What is the meaning of “terroir”?

Terroir is derived from the French word “terre,” meaning land.  In viticulture it describes the unique aspects of a vineyard; climate, sun exposure, soil type, topograpy, etc.  The vineyard’s terroir adds to the character of the grapes grown in that particular place. It’s especially important in single vineyard (or vineyard designate) wines. They reflect the “taste of place” and some can be exceptional, thanks in part to the terroir.


The Van Der Kamp vineyard on Sonoma Mountain