The French call it Terroir but the American Bill Ryan preferred to talk about “somewhereness” when referring to the elusive combination of micro-climate, soil and aspect that lifts one wine above another. To 12 makers of wine in Ontario, somewhereness is revealed in the mysterious time capsules we know as bottles of wine. As ethereal gifts of a carefully tended location and a moment in time, each is imprinted with a vineyard’s sense of place, its soil, climate, seasons, vintage variations — and its maker’s methods. Marketing, I would say. By the way, we do have a Portuguese word – Terrunho – but I do think we have only some few terroirs: the Port and Madeira territories, timid Colares and Vinho Verde Alvarinho appellations. Now, a wine snob has the accurate notion for Terroir: place worthy of a visit, worth being seen by fellow snobs and worth lying to friends about having some cellared bottles, certainly worth knowing the history, ownership, winemakers and pets. Mandatory window shopping and tasting attendance, boldly intake of empty labeled bottles and refill Grand Cru for fake Grand You, naughty snobs…

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Wine snobs are absolutely right. All wine producers do defend their own Terroir, for all geographically referenced and approved wine is a natural product coming from somewhere. So does somewhereness stand for Terroir in English? No! I would vote for 1stgrowthness. Difficult and creative? So what? A slight snobbery surplus but a lot of sense added.

Sobre Aníbal Coutinho

Anibal Coutinho lives in Lisboa and he is a Portuguese independent wine commentator. For the first time ever a well known Portuguese professional is writing in English about Portuguese wines. Using the letter W for his wine philosophy, Anibal shares his passionate view as a wine consumer, winemaker, wine writer, wine voyeur, wine bullshitter, wine buyer, wine educator, wine judge and amateur sommelier. He has a MSc and an ongoing PhD in Sensory Analysis. He will also share his passion about other W liquids. Anibal sings in the Gulbenkian Choir. Last but not least he is a devoted husband and father.
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