Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

In Defense of Terroir

September 4th, 2021 by Jon Stein

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

In an editorial featured in the Wine Industry Advisor, Randy Caparoso poses an interesting question: “Does wine-related terroir exist anymore?” He explains that: “This is a valid question, even if a silly one. Of course, terroir exists. If it doesn’t, entire belief systems built upon the premise that terroir accounts for not just sensory differences but also quality distinctions—such as in Bordeaux’s Grand Crus classification, or Germany’s hierarchy of Qualitätswein—would come crashing down upon us. How embarrassing, at least for us wine traditionalists.”

Randy continues: “That is to say, our senses have become deadened, that soil can indeed exert both quality and taste differentials—despite the related argument recently aired in certain circles that soil cannot impact “flavor” in wine, at least in terms of direct uptake via vine roots. It’s pretty much established, for instance, that high pH calcareous soils, like what you find in Burgundy or Paso Robles, have an inverse impact on pH in grapes—hence, on resulting wines. Calcareous soils, in other words, tend to produce wines with higher acidity than non-calcareous soils. This is science, not fiction. These observations are borne from observations that are, literally, as old as the hills of France’s Chablis, with its highly calcareous, fossilized oyster shell soils. Yes, climate has a lot to do with the differentiations, but soil is also a big part of terroir in terms of the sensory profiles of resulting wines. The proof is in the Burgundy.”

The editorial concludes that: “The way we market and sell New World wines, particularly through numerical ratings, has further skewed the way we look at all wines, even those grown in the Old World with their quaint, arguably antiquated, notions of terroir. Unquestionably, having a high “score” has become as good an attribute for a wine as anything on a sensory level. Sensory manifestations of terroir, by the same token, will probably always be there—at least in our best and most interesting wines. Whether or not we are able, to perceive them.”

Here at Skolnik Industries, using our stainless steel wine barrels helps you get a top “score”. Note that our stainless steel wine barrels are reusable, easy to clean, and recyclable at the end of their service life. Check out the full line of our Stainless Steel Wine Drums here.

Share on Facebook

Leave a Reply