This article and the Design Behind the Vine series is brought to you by Columbia Winery. The natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest is iconic within the continental United States. Stunning vistas, awe-inspiring mountain ranges, and arid deserts span the state of Washington, from the snow-capped peak of Mt. Rainier to the wild and rugged Olympic […]
Laboratory analyses can’t identify anything special about the water Hangar One Vodka Distillery collects from Bay Area fog to produce its limited edition Fog Point Vodka. But head distiller Caley Shoemaker can. She says it’s the taste of San Francisco. At the height of summer, when inland temperatures soar above 90 degrees, San Francisco is […]
When most people think of the West Coast and wine, California’s Napa Valley comes to mind. Followed thereafter by Sonoma and the Willamette Valley, plus maybe Washington’s Columbia and Canada’s Okanagan Valleys. Those especially connected to California might point their attentions southward to Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, and then Temecula. The hottest wine region on […]
“This is a tough place by definition,” Valentí Llagostera says.“Nothing is easy. We are just survivors.” Lean and fit at 60, Llagostera stood at the base of a 60-degree slope of pure schist, peering upward, ready to tackle it. I worked up my nerve to scramble after him. We weren’t rock climbing.
Wine nerds are often also soil nerds. Soil directly and indisputably affects the wine that is produced in a given region. In addition to climate and aspect, soil is part of what makes a region’s terroir and can separate mediocre winemaking areas from superior ones. The Dirty Guide to Wine, a newly published book by […]
What is it that makes wine so special? If you ask collectors, sommeliers, and winemakers, it isn’t the alcohol. It’s terroir, the unique elements of a place that are smell-able and taste-able in the finished wines. I caught up with four winemakers to discover what they think really matters. Just as their winemaking styles differ, […]
Us wine industry folks talk about terroir a lot. A core concept in how we view wine in the 21st century, terroir is the idea that soil, climate, and topography all give a wine a distinctive characteristic that it wouldn’t have if the grapes were grown elsewhere. It’s an idea that posits the locale where grapes are […]
If you’re familiar with wine, you’ve likely come across people who swear by terroir, the French word that roughly translates to “a sense of place.” You’ve also probably come across people who swear that it’s all marketing (or maybe you’re one of these people). But terroir, in its broadest sense, isn’t restricted to wine.
It only takes a few minutes of reading anything about wine for soil to come into play. Whether it’s a long feature on Germany’s Mosel region, or the shelf-talker at Bevmo, experts, sommeliers, and marketers love throwing in tidbits about the ground that makes their wares extra special.