To some, it’s the Sasquatch of the wine world; its existence oft spoken of, but never proven.
To others, it’s akin to pornography. As Justice Potter Stewart famously put it in Jacobellis v. Ohio:
I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [“hard-core pornography”]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.
Otherwise known as the “I can’t explain it, but I know it when I see it” defense.
To still others, it’s a simple fact. The German viticulturist who brought rocks from his vineyard for guests to lick at a trade tasting in Chicago that I attended, for example.
And for still others, it’s rubbish: lies, propaganda, or worse still, marketing.
We challenged ten wine professionals–from writers to sommeliers to winemakers–to come up with a compact and concise definition of terroir.
And that’s exactly what they did. Quite an illustrious lot, actually, and a group I was quite proud to find myself amongst. Terry Theise, Christopher Howell, Dr. Yiannis Paraskevopoulos, and more.
I took the challenge seriously, and in the end, decided to try and go Jameson one better; not only did I provide a single-sentence answer, but I did it in the form of a haiku!
You can read all ten definitions here: Can You Define Terroir in Just a Sentence?
How do YOU define Terroir?
“That which makes a place
unique, that produces wines