Friday, 15 June 2012

Terroir: Another borrowed word

Trust the French to have one word that gives complete expression to what differentiates one region from another.

Almost a third of modern English derives from French and borrowed words like chic, cliché, denim, façade, fiancé, genre, grotesque, impasse, liaison, sabotage and rendez-vous blend without a second thought into everyday conversation.

Terroir however, stills jars with some Australian wine devotees who consider it pretentious, but there is no English equivalent and an unwieldy paragraph is needed to describe how - 'sense of place' is expressed in the flavour of particular regions, appellations and even individual aspects or blocks where the unique make-up of micro-climatic conditions (soil type, drainage, sun contact, altitude, rainfall, rural practices etc.) combine to provide a specific taste imprint to the organic produce of a particular site.

More generally it can be said to represent the geographic and cultural nuances of particular places.

The Adelaide Hills - 'Gods own micro-climate'  

This blog will seek to define and articulate the notion of terroir whilst exploring 'sense of place' and discovering regional practice and philosophy. Hopefully along the way it will also uncover standout food, wine, special places, compelling scenery and exploits that I can share with you.

The first region based posts will be landing in late June. Here's a hint: think GSM and hearty winter reds.


The Terroir-ist.

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