ter·​roir | \ˌter-ˈwär \

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

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 This has led to a diversity of styles, traceability, and the chance to taste different regions (or terroir) side by side for comparison, comparable to wine. Lauren Mowery, USA TODAY, "Costa Rican coffee, from rural farms to Starbucks' visitor center," 26 June 2018 Each honey displays unique terroir, drawing influences from different flowers and locales. Josh Lurie, Los Angeles Magazine, "Honey Made by Bees in Different Parts of L.A. All Tastes Wonderfully Different," 25 June 2018 Their signature grape, tannat, has quickly emerged as a true champion of Texas terroir. Michelle Newman, San Antonio Express-News, "Where to eat, shop and sleep in Comfort," 11 June 2018 Since the 1980s, vineyards like Hirsch, Wayfarer, Marcassin, Flowers and Failla have established Fort Ross-Seaview as the California terroir for Pinot Noir, a grape that loves cool, coastal climates. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, "On the far Sonoma coast, distinctive Cabernet comes from an unlikely vineyard," 20 Apr. 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

21 Nov 2018

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The first known use of terroir was in 1863

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