The Dreaded T-Word: Terroir

Wines can display:

  1. Varietal character…for those who worship at the altar of varietal typicity,
  2. Terrior…the sense of place…coarse-grained or fine-grained…for those who worship at the altar of terroir,
  3. Winemaker style… the distinct sense of a winemakers style…for those who worship at the winemakers feet,
    and I suppose I should now add:
  4. Soulfulness…which I one day hope to fully understand.

In your book, you seem to elevate terroir above all else, assuming I read your thoughts right. Why is it more
important that a wine taste more of RRV than of PinotNoir or of AdamLee?

Stated another way: "Great wines pave the pathway to memories:: NealRosenthal
Why is a wine greater if it paves the path to Rutherford rather than CabernetSauvignon or PaulDraper??

It’s always been a bit of a puzzle to me that some folks elevate terroir above all else and that it can only be a great
wine if it speaks of its origins more than anything else.

Or am I misreading your ideas in yor book?


Well, I do define postmodern winemaking as the practical art of connecting the human soul to the soul of a place by rendering its grapes into liquid music.

This is really just the definition of good cooking. You take good ingredients and turn them into something that makes people sob openly and spend boatloads of cash for. This is most successful when the chef’s efforts are invisible and the natural flavors are presented at their most compelling.

I try hard to avoid the T word for reasons you have just stated.

For further discussion, I have just posted a treatise on the other Terroir thread, if you would be so good as to charge over there.