The mystery of soils and wine, part 1

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 [...]

What the Wellington Ukulele Orchestra tells us about terroir

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 [...]

Some thoughts on Central Otago and the sense of place in wine

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 [...]

Some more thoughts on terroir

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 does terroir taste like?

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 [...]

Video: Veranda's vineyards in Chile's Bio Bio

A short film of the Veranda vineyards in Bio Bio, a cool climate region in the south of Chile. These include a couple of really remarkable new Pinot Noir vineyards. I’ve just written up my visit to Veranda (part of the Dos Andes company) on the main wineanorak site if you want to find out [...]