Wine reflects both the place where it is produced and the expertise of the winemakers who produce it. This dialogue between nature and humankind is what we call the ‘terroir effect’.
Discover what gives this terroir its identity through five testimonials from winemakers from the Burgundy region:
Burgundy: a terroir icon
For all wine enthusiasts, Burgundy – a winegrowing region since the Roman era – evokes wine’s long history, winemakers’ patient work over the generations, and above all the concept of terroir. At the heart of Burgundy, the Côte d’Or (split into Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune) is home to some of the most famous vineyards in the world. The area is made up of a mosaic of ‘climats’ (a term which is used in Burgundy to describe a plot of vines). The boundaries of these plots have been established over the course of centuries, and their small size generally makes each of them homogeneous. By cultivating the same grape variety in different plots (Burgundy is the realm of Pinot Noir for reds and Chardonnay for whites), Burgundy’s winemakers have been able to observe that grapes from these different vineyards produce different qualities, even when vinified in the same way: this is the impact of location, of terroir.
To Burgundians, the specific features of a plot (soil, microclimate, history of ancient practices etc.) are the major factor in the variations between wines: the plot dictates the wine’s personality, and the winemaker reveals it. The supremacy of location over human labour is more pronounced here than absolutely anywhere else: the Burgundian philosophy of terroir is that it is nature that creates wine, with humans as its humble servants.