Aptitude or adaptation: What lies at the root of terroir?
The originally French term terroir has long been used to denote the qualities of a place which influence the qualities of a product such as wine. It has many wider connotations, but in terms of the aptitude of a grape‐growing area of land, is often supposed to rest upon a solid geological basis. Whilst bedrock of some kind is necessary for the formation of soil, and the subsequent cultivation of grapevines, the kind of rock varies widely across wine‐producing areas of the world. Yet in the appreciation of wine, it is sometimes supposed that things like limestone, granite, and chalk may be tasted in the product, signal the terroir it has come from, and justify its reputation. In this commentary I suggest that such evocation of geology forms part of the commercial positioning of wine, but that its over‐use can draw attention away from viticultural opportunity, practice, and savoir‐faire, as well as the rhetorical nature of terroir's communication.... [Show full abstract]
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