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Wine Terroir

  • By: Deborah L. Elliott-Fisk
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Terroir is a concept introduced by French winemakers to portray the characteristics of the place where grapes are grown that help define a wine's aroma, flavor, and other components sensed by the consumer. A wine that reflects its geographic origin thus expresses its terroir. The terroir is essentially the physical geography of the vineyard as a function of the ecological and physiological response of the grapevine to its site, including the climate, geology, soil, and topographic factors that may influence vine growth, rooting, crop load, and fruit ripening. Wine growers around the world understand the importance of terroir and how it is expressed in the wines, choosing to cultivate specific wine varietals on sites that will produce the best wines. Through careful wine tasting, ...

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