What is terroir? It’s a little word with a big meaning. It sums up all the various factors the vine experiences in the environment where it is growing and in turn this affects the style of the wine. Wine without the influence of terroir will just be deliciously fruity whereas terroir driven wines will express a sense of the place where they come from.The two most influential factors of terroir are the climate and the soil. Also included is the altitude the vines are grown at. Is it flat or sloping land? If there is a slope which way is it facing? Does the soil drain freely? Does the soil trap heat? Is there water nearby and if so is it a large body of water such as a lake or the sea or is it a trickling stream or a great river. What is the microclimate in that place? What else is growing in the area? All of these factors affect the growing conditions for the vine and will shape the characteristics of the wine. However there is one further, highly important element of terroir. Man. How is the land being farmed? Has the terroir been matched to particular grape varieties? How have the vines been pruned and trained? What yield is being achieved? Is the land being farmed sustainably and in deference to terroir or highly commercially using pesticides and herbicides?