Terroir is a French term with no exact English counterpart. Terroir is defined as the sum of all the natural parameters - especially soil, topography and climatewhich may potentially influence the character and characteristics of wine. Many view terroir strictly as natural phenomenon; that is, terroir refers to those qualities that derive strictly from the soil and subsoil, orientation to the sun, proximity to a river, altitude, climate, or the combined effect of these and other natural factors. These elements are usually seen as fixed and largely immutable and therefore beyond the control of human beings. However, one needs to add man to the definition of terroir as there would be no vineyards without man and it is the farmer that helps express terroir thru the multiple operations he does in the vineyard...
September 10th, 2010