In the language of wine lovers we recognize terms that are often used, yet their true meaning is not always clear to the consumer. This is also the case with the word ‘terroir’. For those former Latin students, terroir has something to do with the soil “terra” on which wine is cultivated.
And the French lessons were not in vain, as the term “terroir” was originally used by French winemakers and then later adopted into the German language.
If we approach the term “terroir” technically, it describes factors such as micro-climate, geology, terrain and soil conditions – to go a little further, also cultural activities. All together, these aspects influence our wonderful product, our wine, which we create.
“Terroir” is firmly anchored in wine marketing lingo. However, the working skills of winegrowers themselves are often forgotten. Only with these skills in vineyard and cellar bring forth the expression of uniqueness in a wine. Indeed this is what the wine lover can smell in the nose and taste on the palate.
The knowledge of location, climatic conditions, vineyard requirements and choice of vines compose the basis of high-quality wine production. For me, “terroir” is the shield concept overlying all supporting conditions – with the incentive to learn continually and empathize with one’s own vines. Terroir should not be an excuse for lack of craftsmanship, but a motivation for every winemaker to make the very best out of his soil.
To be exact, this is our credo!
Yours Phillip Zull