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How to Define Terroir

How to Define Terroir


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It’s hard to talk about wine these days without someone mentioning the word "terroir." This French term does not have a simple definition, but refers to the impact that all the natural surroundings of a vineyard have on the wine that ends up in the bottle. Climate, slope, and soil all factor into giving wine a sense of place or terroir. Many winemakers strive to preserve the distinct terroir that contributes to their wines by taking a hands-off approach to preserve what the land gives them.

We challenged 10 wine professionals — from writers to sommeliers to winemakers — to come up with a compact and concise definition of terroir. Here’s what they had to say:

"One can recognize terroir in the way one recognizes a person: is it their face, their voice, their way of speaking, their way of thinking, the way they smell?" —Christopher Howell, general manager and winemaker, Cain Vineyard and Winery, Napa, Calif.

"Untranslatable French term that determinates a complexity of elements (geology, climate, topography, and soil) that, under human being work, create adapted plants allowing to produce unique fermented food and drink products." — Stefano Inama, owner and winemaker at Azienda Agricola Inama.

"Terroir is the idea of a holistic place and its translation into the medium of wine." — James Tidwell, Master Sommelier and beverage manager, Four Seasons Resort and Club, Dallas.

"In Santorini, 400-year-old non-grafted rootstock in volcanic soil provides the true definition of minerality in a wine!" — Dr. Yiannis Paraskevopoulos, co-owner and chief oenologist at Gaia Wines, Santorini, Greece

"Dirt counts when it has the capacity to push through winemaking and varietal correctness in a manner that proves interesting to the hairless ape." — Todd Hamina, winemaker at Biggio Hamina Cellars, McMinnville, Ore.

"Terroir is a cause and effect relationship between soil components and wine flavors for which no other explanation seems possible." — Terry Theise, wine importer

"#Terroir is a meme." — Katherine Cole, author of Voodoo Vintners

"The combination of factors and influences pertaining to geography and climate that contribute to the uniqueness of profile of wine from any given location" —Marc Kent, winemaker at Boekenhoutskloof, South Africa

"Terroir is the highlighting of components of a non-replicable place and how they belie a winemaker’s capacity to manipulate a wine from harvest to bottle." — Ross Andrew Mickel, winemaker at Ross Andrew Winery, Medina, Washington State.

And, finally, a haiku:

"That which makes a place
unique, that produces wines
unrepeatable."

--Christopher Watkins, manager of retail sales and hospitality and author and host of 4488: A Ridge Blog at Ridge Vineyards

Click here for more from The Daily Sip.


The Pair: The Best Examples of Terroir

Tasting wine is always fun, but often intimidating. To help demystify the process, we’ve called on Thomas Pastuszak and Jessica Brown, husband-and-wife wine geeks and sommeliers at a couple of top New York restaurants: Thomas currently serves as the wine director at The Nomad Hotel, and Jessica helms the wine program at The John Dory Oyster Bar and The Breslin Bar & Dining Room. Between them, they’ve got a surplus of wine knowledge to share, and each month they’ll choose several wines to taste side-by-side to help us calibrate our palates and understand our preferences. This month: four wines that illustrate the concept of terroir.

If we had to condense an explanation of terroir down into a single phrase, it would be “a sense of place.” Terroir can be a complex, layered, and misunderstood topic in the wine world, but basically, it means that a wine smells and tastes of the place it was created. One of the reasons we love wine so much is that it combines location, farming, science, and art one whiff of a wine can transport you to wherever it was made.

Many of the greatest terroir wines cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world. Imagine two different vineyards across the globe from one another: Even if you grow the same vines (chardonnay, for example), and make wine from them the exact same way, the resulting wines will ultimately be different. The soils and growing conditions of certain vineyards are so special and distinct that they simply don’t exist anywhere else in the world, resulting in wine that is quite literally singular.

Let’s take a look at a few of the classic examples of terroir that we love most in the wine world, starting with a personal favorite, Chablis. One of France’s northernmost wine regions, Chablis is known for its razor-sharp expressions of the chardonnay grape. Vines in this cool climate grow on soils studded with the fossilized seashells of ancient seabeds, and the resulting wines have lots of acidity and minerality. The Louis Michel Chablis 2013 is a perfect example: Made with no oak whatsoever, this bottle really brings forward the hauntingly briny aromatics that make the area so special—and its wines so hard to recreate anywhere else. While there are many grand wines from this region that command a high price-point, this one is priced to get into everyone’s glass.

