What is Terroir?

May 4th, 2012


Terroir (/tεʀwaʀ/) translated from French to English as “land,” this word holds meaning of tremendous value in the culinary world, and it all began in food and wine Mecca: France.  To know great dining, one must first understand the concept of terroir.

This is not a word that is used in daily American culture, and until the last few years has largely been a Euro-centric concept, one that is complex and requires a lot of explanation to be fully understood.

And, not surprisingly, there is a great deal of controversy on the topic. Describing it (or trying to define it) is like trying to explain the bible in one page. Simply put, terroir is an integral part of the way the earth affects the ingredients born there.  The idea is that a wine or food grown in a particular place, at a specific moment, under a certain sun, or a different moon, will taste completely unique to the same thing grown there at any other time.

- Editors, Oenologist.com