We have been reading about the debate over the relevance of terroir in another post today, so here are some definitions. Keep in mind that terroir also applies to other local products, such as cheese, conserves, etc. In France, for example, political regions have been delimited by law, but terroir is marked by tradition. Therefore people are proud of the products of their land and will refer to their “terroir” of origin rather than the province, and more often than not pine for their favorites foods when they have to move away from their terroir of birth.
Here is the definition from Epicurious.com
French for “soil” and used in the phrase gout de terroir (“taste of the soil”) to refer to the EARTHY flavor of some wines. When French wine producers use the term terroir, it not only includes reference to the type of soil (chalky, claylike, gravelly, sandy), but also to other geographic factors that might influence the quality of the finished wine like altitude, position relative to the sun, angle of incline, and water drainage. In the United States, wine producers use the term MICROCLIMATE to encompass the same considerations.
Here is another definition from terroir-france.com
A ” terroir “ is a group of vineyards (or even vines) from the same region, belonging to a specific appellation, and sharing the same type of soil, weather conditions, grapes and wine making savoir-faire, which contribute to give its specific personality to the wine.