Allie Wist

Hop across the border to Germany, and you’ll find yourself in the motherland of riesling, one of the most misunderstood grapes in the world. Yes, riesling can be sweet, but it’s not always so, and some of Germany’s best riesling comes from the Mosel region, known for its off-dry expressions. The Joh. Jos Prüm Riesling Kabinett Wehlener Sonnenuhr 2011 is a textbook example of high-acid riesling with a kiss of sweetness it practically jumps out from the glass with a smoky, stony character derived from the blue slate in the soil of the vineyards in the village of Wehlen.

Allie Wist

Moving south, Italy is especially well-known for a huge diversity of wines, but one of the most famous and prestigious wine-growing areas in the country lies in its far northwest. Barolo, in the Piedmont region, is where the nebbiolo grape reigns supreme. Nebbiolo is a fickle, thin-skinned red varietal that requires very particular growing conditions, especially a gentle morning fog (nebbia in Italian, hence the grape’s name). Many have tried to plant it throughout the world’s wine regions, with almost complete failure—this grape truly gets homesick, and only wants to thrive in Italy’s mountainous northern climes. The Vietti Barolo Castiglione Falletto 2011 is a gorgeous example. In its youth (as it is here), the wine is stony, with distinctive rose petal aromatics and downright aggressive tannins (beware!). Yet as it ages it develops beautiful earthy, tarry, truffle-like notes.

Allie Wist

For a final iconic example of terroir, we head back to France’s Northern Rhone region, to discover where syrah hit the world stage for the first time. The Chave family has been making wine here for over 500 years, most notably on the picturesque hillside of Hermitage. Current-generation winemaker Jean-Louis Chave is dedicated to tirelessly rebuilding and revitalizing one of the area’s most diverse appellations, St. Joseph. The J.L. Chave Selections St. Joseph “Offerus” 2012 is about as classic as syrah comes: peppery and dark-fruited (though not jammy), it’s backed by a uniquely briny, smoke-filled character that can only be derived from the granite soils of this amazing site. While syrah can thrive in many regions of the wine world, it’s only here in the Northern Rhone that the grape expresses itself in such a fresh and pure form.

Not every bottle you drink will have the rich history that some of these examples might. But when you’re choosing wines in a wine shop or in a restaurant, ask for assistance in choosing those that have a great sense of terroir, so you can get a firsthand sense of the differences between some of the world’s classic vineyard sites. Then pick up your glass, inhale deeply, and be taken somewhere truly special.

Louis Michel & Fils 2013 Chablis, $22 at Wine Chateau
Joh. Jos Prüm Riesling Kabinett Wehlener Sonnenuhr 2011, $35 at B21
Vietti Barolo Castiglione, $60 at ShopRiteWines.com
J.L. Chave Selection Saint-Joseph Offerus 2012, $30 at Morrell & Company

Thomas Pastuszak is a sommelier and the wine director at The Nomad Hotel.


“I like to view [it] much like wine drinkers would view varietal differences in wine grapes.”

– Mike Hoops of Town Hall Brewery

Even though beer can be made at any time of year, it is still, like wine, an agricultural product. And like winemakers, brewers have wondered exactly how much of this flavor variety has to do with exactly where the hops are grown, and how they express that sense of place—that mysterious quality the wine world knows as terroir.

Ruhstaller of Dixon, California developed a series of beers with that question in mind. It features four beers, identical in every way (batch size, malt bill, yeast, process) except for the place the hops were grown.

Three of the batches used Cascade hops from individual farms in areas of northern California with distinct elevations, soil, and microclimates. The fourth used what Ruhstaller calls ‘Orphan’ hops—what most of the craft beer industry uses—Cascades purchased through a broker and grown in an undisclosed location in the Pacific Northwest.

“The point is not to say which one is better or worse,” says J.E. Paino, owner of Ruhstaller. “This is: do you taste a difference? And if you taste a difference, then it matters. And it opens up another conversation about beer, which is ingredients.”

The feedback indicated that it does indeed matter where hops are grown. “Everyone, 100 percent, say there is a difference. Most folks, 90 percent, discuss which one they like better. The [remaining 10 percent] talk about characteristics,” J.E. says conclusively. “They typically say [the beer with hops from] Dixon is smooth and fruity, Sloughhouse is aromatic and sweet, Lake County is piney, and Orphan tastes like ‘fill in the blanks’ IPA.”

