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Terroir: Now With Less Soil, More Light

Terroir is terroir, right? It's the amalgamation of all the natural elements that come to bear on the resulting wine. Not so fast. Australian Winemaker Bill Downie thinks otherwise, and states his case on The Drinks Business. Because of the (relative) youth of French soils versus the ancient, depleted soils of Australia, the terroir of French vineyards is only 30% above ground. In Australia, Downie believes, it's the opposite.

Waxing a little more philosophically about his country's unique terroir, he explains, “In Australia it’s that vastness, that sense of space, the nature of the light that’s the most important aspect of sense of place. That’s what’s important to me.”

Does the notion of terror change as we cross regions, borders, hemispheres? Can it be said that one aspect of it has more impact than another depending on location?



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