Terroir is a creative act between people and a place. Terroir only exists in the context of a wine, and wine is a creative act as a winegrower seeks to interpret their place through choices they make in viticulture and winemaking.
Drinking wine is itself a creative act. We are given a sensory theme, and we [...]
Does extended maceration, to the extent that occurs in many amphora or orange wines, obscure or trump site and grape variety? This was a really good question that I was asked by a good friend today. So I thought I’d draft some sort of answer.
First, let me state that I am a fan of many [...]
So the video of my talk from the Wine and Culinary Forum (nice review of the forum here from top Canadian wine journo Treve Ring) is finally live and posted to Youtube. Here it is:
As you all know, Chenin Blanc is officially one of the two coolest white grape varieties, along with Riesling. Chenin’s attributes are its good acidity, its structure, its ageability, its flexibility and, of course, its terroir transparency. It’s a grape that is good at interpreting soils, and making wines that are different depending on the [...]
It was very interesting to try these two high-end terroir-based Chardonnays from Catena, and then the next day to have a look at the soils that produced them.
They both come from the same block in the Adrianna Vineyard, high up in the Uco Valley at 1450 m altitude. But even within the same block, there’s [...]
To the ancients, the idea that plants are formed from the soil would have seemed self-evident. The communion between the roots and the earth suggests that the composition of plants, and by extension the fruit they produce, is determined largely by the composition of the soil. Modern science, however, paints a rather different picture. The [...]
On Friday night I went to a strange but enjoyable concert.
Neudorf Vineyards in Nelson were hosting a gig by the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra.
There were quite a few members of this odd ensemble. I counted 9, of which 8 were armed with ukuleles and one with a double bass. Pretty much all of them all [...]
As I write I am flying from Queenstown to Christchurch after less than a full day spent in Central Otago, one of the most visually striking wine regions on the globe. While the impressions are still fresh in my mind I wanted to try to capture some of them.
It is remarkable country. The quality of [...]
Prompted by the discussion that followed my recent post on the taste of terroir, here are a few more thoughts on the subject.
1. Not all sites are created equal
I recently read an article on terroir by Claude and Lydia Bourguignon. They made lots of points, some of them good, some plain patronising and chauvinistic. [...]
So what should terroir taste like?
In my talk on authentic wine yesterday, I had an informed and interested audience who asked some tough questions.
I was talking quite a bit about terroir. My argument is that wine is interesting because of its diversity, and the fact that this diversity is largely driven by the fact that [...]