Terroir is one of the most used, but at the same time, the least understood terms in winemaking.
Certainly, most wine lovers, when savoring a wine, heard a phrase like “this wine has a wonderful terroir…” or “the taste of terroir…”. Wondering what does this mean?
Although there is no official definition of terroir, and from an etymological point of view, the word “terroir” comes from “terre” – “land”, in fact, the wine-making terroir is not only the soil on which the vineyard grows.
It is an entire ecosystem, composed of soil, climate and vine interaction. At the same time, the terroir would mean nothing without traditions, as well as a human and his role, comparable to that of an orchestral conductor.
The idea of terroir is quite old, it goes back to the ancient Greeks, who widely developed winemaking. Ancient Greece had many climatic variations and vineyards showed different results even if the same grape variety was cultivated.
The ancient idea of “terroir” prompted the Greeks to stamp their wine amphorae to determine where they came from. Later, the Romans, as they expanded their empire, applied the same practice in their wine-growing regions. They associated some particularly high-quality wine samples with the place of their origin. In those days, the wines of some communes were sold at a higher price than others that did not enjoy such a high reputation, and since then we can talk about the hierarchy of the noble origin of wines.
The philosophy of terroir has been strengthened from generation to generation and today opens up new possibilities that can help to answer the long-standing question: “What is terroir in a wine?”
Despite the fact that there are many places in the world with similar climatic conditions, soils with the same characteristics, one thing remains unique – the wonderful interaction of soil, vine and climate.
Terroir is fundamentally a belief that the land and climate give the unique characteristics that cannot be transferred to any other region in the world.
Wine experts rightly believe that the correct terroir is 80% of success in wine production.