Wine Terms: Terroir
Wine Terms: Terroir
Jan 01, 2018

“Terroir” (tair-wahr) is one of the most cherished words for the French. One could even say it’s the base of the French culture. “What a beautiful terroir!” You’ve already heard that before, right? Remember, in that particular wine tasting event when you were dazed and everyone kept nodding in total agreement? What’s the heck does that mean? True, it can sounds posh to say terroir in the middle of a conversation, but the concept is essential to understand how a single grape variety like pinot noir can be so different from one place to another. Terroir is a term that simply means “a sense of place”. It’s a basic belief that every place has its own characteristics that you can perceive in the wine (or food by the way). The grape variety is sensible to the soil, the climate and the elevation. A bunch of elements give a signature taste to the place where the wine is produced. Any other cannot imitate the particular blend of flavors that make every estate unique. That’s terroir! Terroir as a “taste of the place” is even more meaningful and relevant for wines made from one grape variety only, in a very specific region. That’s how St Emilion wines can be so different and express different terroirs for example.  The concept of terroir is easy to understand. The most interesting and difficult aspect of it is to know how to identify the differences and signatures. Want to know more? Read our article What makes Wine Flavors: The 3 FactorsWine novice or interested in discovering wines you do not have access to? Every month receive two bottles of exclusive French wines at home with our sommelier’s tasting guide. Find out more