What happens when the best in the world can't tell if a wine comes from the Willamette Valley in Oregon or Burgundy, France? What happens when the experts can't tell if the bubbles are from Champagne or California.
Does a place really have a taste? Can we find it in the glass?
That is the premise of terroir, tasting the land, localizing the product. But often, when put "terroir" to the test it cannot be found.
Today's episode starts with the story of the 1976 Judgement of Paris tasting, a famous part of wine history that pitted French terroir-driven wines against terroir-less California wines. The competition had a blind tasting for red wine and for white wines. The red wines were predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and the white wines were the Chardonnay variety.
We are also going to see what happens when Terroir is used as a basis for certifications. I'll share with you some of the limitations of the "geographic protectionism" and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system.
Certifications are usually protective tools but sometimes they can work against the producers they are meant to protect.
How can such a romantic and noble concept, tasting the land, respecting nature - work against producers?
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Mentioned on the podcast:
The historical origins are from the book Terroir and Other Myths of Winegrowing by Mark A Matthews.