.D
Professor / Soil Scientist

Ph.D., Soil Chemistry, University of Guelph, Canada,  1985
M.S., Soil Management, Iowa State University, 1981
B.S. (Magna), Plant Science, Rutgers the State University  of NJ, 1978

Science and Education
In the arid areas of the Pacific Northwest, soil management means knowing about water, about plants, and, of course, about soil.  Dr. Davenport’s research focuses on an array of projects designed to understand soil variability and how to manage water and nutrients for economically sustainable, environmentally friendly agricultural production.

As a professional soil scientist working in several crops at Washington State University (WSU) Prosser, Joan adds a unique talent to the winery. Her expertise is rooted in one of the most important wine making ingredient- the earth. Also know as "Dr. Dirt", she has worked on soil and water management for for perennial fruit crops for over 25 years. Joan's philosophy is "It all starts with the soil." Her passion for this science shows in her successful career as a researcher and educator. Combining her love of wine and soils, in addition to her contributions to site selection for Daven Lore grapes, Joan has developed the successful petitions for two American Viticultural Areas in central Washington "Ancient Lakes of the Columbia Valley" and "Snipes Mountain". Daven Lore was one of the first wineries to label wines made from grapes grown in the Snipes Mountain AVA. Joan also lead the development of a site evaluation GIS model for wine grape production for irrigated areas of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Education is the other focus of Joans work at WSU.  She has lead the development of on-line learning in soil science and teaches both introductory and graduate level courses. 

To learn more, visit Joans website at