Terroir: one of the most interesting wine concepts
I love the topic of terroir: the idea that the specific soils and local climate of a vineyard area can impart distinctive local character to the wines it produces.
I love the fact that it is still quite mysterious. We know that some sites are very special, and are capable of making great wines, yet we don't know exactly why, despite extensive scientific investigation.
I've been re-reading James Wilson's book on Terroir (Mitchell Beazley), but as much as I find his descriptions of the geology of the various French wine regions interesting, I'm frustrated by his inability to link specific soil types to wine flavours.
I have my own theories - but that's all they are. On one level, it's just a wonderful mystery that the partnership of specific sites and grape varieties yields great wines in ways we can't predict, and that there aren't that many places on earth that are capable of this. On another level, I'd love it if we could find ways of prospecting new 'great' vineyard sites more accurately, and of making great wines more available and affordable.