'Terroir' (say: tare WAHr) is one of the most used and least understood wine words. It may be a word you've heard thrown around before. Perhaps you're very familiar with it. Perhaps not. So, let's clarify:

A concept fiercely enforced by the French and one which can get unnecessarily complicated, iust think "Terroir = Terrain". The terrain is the lay of the land, and 'terroir' takes into consideration everything that went into making wine on thatland - aspect, climate, soil and the human hand.

To understand terroir, just think baking. If you’ve ever attempted to whip up a cake, you'll know that what you get at the end all depends on the number of ingredients you put in and how much attention you pay. And sometimes, despite your efforts, your cake may flop anyway - it's also a game of chance. Much like baking, to make wine, you need a specific list of ingredients in just the right quantities, including:

Soil & nutrients
Slope Orientation / Aspect
Impact of the human hand

This list of ingredients will differ from place to place - some regions have clay soil others have chalk, some areas get a lot of sun and others don't. There are a million different combinations, meaning no two wine regions are alike.