What is "Terroir"?

Terroir is a French word that cannot easily be translated into other languages. It expresses a historical and cultural concept: the idea that wine is deeply connected to place (natural aspects of terroir) and the people (choices made by the vignaiolo).

The joy of “terroir” wine is knowing that when you open a bottle, there is a “story” inside, a story of place and people.The wine has personality. No one can explain exactly how the natural aspects of terroir and the choices the vignaiolo made create the aromas and tastes in the wine…and they change from year to year. To learn more, watch my video Story In a Bottle

The natural aspects of terroir include:

– type of soil
– form of the land (flat, hilly, mountainous)
– proximity to the sea or lakes or rivers
– exposition (which direction the vineyard faces)
– altitude about sea level
– amount of wind
– climate (seasonal variation, temperatures, rainfall, etc.)
– amount of sunlight (seasonal and daily variation)
– change in temperature from day to night

The concept of terroir is also tied to choices that the vignaiolo makes:

– choice of grape variety
– planting and growing methods
– methods of pruning, fertilizing, etc.
– time of harvest
– way the grapes are made into wine: type of container for fermentation, time left with the skins during fermentation, time on the lees after fermentation, temperature controls, indigenous or selected yeasts for fermentation… etc.
– time, container and methods for aging

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