But when the conversation turns to how much of those differences are due to terroir, the answer is less black and white. The effects of terroir are likely overshadowed by the effects of other, more prominent factors.

Mt. Hood hops // Photo by Wing Ta

“The largest impact on hop characteristics is how well they’re grown, harvested, and packaged,” explains Eric Sannerud, co-founder of Mighty Axe Hops. “By far, that matters the most. Something like 80 to 90 percent of hop quality is harvesting and growing.”

“There are definite differences from, say, Cascade grown in the Yakima Valley versus Cascade grown in Germany,” comments Dave Berg of August Schell Brewing Company. “But even within hops grown in the same region, there is variability from year to year and even variability in the same year.”

And that’s a problem for breweries who need a huge supply of a certain flavor of hops for their popular flagship beers. “We do pay close attention to hop deviation because it is necessary to create consistency in our brands,” Hoops says. “We define the flavor and aroma profiles for the hops we use and search for that profile each year. If we cannot find the profile we want, we address that by adjusting the blend in the recipe to achieve our profile.”

Smith notes that at Surly, they try to pick exact hop lots that inherently exhibit the brand profile, but that “if we have multiple lots of a single hop variety, we will try to blend the hops consistently. We can adjust the individual hop amounts in the blend to maintain a consistent ‘true-to-brand’ product”.

If this seems like a missed opportunity to showcase the unique qualities of the hops, Paino suggests the brewer is not at fault—they are brewing to consumer preferences.


Environmental Factors Can Impact the Flavor of Whiskey, Just Like Wine

Terroir has long been used to differentiate wines. Now, the same technique may be used for whiskey.

It&aposs difficult to talk about wine without talking about terroir, which describes the natural environment in which a wine was produced and includes factors such as soil, climate, and topography. The terroir impacts how a wine tastes and helps to distinguish the same style of wine from two different regions. A new study has found that the same environmental conditions can also be used to detect flavors in whiskey, as the terroir impacts the barley grown to make the spirit.

"Terroir is increasingly being used to differentiate and market agricultural products, most commonly wine, as consumers grow more interested in the origins of their food," said Dustin Herb, an author of the study and a courtesy faculty member in the Department of Crop and Soil Science at Oregon State University. "Understanding terroir is something that involves a lot of research, a lot of time, and a lot of dedication. Our research shows that environmental conditions in which the barley is grown have a significant impact."

As part of the study, which was conducted in Ireland, crops of several barley varieties were harvested, stored, malted, and distilled in a standardized way. Researchers found that the environment in which the barley was grown had a greater impact on the aroma of the whiskey than the specific variety of barley used to make it. A sensory analysis found distinct differences in the aroma characteristics in the spirits from the barley grown in each location. For example, in Athy, a town located just about an hour southwest of Dublin, the whiskey gave off an aroma associated with sweet, grainy, earthy, and aromas with an oily finish. In Bunclody, a town located about 45 minutes southeast of Athy, the whiskey was associated with the flavors and aromas found in dried fruit.

The study is part of a project known as the Whisky Terroir Project, which aims to examine particular flavor changes in the spirit as they mature in casks and understand how terroir impacts the profile. The team behind the Whisky Terroir Project plans to study the terroir in commercial-scale barley fields over the course of five years. "What this does is actually make the farmer and the producer come to the forefront of the product," Herb said. "It gets to the point where we might have more choices and it might provide an opportunity for a smaller brewer or a smaller distiller or a smaller baker to capitalize on their terroir, like we see in the wine industry with a Napa Valley wine, or Willamette Valley wine or a French Bordeaux."

"This makes us think there might be a vintage aspect to the whiskey like wine, where you buy a 2019 or a 2020 or a 2016," Herb said. "Could the whiskey industry operate in a similar way, where someone is going to seek out a certain vintage of a certain year?"


What’s Fermenting My Wine?

The study of microbial terroir and its impact on wine character is further complicated by the fact that even if a winemaker adds no cultured yeast, it is almost impossible to ensure that the microbes from the vineyard are the only ones fermenting the wine.

