A sense of place
How is it, that bunches of grapes, picked from a vine, then crushed, fermented and aged for a year can convey a sense of place?
They can, in the sense that a good, experienced taster can often spot (and explain) the differences in wines made from the same variety but in different places.
In part, though, that difference has to be learned. It is because of our context and experience that we are able to ascribe a geographical origin to a particular wine. There is often a cultural resonance between the wine and the locality, which can only be understood by prior exposure.
I really like - on an emotional level - the idea of the vine's roots extracting something from the soil that then imparts particular characters to the wine. The notion is that the wine contains the essence of the soil in which the vineyard is rooted. That's a literal sense of place.
But I'm not sure that I can tally this idea with what I know about root uptake and plant physiology. It doesn't mean that there isn't such a connection - rather, it implies that the link may be a more complex one than literal transduction of the soil into the glass.