Wine Words Demystified – Terroir

I’m introducing a new feature – Wine Words Demystified.  You know the deal, the more some folks learn about a topic, the more shortcuts/slang/acronyms/initials can be tossed around.  I’m here to help you understand those sometimes mysterious words and phrases.

My first word is terroir (to hear pronunciation click here).

According to Karen MacNeil’s The Wine Bible:

French term for the sum entity and effect (no single word exists in English) of a vineyard’s soil, slope, orientation to the sun, and elevation, plus every nuance of climate, rainfall, wine velocity, frequency of fog, cumulative hours of sunshine, average high temperatures, average low temperatures, and so on. Each vineyard is said to have its own. “

In other words – the combination of geography, geology, and climate that gives a vineyard or specific geographical region its uniqueness.