Take the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, for example—the star of alcoholic fermentation. Nearly every wine fermentation, inoculated or not, becomes dominated by Saccharomyces, which ferments most of the sugar in wines and brings wine to dryness. But where does this Saccharomyces come from in spontaneous fermentations?

“There is very little Saccharomyces on healthy grapes,” says Anna Katharine Mansfield, an associate professor of enology at Cornell University . Although Saccharomyces is a rarity on healthy grapes, it is extremely common all over the world, found on everything from bees to transport trucks. In spontaneous fermentations, this critical yeast almost always comes from the winery’s building’s resident population (though there is a small chance it could come from the vineyard).

The typical scenario with spontaneous fermentations goes like this: Fermentation starts from microorganisms (usually non- Saccharomyces yeasts and bacteria) that more than likely originate in the vineyard. As the microorganisms quickly die off because of increasing alcohol concentrations, most dying between 1% to 3% ABV, Saccharomyces (which can survive up to 15% ABV and higher) takes over and is responsible for most of the fermentation. Though these spontaneous fermentations are often called native fermentations, the phrase is misleading native vineyard microbes are most likely never alone or able to complete the fermentation on their own.

Still, this is an oversimplification. “We make a lot of assumptions about what’s happening microbiologically in our wines,” says Mansfield. “At the end of ferments, we expect to find only Saccharomyces, but the few people who have explored what’s present at the end of fermentation have found more diversity than expected. We even find some weaker strains we expect would be gone—inoculated or not.”

Peter Hunken, the proprietor of Black Sheep Finds and The Joy Fantastic winery and vineyard in Santa Barbara County, California, has been surprised when testing active fermentations to see which specific yeasts are at work. Hunken takes a hands-off approach to winemaking, opting for spontaneous fermentations, but his tests have revealed unique, unidentified subspecies of Saccharomyces cerevisiae at work midway through fermentation. More research would be needed to determine the origin of these yeasts, but Hunken’s results further emphasize the complicated nature of fermentation at a microbial level.

On the left is inoculated ferment, and on the right is spontaneous ferment. Photo courtesy of Black Sheep Finds.


Terroir: Does Your Wine Taste Like Somewhere?

Every week, Mark Oldman -- wine expert, acclaimed author and lead judge of the hit series The Winemakers -- shares with readers the basics of wine, while making it fun and practical. In the coming weeks, he'll tell you what to ask at a wine store, at what temperature to serve it and share his must-have wine tools.

My friend Carl is an apple-cider savant. If you put three different glasses of cider in front of him, after a few sips of each, he can tell you which one is from Gravenstein Apples in Sonoma, which originated in Canada and which came from the Jonagold apples of central New Jersey. This is because the taste of each cider reflects where the apples come from — their geography and growing conditions — so each possesses a distinct aroma and taste.

So the same goes with wine. Enthusiasts often talk of a wine’s terroir (tare-WAHR), the consistently identifiable taste that reflects where the grapes came from. A terroir-driven wine expresses not only its grape type, but also all of the natural conditions in which those grapes were grown: the soil type, the angle of slope on which it was grown and the particular micro climate there. Certain wine types, like from France’s Burgundy and Alsace regions, are known to express their terroir — that is, these wines have a unique personality that conveys the natural conditions from which they came. They express a “sense of somewhere,” which is how the term “terroir” is often translated from French, though there is no precise definition in English.

While some winemakers focus on respecting a wine’s terroir, others like to tinker with nature, sometimes using excessive amounts of oak, over ripened fruit or other factors that might obscure a wine’s terroir. In these cases, the wine’s character expresses not a particular vineyard or region, but the decisions and desires of that particular winemaker.


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Building a definition

Until recently, a firm definition seemed unnecessary. At its most broad, terroir represents “a sense of place.”

“The notion of terroir has been with us for more than 1,000 years,” says Chris Howell, wine-grower/general manager at Cain Vineyard in Napa Valley. On occasion, Cain consciously allows Brett to ferment in its wines though this doesn’t always happen. “Long before anyone had any idea about labels, brands and marketing, certain wines were identified with where they grew.”

Simple definitions of terroir allow that a vineyard’s soil and climate contribute greatly to a wine’s flavor. Many agree with a catalog of elements listed by Ana Diogo Draper, winemaker at Napa Valley’s Artesa winery: “Soil, climate, sun exposure, slope, row orientation.”

