"Terroir” is a popular wine term that is difficult to translate from the French, but means “soil” or “a sense of place.” A French wine, for example, should exhibit terroir of a particular region.
The word “terroir” is similar to the word “terror” and has been the source of many puns. Someone who believes in “terroir” is a “terroirst” (cited in print since at least 1989). Terroir is also the name of wine bars at several locations in New York City; fans of Terroir wine bars have been called “terroirists.”
Terroir (French pronunciation: [tɛʁwaʁ] from terre, “land") is the special characteristics that the geography, geology and climate of a certain place, interacting with the plant’s genetics, expressed in agricultural products such as wine, coffee, tomatoes, heritage wheat and tea. The concept has also crossed to other Protected Appellations of Origin (PDOs a form of Geographical Indication), products such as cheeses.
Terroir can be very loosely translated as “a sense of place,” which is embodied in certain characteristic qualities, the sum of the effects that the local environment has had on the production of the product. Terroir is often italicized in English writing to show that it is a French loanword.
The concept of terroir is at the base of the French wine Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) system that has been the model for appellation and wine laws across the globe. At its core is the assumption that the land from which the grapes are grown imparts a unique quality that is specific to that growing site. The amount of influence and the scope that falls under the description of terroir has been a controversial topic in the wine industry.
Terroirist: A Daily Wine Blog
TERROIRIST (ter-war-ist) noun:
A person, usually a member of a group, who is fanatical about wine, especially when it has a sense of place.
Some wine blogs offer value recommendations. Others seek out hidden gems or catalogue tasting notes of impossible-to-acquire bottles. Some cover politics, while others examine different viticultural and vinicultural techniques. Many cover the wine industry. Just about all sit dormant for weeks at a time. Terroirist.com was launched on November 9, 2010 to change all that – by covering everything, daily.
The elitist wine bar for everyone.
(Various New York City locations—ed.)
The Journal of Gastronomy
Similarly, Davis seems a less militant terroirist than her boss, but she has played a key role in supplying scientific data to bolster the assertion that terroir is real and that Carneros has it in a quantifiable way.
New York (NY) Times
WINE UNDER $20; On the East Side, Back to the Land
By HOWARD G. GOLDBERG
Published: February 13, 2000
The cream of French producers use a virtually untranslatable term, terroir, about wine that expresses its unique agricultral origins. In the 90’s, terroirism—insistence on authenticity—became a semi-movement. With luck, American consumers will embrace it in the 00’s.
The veteran importer Neal Rosenthal is a terroirist, as a visit to the low-visibility Rosenthal Wine Merchant reveals.
New York (NY) Times
The Reign of Terroir
By Tony Hendra
Published: March 28, 2004
THE ACCIDENTAL CONNOISSEUR
An Irreverent Journey
Through the Wine World.
By Lawrence Osborne.
262 pp. New York:
North Point Press/
Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $24.
But no sooner is Osborne tippling with his first wine producer (Antonio Terni of Le Terrazze in the Italian Marches) than the conversation dives into the thorny question of ‘’terroir’’ (literally “‘land"). ‘’Terroirists,’’ as their opponents call them, believe that soil and microclimate are the chief determining factors of a wine’s quality.
The Good Terroirist
by Brian K. Mahoney and photographs by Jennifer May, May 28, 2008
In the opening montage of Mondovino, Jonathan Nossiter’s 2004 documentary chronicling the impact of globalization on the wine trade, Neal Rosenthal and two of his employees attempt to explain the concept of terroir.
OCLC WorldCat record
Wine wars : the curse of the blue nun, the miracle of two buck chuck, and the revenge of the terroirists
Author: Michael Veseth
Publisher: Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ; [s.l.]: Distributed by National Book Network, ©2011.
Edition/Format: Book : English
Globalization has pushed back the borders of the wine world, creating a complex, interconnected market where Old World and New World wines and producers compete head to head. Mike Veseth tells the story of the war between the market forces that are redrawing the world wine map and the terroirists who resist them. It is the battle for the future of wine—and even for its soul. The fight isn’t just over bottles bought and sold, however; power and taste are also at stake. Who will call the shots in the wine market of the future? Who will set the price? Whose palate will prevail? Will it be Two Buck Chuck or tradition-steeped vintners? Veseth masterfully brings all of these questions together.
The Wine Curmudgeon
February 21, 2011
Wine terms: Terroir
The most controversial term in wine is terroir. A sizeable portion of the wine world—half, perhaps?—says it doesn’t exist, and that even if it does, it’s irrelevant. The rest of us believe truly and deeply in terroir and consider it the key to what makes wine so special. But even we terroirists can’t agree on just exactly what terroir is.
The Daily Meal
Oct 01, 2012 @ 1:27 PM
Terroir Opens New Location in Brooklyn, New York
The wine bar brings “terroirists” to Park Slope
By Marilyn He, Junior Writer
Terroir, a popular wine bar in New York City, has opened a Park Slope location, bringing its unconventional style to Brooklyn for the first time. Their self-described zany appeal is evident in everything from the motto ("the elitist wine bar for everyone") to the nickname for the East Village location: E.ViL.
Fans of the mini-empire, also known as “terroirists,” can enjoy old favorites like the veal and ricotta meatball sub made famous on their Manhattan menus, but there’s plenty to new to try in Brooklyn, too.
New York City • Food/Drink • (0) Comments • Wednesday, October 10, 2012 • Permalink