For years, terroir - which refers to a wine’s place of origin - has been regarded as fancy French word thrown around by wine connoisseurs. Wine experts have always insisted wine terroir matters and now science is on their side.
A recent study conducted by the University of California Davis revealed that wine from different places has distinct chemical profiles. This is a huge discovery as it finally cements the long-standing belief that wines produced in different regions of the world have unique characteristics that affect flavor, color, taste and body. It's also something wine professionals hope will help identify counterfeit wines.
Published in the journal Food Chemistry, the study was led by enology professor Dr. Hildegarde Heymann and focused on Malbec from 26 different sites in Argentina and 15 in California. Wine Spectator reports:
“The team tracked factors such as altitude, precipitation, growing days, rootstock, vine age and trellising systems employed. Winemaking was standardized: Fermenting juice remained on the skins for 11 days, and the resulting wine was not aged in oak. No acidification or filtration was used."
The team of researchers then conducted tasting panels where participants identified the flavor profiles of each wine. The study revealed that there were great differences between the wine terroir from both countries, thus proving there is a strong connection between soil, climate and wine production.