“Being able to identify the major character of your terroir and emphasizing it into your wines is the ultimate objective of a good winegrower,” says Michele Dal Forno, of Dal Forno Romano in the Veneto region of Italy.

But what are the deeper elements of terroir, and how do they affect the composition and the taste of wine? Here are some of the most important considerations.

Soil composition: The chemical and physical makeup of the soil, like minerals, rocks and dirt, gives direction to the flavors that grapes produce.

Soil surface: The color of the soil affects its ability to absorb or reflect the sun’s heat. Surface stones retain the day’s heat into the evening.

Soil drainage: Some vines like extra moisture, while others hate “wet feet.” Generally, winemakers prefer vines be water stressed to produce more concentrated flavors.

Vegetation: Grasses and herbs between rows compete with vines for water and nutrients, but can also improve soil, increase biodiversity and help with pest management.

Microbial activities: Microscopic beings that are unique to certain locations, like yeasts and bacteria, can affect a wine’s taste.

Altitude: Generally, elevated vineyards are cooler, possibly affecting how and when grapes ripen.

Degree of slope: Steeper slopes drain well and may get stronger sunlight.

Aspect: The direction a slope faces affects the amount of sunlight vines planted on it will receive.

Coastal or continental: Vineyards near bodies of water usually experience more moderate temperature swings.

Heat: Vines flourish in moderate climates, and struggle in arctic and tropical zones.

Sunlight and daylight: The more sun a grape gets, the more sugar it produces, which affects the resulting wine’s alcohol levels. Too much can cause sunburned grapes.

Precipitation: Moderate rain/snow are necessary for vine growth, or comparable artificial irrigation.

Wind: Strong, steady winds can slow the maturation of a grape. When vines flower, wind can also cause fewer bunches to develop.

Humidity: Humid climates tend to cause more vine diseases like mildew.

Fog: Fog acts as a cooling agent and promotes botrytis in sweet-wine regions.

Day/Night temperature fluctuations: Depending on location, daily temperature swings can affect grape maturation.

Severe weather: Hail, frost, drought, floods and wildfires are the biggest threats to grape production and vine survival.

When these elements align, they are expressed in what we describe as a wine’s terroir.

Old World winemakers credit their historic terroirs for any distinctive characteristics. But in the past century, New World winegrowers began to produce highly rated wines from soils that have never grown European or Vitis vinifera wine grapes. Can they possess great terroir?


What is Terroir?

You hear this elusive French term constantly in discussions about wine, but what is terroir, anyway?

It comes from the old Latin word terra, which means earth. It suggests that each individual place in the world is unique: when it comes to soil chemistry and structure, weather and climate, orientation to the sun, and so on, no two vineyards are alike. This means, in theory, that the wines that come from these places are distinct from all other wines, possessing some inimitable mark of their origin, just as a human child is the product of its specific parents and upbringing. When an expert refers to “a wine of terroir,” that is a compliment.

That’s true, as far as it goes, but the weakness in terroir-based arguments is that site is not the only thing that influences wine. The other is the human factor: The winemaker is at least as important in how a wine turns out, for the obvious reasons that he or she has control over such variables as when the grapes are harvested, what the precise blend is, what kind of yeast is used for the fermentation, and what kinds of oak (if any) the wines are aged in.

The late, great French enologist, Emile Peynaud, studied terroir extensively, and came up with a word that expresses what happens when terroir meets the human factor: Cru. According to Peynaud, cru is “a complex notion” that encompasses everything affecting the vine, from weather and soil to the “agricultural, industrial and processing” practices involved in winemaking, including “the wine-producing property.” Even “marketing” is wrapped into the notion of cru.

In reality, determining the impact of terroir in wine can be notoriously difficult, especially in blind tastings. The concept seems to be truer on a larger scale than on a small one. For example, everyone will agree that there’s a family resemblance between, say, the Pinot Noirs of Anderson Valley. It’s when we try to define it, or try to consistently identify terroir in individual, small-production lots, that things get difficult. Not all wines taste the way we expect them to wines from the same vineyard, but made by different winemakers using different techniques, can be totally unlike each other.

And yet, adherents of the terroir theory of wine insist, it should be possible to discover a continuity of terroir even in wines made by wildly different techniques. That this is not always the case is why I call terroir “the wine writer’s full employment act.” Terroir will continue to be an elusive, slippery concept, but it will always provide wine writers, winemakers and sommeliers with plenty to argue about!

