What is terroir and what does it do for wine?



Terroir is a french word (terre) derived from the Latin (terratorium) and expresses a historical and cultural concept. The wine is deeply related to the place - the natural aspects of the terroir, but also to the people - wine experts choices.


The effect of these features reflects on the taste and quality of the wine.




Natural aspects of the terroir:

  • type of soil
  • form of the land - flat, hilly, mountainous
  • proximity to the lakes, rivers or sea
  • exposition - which direction the vineyard faces
  • climate - seasonal variation, temperatures, rainfall etc
  • amount of sunlight - daily and seasonal variation
  • change in temperature from day to night
  • altitude about sea level
  • amount of wind

The concept of terroir is also tied to choices that the wine expert makes:

  • choice of grape variety
  • vine planting and growing methods
  • methods of vine pruning, fertilizing, etc
  • time of harvest
  • way the grapes are made into wine: type of container for fermentation, time left with the skins during fermentation, time on the lees after fermentation, temperature controls etc.
  • time, container and methods for aging





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