Our Terroir

 Vineyards on Prince Edward County OntarioOur property is located at the northwestern edge of Prince Edward County, in Hillier Township, off the Loyalist Parkway just south of the village of Consecon. Our 11 acres form a narrowredtail vineyard on prince edward county rectangle running north-northwest to south-southeast with both ends higher than the center. Our vines are planted in the northern half on a gentle south facing slope.

The soil is Hillier clay loam ranging from 30 cm to 150 cm in depth, over limestone bedrock. Located 1.5 kilometers from Lake Ontario, the vineyard enjoys its moderating effects when the wind is from the south to northwest.

 

 

Terroir (French pronunciation: ​[tɛʁwaʁ] from terre, “land”) is the set of special characteristics that the geography, geology and climate of a certain place, interacting with the plant’s genetics, express in agricultural products such as wine, coffee, chocolate, tomatoes, heritage wheat, cannabis, and tea. The concept has also crossed to other Protected Appellations of Origin (PDOs a form of geographical indication), products such as cheeses.

Terroir can be very loosely translated as “a sense of place,” which is embodied in certain characteristic qualities, the sum of the effects that the local environment has had on the production of the product. Terroir is often italicized in English writing to show that it is a French loanword.

The concept of terroir is at the base of the French wine Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) system that has been the model for appellation and wine laws across the globe. At its core is the assumption that the land from which the grapes are grown imparts a unique quality that is specific to that growing site. The amount of influence and the scope that falls under the description of terroir has been a controversial topic in the wine industry.

 

ORIGINS

Over the centuries, French winemakers developed the concept of terroir by observing the differences in wines from different regions, vineyards, or even different sections of the same vineyard. The French began to crystallize the concept of terroir as a way of describing the unique aspects of a place that influence and shape the wine made from it. Long before the French, the winemaking regions of the ancient world already developed a concept of different regions having thevineyards in prince edward county potential to create very different and distinct wines, even from the same grapes. The Ancient Greeks would stamp amphorae with the seal of the region they came from and soon different regions established reputations based on the quality of their wines. For most of its history, Burgundy was cultivated by the literate and disciplined  members of the Benedictine and Cistercian orders. With vast land holdings, the monks were able to conduct large scale observation of the influences that various parcels of land had on the wine it produced. Some legends have the monks going as far as “tasting” the soil. Over time the monks compiled their observations and began to establish the boundaries of different terroirs-many of which still exist today as the Grand Cru vineyards of Burgundy.