February 19, 2010
Yes Yes this Blog will be focusing on that brilliant little word the French coined- Terroir! Even just saying aloud fills me with a sense of knowing exactly what I’m talking about! If you ever want to impress someone, try saying it about the wine you’re drinking, ie- oh my you can really taste the terroir from this wine OR mmmm this wine is really infused with its terroir, but this is the most important part- you have to say it in your most pompous french accent, otherwise whats the point? There’s a very strong chance they won’t know what you’re talking about, but should they ask won’t you be glad you read this Blog! So the word itself was coined in an attempt to account for the subtle differences between the varying regions, within France. Basically the french see the wine they produce as an expression of the area- they aren’t just making Pinot Noir, they’re making a wine with a grape that best exudes the sense of Burgundy. And because of this that’s why French wines don’t put the grape on the bottle- because as far as they’re concerned its not about the grape, its all about the region! Its because of this idea that the region is whats important, and not necessarily the grape, that the french Apellation Controle system came about- a unique region will have a unique wine that cannot be replicated! So at this point it would only be natural to assume that french view the wine making process as entirely up to nature… wrong, in fact the wine maker can do certain things which will bring out or suppress the terroir. For example things like flood irrigation, or excessive oak aging would kill the terroir, whereas pruning so that they get low yields or using old vines are all things that would enhance the terroir in the wine. Basically land has always been viewed as something that had to be works in order to get the best results from it- the idea behind a terroir is that it has to be worked WITH in order to get the best unique product from it!