ter·​roir | \ ˌter-ˈwär How to pronounce terroir (audio) \

Definition of terroir

: the combination of factors including soil, climate, and sunlight that gives wine grapes their distinctive character

Examples of terroir in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Lustau, which owns bodegas in the three sherry towns, is the closet to the traditional idea of terroir. Shana Clarke, Fortune, "A New Style of Winemaking Could Take Sherry Mainstream," 29 June 2019 The famed terroir of places like Napa, in fact, may arise from thousands of microbes humming along in unseen harmony. Quanta Magazine, "Below Our Feet, a World of Hidden Life," 16 June 2015 Yet because Ridge holds the trademark for the Monte Bello name, many wines made in this exceptional terroir do not identify the place on their label. Bryce Wiatrak, San Francisco Chronicle, "Community of small growers emerges on Cupertino’s Montebello Road," 28 Feb. 2018 The multilevel center will use virtual reality, interactive screens, films, performances, conferences and a library, with the purpose of educating people about the wines, vineyards and terroir of Burgundy. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "On His Own, the Burgundy Iconoclast Laurent Ponsot Looks to Big Projects," 12 Apr. 2018 Eric Schulze, Memphis Meats’ vice president of product and regulation, says the company will eventually be able to adjust the look, texture and taste of its products—to deepen the color or gamey flavor or even to replicate a specific terroir. John Birdsall, WSJ, "Is Lab-Grown Meat Ready for Dinner?," 16 Oct. 2018 Pinot Noir is lightly tannined, transparent, casually profound in the right hands — but Passetoutgrain’s charm and immediacy come from the Gamay, which is itself a lens for terroir but which is that much more accessible in its youth. Patrick Comiskey, latimes.com, "Alternatives to Burgundy, from Burgundy," 29 June 2018 With prestige ingredients sourced from Mid-Atlantic farms and waters, Chef Spike takes diners on a journey of culinary terroir. Bon Appetit, "D.C.’s Food Scene Is Hot! Here’s All the Spots You Should Explore This Summer," 25 June 2018 Since then, dozens of vintners have set up shop, specializing in wines that thrive in the region’s distinctive terroir. Jody Rosen, Smithsonian, "This Secret Corner of California Is a Paradise for Lovers of Great Food and Top-Notch Wines," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'terroir.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of terroir

1863, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for terroir

French, land, country, stretch of land in reference to its agricultural features, from Old French tieroir, from Vulgar Latin *terratorium, alteration of Latin territorium

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Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for terroir

The first known use of terroir was in 1863

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