Steve Heimoff is one of America’s most respected and well-known wine writers. The former West Coast Editor for Wine Enthusiast Magazine and a contributor to Wine Spectator, he has also authored two books on the subject of California wine, including “New Classic Winemakers of California: Conversations with Steve Heimoff,” published in the fall of 2007.


Terroir may sound romantic, but to some winemakers, it’s precise


Grapes grow near Pauillac in France’s Bordeaux region, which is prime cabernet country. (Caroline Blumberg/Bloomberg News)

Terroir is a word with almost mystical charm for wine lovers. And no wonder: It’s French, and therefore romantic. It allows us to stretch out the second syllable with that raspy, guttural sound – “ter-HWAHH” — that speaks of sophistication and savoir faire. And it has no real definition, so we can use it any way we want without fear of contradiction. Terroir is what we want it to be.

Terroir may lack definition, but it has meaning. When most wine lovers bandy the word about, we mean “a sense of place.” That is to say, a wine shows terroir if it tastes like it came from somewhere. See what I mean? It makes sense.

Many wines taste as if they could have come from anywhere, products of modern technology that strips wine of not only any faults but also its character. Terroir is part of a romantic, anti-modernist, anti-technology vision of a lonely artisan winemaker toiling in her vineyard to produce a wine that could only have been grown there — not halfway around the world, not even on the next hillside.

Bordeaux winemakers define terroir not with romance, but with precision. In the Médoc, along the left bank of the Gironde River, the top of a “slope” might only be a few meters above sea level, yet that detail might determine whether a vine’s grapes go into a chateau’s premier wine or a second label.

At Château Pichon Baron, a renewed micro-focus on terroir has influenced gradual changes in style of the wine, says Jean-René Matignon, Pichon Baron’s technical director and winemaker.

“We are more focused on the best terroirs of our chateau and trying to be very precise in our selection of grapes,” Matignon said during a recent visit to Washington. “It’s very important for our blend.”

Pichon Baron is a historic estate, a “second growth” in the famous 1855 classification of Bordeaux chateaux. Since 1987 it has been part of AXA Millésimes, a company that owns several wineries in France and Portugal. Under AXA’s stewardship, the vineyards have been improved and a new modern winery built. The efforts have borne fruit, as critics have cited improvement in Pichon Baron’s wines over the past 15 years.

Until 2012, the winery was known as Pichon-Longueville au Baron de Pichon-Longueville. Simplification of the winery’s name signals perhaps the completion of this transformation. (I’d rather have a mouthful of the wine than a mouthful of a name.)

As Matignon and his team have studied their terroir, the blend has increasingly emphasized cabernet sauvignon. That might not seem like much Pichon Baron is in Pauillac, prime cabernet country. And cab has always dominated, forming about 65 to 70 percent of the blend depending on the year, with the rest usually merlot and cabernet franc. With the 2010 vintage, though, cabernet sauvignon became nearly 80 percent of the blend.

Matignon was in Washington to present several vintages of Pichon Baron at a dinner for Bordeaux lovers organized by Panos Kakaviatos, a Bordeaux fiend and contributor to Decanter magazine. As we tasted wines from 2000 to 2010, with 1989 and 1990 thrown in to show how the wines age, Matignon explained how two factors have contributed to changes at Pichon Baron. The first was the market: The decline of the traditional Bordeaux negociants market over the past 30 years shifted power away from brokers and back to the chateaux, “giving us flexibility to make wines the way we want to,” he said.

And the second factor? Technology. Pichon Baron’s new winemaking facility, completed in 2006, allows Matignon to use smaller fermentation tanks to isolate wines from various parts of the vineyard, in turn allowing him to choose only the best parcels for the final blend. Matignon even refers to this as “inter-parcel selection.” If you throw all the grapes into one big vat, such distinctions are lost.

Matignon also invested in the favorite toy of winemakers everywhere, an optical sorting table. This device scans newly harvested grapes before they go into the fermenters and identifies and removes any that are not fully ripe. It is faster and more reliable than a team of trained humans.

“Technology helps us be more precise in our selection of grapes and in blending our wines,” he said. “It gives us more control.”

In the hands of a skilled winemaker, technology is not the enemy of terroir but the instrument of its finer expression.


Watch the video: What Is Terroir? Somm Tips With Paul Grieco (June 2022).