Terroir: The Role Of Geology, Climate, And Culture In The Making Of French Wines

by James E. Wilson
Foreword by Hugh Johnson

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS | February 1, 1999 | Hardcover

Not yet rated | write a review
The French word terroir is used to describe all the ecological factors that make a particular type of wine special to the region of its origin. James E. Wilson uses his training as a geologist and his years of research in the wine regions of France to fully examine the concept of terroir. The result combines natural history, social history, and scientific study, making this a unique book that all wine connoisseurs and professionals will want close at hand.
In Part One Wilson introduces the full range of environmental factors that together form terroir. He explains France''s geological foundation; its soil, considered the "soul" of a vineyard; the various climates and microclimates; the vines, their history and how each type has evolved; and the role that humans--from ancient monks to modern enologists--have played in viticulture.
Part Two examines the history and habitat of each of France''s major wine regions. Wilson explores the question of why one site yields great wines while an adjacent site yields wines of lesser quality. He also looks at cultural influences such as migration and trade and at the adaptations made by centuries of vignerons to produce distinctive wine styles.
Wilson skillfully presents both technical information and personal anecdotes, and the book''s photographs, maps, and geologic renderings are extremely helpful. The appendices contain a glossary and information on the labeling of French wines. With a wealth of information explained in clear English, Wilson''s book enables wine readers to understand and appreciate the mystique of terroir.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 336 Pages, 7.48 × 10.24 × 1.18 in

Published: February 1, 1999

Publisher: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0520219368

ISBN - 13: 9780520219366

Found in: Wine and Spirits

Out of stock Sorry, this item has sold out and may be re-stocked in the future.

Cart

All available formats:

Reviews

– More About This Product –

Terroir: The Role Of Geology, Climate, And Culture In The Making Of French Wines

Terroir: The Role Of Geology, Climate, And Culture In The Making Of French Wines

by James E. Wilson
Foreword by Hugh Johnson

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 336 Pages, 7.48 × 10.24 × 1.18 in

Published: February 1, 1999

Publisher: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0520219368

ISBN - 13: 9780520219366

From the Publisher

The French word terroir is used to describe all the ecological factors that make a particular type of wine special to the region of its origin. James E. Wilson uses his training as a geologist and his years of research in the wine regions of France to fully examine the concept of terroir. The result combines natural history, social history, and scientific study, making this a unique book that all wine connoisseurs and professionals will want close at hand.
In Part One Wilson introduces the full range of environmental factors that together form terroir. He explains France''s geological foundation; its soil, considered the "soul" of a vineyard; the various climates and microclimates; the vines, their history and how each type has evolved; and the role that humans--from ancient monks to modern enologists--have played in viticulture.
Part Two examines the history and habitat of each of France''s major wine regions. Wilson explores the question of why one site yields great wines while an adjacent site yields wines of lesser quality. He also looks at cultural influences such as migration and trade and at the adaptations made by centuries of vignerons to produce distinctive wine styles.
Wilson skillfully presents both technical information and personal anecdotes, and the book''s photographs, maps, and geologic renderings are extremely helpful. The appendices contain a glossary and information on the labeling of French wines. With a wealth of information explained in clear English, Wilson''s book enables wine readers to understand and appreciate the mystique of terroir.

From the Jacket

Why do the fine wines of France grow where they do? How can two seemingly similar sites, even within a single vineyard, produce wines of different quality? How much credit goes to the winemakers and how much belongs to nature itself?

Who better to ponder these questions than a geologist and wine-lover in equal measure? James E. Wilson is a firm believer that "terroir" -- the interplay of natural elements that make up the myriad environments in which vines grow -- is the key to understanding why fine wines are produced where they are. Central to the terroir concept is geology. Can it be pure coincidence that France, the world''s greatest and most diverse wine country, has within its boundaries an underlying geology that includes every period of rock formation on earth?

This in-depth study, the result of years of meticulous research, reveals the relationship between rocks and grapes. Here is natural history and social history, little-known fact and anecdote, woven into the compelling tale of how geology influences the quality of wine. The book begins by revealing the components of the French terroirs that influence the distribution of wine areas, choice of grapes, and style of wines. Each rock type and its soils are described, and the way soil structure affects the absorption of vital nutrients by the vine roots is explained. The role of 2,000 years of history and people is traced. Early vignerons recognized differences within and between their vineyard plots long before geologic forms and processes were understood. Now, for the first time, an explanation can be given for the distinctive personalities of fine French wines.

Individual chapters describe the diverse geologies of thewine regions, from the chalk slopes of Champagne to the plains of the Rhone delta, from the granite slopes of Alsace and Beaujolais to the gravel mounds of Bordeaux, and from the cliffs and terraces of the Loire to the mountain slopes of the Pyrenees. Little-known districts are discovered and world-famous ones, such as the Cote d''Or, are celebrated for their viticultural riches.

James E. Wilson''s unparalleled research has resulted in a book that will be appreciated by wine enthusiasts and professionals alike. It is the ideal partner with which to contemplate the wine in your glass.

About the Author

James E. Wilson is a former Vice President for Exploration and Production at Shell Oil. In his second career he has devoted himself to the study of the natural history and underlying geology of French wines. He lives in Colorado. Hugh Johnson writes the annual best-seller, Pocket Wine Book and is also author of World Atlas of Wine, now in its fourth edition.

From Our Editors

Wine-making is as rich and complex an activity as wine itself, an exacting process steeped in tradition. The French use a word, "terroir", to describe all the ecological factors that contribute to wine-production in that country. James E. Wilson explores this concept in Terroir, discussing natural history, social history and the science behind the wine, making this a book all wine producers and tasters will love.

Editorial Reviews

"Fascinating, probably indispensable."--Harpers Wine & Spirit Weekly
Item not added

This item is not available to order at this time.

See used copies from 00.00
  • My Gift List
  • My Wish List
  • Shopping Cart