VOX SHOP

01 June, 2007

Do you use the word 'terroir' when talking to customers about wine?

"I use it sometimes when referring to French wine as it encompasses the whole process. It's an old-fashioned term, but I think it's something that needs to be rekindled."

Stuart Vass

York Wines, York

"When I do wine education I will use the phrase to identify a specificity about a particular time and place. For example, when you're talking about English wine or wine from Mosel it is important."

Deborah Lush

Arthur Purchase & Son

Crawley

"We don't use it a lot, it's a bit old-fashioned. I don't think it means a lot any more, people want to go round the world now for their wine."

Alexander Carr

Wine Shop, Halesworth, Suffolk

"It's not a term we use, because our customers wouldn't know what it meant. To the discerning customer it's relevant."

Roger Yates

Edwards' Wine Shop, Blackburn

"When I sell wine to people, quite often terroir will come into it, especially when I'm describing the difference between a wine from Burgundy and one from Chile. Some people appreciate the word more than others."

Alex Morse

Hedley Wright Wine, Bishop's Stortford, Cambridgeshire




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Talking terroir

When Bordeaux was in fashion, it seemed almost logical that we should fetishise winemakers. Here were people responsible for brilliant acts of blending, across large estates and multiple grape varieties, including superstars such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot. These days, fashion has moved on and pinot noir is ascendant. As a result, the star of the winemaker has fallen and we find ourselves following a new star in the sky: terroir.

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