Tag: terroir

Is it a myth the concept of terroir?


A French professor named Valéry Michaux, director of research at Neoma Business School, says that quality of some of the best wines in the world has been reduced to the concentrated knowledge instead to the importance of terroir.

According to this professor, wines as the sparkling from Champagne and the ones from Rioja do not succeed due to soil chemistry but to a concentration of knowledge, and thus he has written it up in a book recently.

Titled ?Strategies of wine-making territories, clusters, governance and territorial brand?, the book co-authored by Professor Michaux is based on the argument that the cluster effect, strong management and territorial brand are now more important than the terroir knowledge.

For the materialization of this book, several researchers were pooled and they analyzed cases from different vineyards around the world, including the successful regions of Champagne and Rioja, as well as regions such as Cahors and Armenia, and more dispersed producers found in northern Italy and in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon.

Under this premise, Michaux ensures the success of wine regions not based on the taste of wine, but on a collaborative effort between oenologists and related producers.

To Michaux, California’s Silicon Valley is a perfect example of ?cluster effect?, which connects several disparate circles, including a strong entrepreneurial culture, direct competition, continuous experimentation, innovation, mutual aid and solidarity, finding then the key to success.

In his words:

?The presence of a strategic alliance between professionals contributes significantly to the development of a single territorial umbrella brand and thus its influence. A strong local self-governance is also essential for a territorial brand to exist.?

Definitely, it will be interesting to learn more about the scenario expressed in the book co-written by Professor Michaux, and discover a little more about cooperation between oenologists and producers from the most important wine regions of the world.

What do you you think? What influences the most in the success of a wine region? And in winemaking? Today we recommend:

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French wine to become the Coke of the wine world?

France has been slipping for a while from it’s lofty seat at the top of the wine world  due to increased competition across the globe but also internal problems such as inconsistent quality standards, lack of government support, and the recent move among younger generations away from wine to beer and spirits. Yet the country’s wine reputation still stems from having some of the world’s top vineyards and producers. When you mention France many consumers continue to  conjure up images of first growth Bordeaux, rare Burgundies, and grand Champagne houses. But even this illustrious reputation is now being threatened it seems, for as The Independent recently reported, a senior French wine official has declared that French wine will become “like Coca Cola”.

Wine Coca ColaIt is a disturbing thought, but some believe it’s France’s best option to compete, saying the top and upper middle tiered producers can remain unchanged but the lower tiers will benefit from being consolidated to create more uniform wines of dependable quality that will challenge Australian and other New World wines on the cheap and cheerful shelves of your supermarket. 

Is this a win for value seeking consumers disappointed by uneven quality or a tragic loss for the beloved and very French idea of terroir