What is Terroir?

A wine’s terroir can often be used as a way to describe the nature of a wine and how it tastes. But what is terroir? 

Terroir is made up of many things when creating wine including the soil, the climate, the environment and the way the vineyard is grown. 

As a descriptor, it is a term used to describe the way the wine tastes based on where it’s been grown and the factors that influenced its flavors. As an example, you’ll often taste eucalyptus in Australian Shiraz, which is a reflection of the eucalyptus trees that the vineyards would typically be surrounded by. 

Terroir can be the difference between a wine made in one vineyard compared with the vineyard next to it, in the same way that wine from one vineyard in one country will be different to a vineyard in another country. No matter how close vineyards will be to each other, the terroir is always going to be different, and the effect that this has on the final wine is going to reflect that. 

Terroir is a concept that is beginning to be overused, which will eventually destroy the meaning of the word. Terroir cannot be used to describe factory-made wine as it is not accurately representing the soil, climate or environment; it is being created in a controlled environment.

Written by Steve Johnson-Stott

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