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 microclimate'|
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 down to earth gumboot scale:
The gumboot rating system is a tribute to the humble viticulturalists, so often overlooked when the accolades are being handed out. These ‘unsung heroes’ tread the vineyards daily, coaxing the best fruit from the soil for each and every vintage.
The scale is an all-inclusive visitor experience rating, giving factors such as setting, atmosphere and approachability greater weight over the more traditional concentration on quality and price. Hopefully this will bring to the fore, places with a ‘regional ambassador’ attitude and single out experiences ‘not to be missed’ for those trying to maximise their adventures.