This is a French word that actually doesn’t have an English translation. It also has no fixed definition; it is more of a concept.
Terre- means soil.
Some people end up defining terroir as dirt. Not exactly how I would explain it, but to each their own.
This word is important in the wine world because it describes where the grapes grow, and why they taste differently from different regions.
Grapes from here ^(Napa)
taste differently than grapes grown from here ^(Italy)
Terroir is a combination of topsoil, subsoil, sun, rain, wind, drainage, the slope of a hill, and altitude that a specific vineyard has. No two vineyards are the same, this is why a Merlot from Argentina tastes different than a Merlot from California.
This is another reason why it makes sense for Europeans to give their wines place names. Terroir will give the drinker a more specific idea of how their wine will taste before they open the bottle.
Not the most exciting wine fact to know, but as you delve into the wine world, this will be something that comes up a lot. Look like a pro with your new vocabulary, or maybe you will win a trivia night with this piece of information.
Speaking of trivia nights…
This Wednesday come down to the King’s Head Pub to win some cash and have a few beverages. Grab a team of five, test your knowledge and maybe even outsmart your peers and instructors 😉