"The vine and its wine are a great mystery. Only the vine
reveals to us what is the real taste of the earth," writes Colette.
In this sumptuously illustrated and wonderfully informative book,
Jacques Fanet invites us on an entertaining tour of the world''s
most celebrated winegrowing regions to discover the characteristics
of the bond that ties the vine to its place of birth: the terroir.
Terroir is a uniquely French term for the subtle
interaction of natural factors and human skills that define the
characteristics of each winegrowing region.
Interviewing growers and researchers in France, Spain, Italy,
California, Chile, Australia, and South Africa, Fanet looks for the
soil in the soul of each wine. He takes us back millions of years
to show how movements in the ancient bedrock, faults, mountain
building, tidal flow, sedimentation, and volcanic activity
contribute to the precise and individual character of each terroir,
making the great winegrowing regions what they are today. Great
Wine Terroirs provides wine enthusiasts with everything they
will want to know about different soils and climates, the
relationship between international grape varieties and the soil in
which they grow, and how these factors affect the taste of the
Color geological illustrations and timelines support the text and
explain key phenomena. Fanet also provides a glossary, geographical
index, and index of soil types and grape varieties. He explains
enological practices and their effect on the terroirs and answers
questions such as why the Châteauneuf plateau, almost 300 feet
about the Rhône Valley, is surrounded by river alluvia and why
there are fossilized oysters in the soils of Chablis. Those
interested in the wine of California will find a lively discussion
of the Napa Valley, with a detailed explanation of how the San
Andreas fault, the Sierra Nevada, and the Great Central Valley have
all played a part in creating the most spectacular wine-producing
region on the continent.