Terroir comes from the French word terre meaning ‘land’. The term embodies various characteristics, such as climate, geology, and geography that interact with the grapevine.
While terroir is a term mostly associated with winemaking and vineyards, it is also useful for describing other agricultural products. Terroir is basically a way to depict how a particular region’s climate, soils and geography affects the taste of wine. Some regions are said to boast more ‘terroir’ than others. However, what really is ‘terroir’ and how does it impact wine?
4 Aspects Describing the Meaning of Terroir
‘Terroir’ is one of the least understood wine words. Originally associated with earthy notes in Old World wines, nowadays is used to describe wine regions too. Therefore, we can find Napa’s Terroir, Bordeaux’s Terroir, and so on. It has become a word to refer the origins of a certain wine and thus its characteristics. However, terroir means much more than that. Let’s have a look at the 4 aspects this term alludes to.
Wine regions are broadly divided into two types of climates: cool climate and warm climate. Wine grapes from warmer climates are higher in sugar content. Cooler climate wine grapes boast more acidity and lower sugar. As we can realize, terroir in this instance encompasses the weather and climate conditions of a particular wine.
There are numerous types of soil, rock and mineral deposits in the world’s vineyards. There is no hard-scientific proof associating the taste of minerality to actual minerals in wine. Yet there is no doubt soil and minerals affect winegrowing since they nurture the vine’s roots. For example, it is said that South Africa’s red wines are graphite-like and gravely. South Africa is known for 50-million-year-old granitic soils.
Geological features such as mountains or valleys are as important as altitude for vineyards. Furthermore, flora (plants, microbes and trees) and bodies of water are also important factors influencing the wine taste of a particular region.
The local winemaking and vineyard growing techniques contribute to a wine’s terroir. Ancient winemaking methods highly depend on the region’s climate, soil and terrain. In addition to this, human interaction has shaped the way people make wine in their communities, this is why the regional stories and customs also play a major role in defining a wine’s terroir. For instance, Madeiras traditional wine fortification with brandy and outdoor aging gives Madeira its classic roasted and nutty flavor.
Discover the Terroir of VenToSpain
Every wine reflects terroir and we know it. Some do it by amplifying specific characteristics possible from a single vineyard. Others innovate making interesting wine blends from several vineyards. Understanding what ‘terroir’ truly means by relating it to what’s in the glass gives any wine connoisseur an edge. However, after seeing all the aspects this wine term refers to, it is crystal clear why it is so difficult not to use terroir loosely as we struggle to describe the entirety of its meaning. Terroir is a useful idea. Now you can wield the word with the adequate purpose and intent at any wine event.
Don’t just stick to what you know. This is the perfect opportunity for you to try VenToSpain. Explore the terroir of our land, Gernika, in the Basque Country. If you have never tasted Spanish wine, make our international line, which boasts the best selection of our locally produced wines, your starting point. Do not miss out on discovering the terroir of VenToSpain, the spirit of Spain in a glass of wine.
VenToSpain is now available at restaurants, gas stations and other points of sale too. Visit:
- Entre Tapas Restaurant
- Madrid Tapas y Vinos
- Mobile Sunny Isles at Collins 18300
- Chevron Miami Beach at 401 71st St, Miami Beach, FL 33141
- A&G Mini Mart at Chevron Doral 2498 NW 87th Ave, Miami, FL 33172
Find out what VenToSpain has in store for you!