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 Fait’s specialty as a plant molecular biologist drives his insights into terroir. Yadid Levy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why Wines From Israel’s Negev Desert May Represent the Future of Viticulture," 16 Apr. 2020 Tablas Creek Winery pioneered Rhone-style winemaking in Paso Robles in the 1990s when French winery Chateau de Beaucastel and U.S. importer Vineyard Brands joined forces to find a California terroir similar to southern France. Washington Post, "California’s Paso Robles area offers wine-tasters variety," 11 Dec. 2019 If blending vintages results in a better wine, why not mix them up, particularly for inexpensive bottles when a terroir expression is not the primary goal? Eric Asimov, New York Times, "15 Wines Under $15: Inexpensive Bottles for Stay-at-Home Drinking," 2 Apr. 2020 These wines are not the same year to year, and that’s a large part of their appeal. Lee’s third factor is terroir — location, for wine-loving Realtors. Dave Mcintyre, Washington Post, "Build the wine cellar of your dreams — if only in your mind — with a book on Burgundy," 21 Feb. 2020 Its Santa Lucia Highlands wine, followed by single-vineyard bottlings from Garys Vineyard [NB: Garys is a plural — two Garys — not a possessive.] and Rosella’s Vineyard, will give you a good view of Central California terroir. Dave Mcintyre, Washington Post, "Save money and try something new when you explore lesser-known wine regions and labels," 17 Jan. 2020 Nazareth had a hunch that the terroir of India’s semi-arid Deccan plateau might be similar to that of central Mexico. The Economist, "Stories of an extraordinary world Indian tequila: one man’s quest to perfect a national spirit," 31 Jan. 2020 The taste depends largely on the quality of the oil, the varietals used during production, and the area where the olives are grown—similar to the terroir of different wines. Ian Burke, Saveur, "The Complete Guide to Cooking Oils," 10 Oct. 2018 Burgundy is the homeland of the concept of terroir, the idea that a wine is the product of a specific vineyard site, defined by its unique geology, topology, soil composition, and microclimate. Jay Mcinerney, Town & Country, "Pick a Side in the Great Red Wine Wars: Bordeaux or Burgundy?," 4 Nov. 2019

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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The first known use of terroir was in 1863

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Cite this Entry

“Terroir.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terroir. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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