What is Terroir, and why does it make our wines great?
One of the most used words in the wine world is Terroir (pronounced tehr waar). It’s a term that you’ll hear slung around by sommeliers, winemakers, waitresses and more. But why is it so important and what does it mean?
Terroir (like so much of our wine culture) is a french import that means a “sense of place” and is a catch-all term to describe the environment that wine grapes were grown in - things like elevation, temperature, soil composition, sunlight, humidity, etc. In traditional winemaking, since there is little use of additives or preservatives, terroir is essentially what makes a wine great! At Just Enough we believe great wines are made in the vineyard and should be shaped mainly by nature. We are proud to say that our wines are made with these traditional, sustainable, low-intervention methods.
All of this means that our wines are a great reflection of where they were grown. So, where were our wines grown and why are these places so great?
Where: Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
The Eola-Amity Hills AVA, set in the central Willamette Valley is largely defined by strong pacific winds and a cool climate that brings wide temperature swings from day to night. When coupled with the valley's mix of volcanic clay and marine sediment (counterintuitively, it’s better to have less nutrients in soil when making wine) the end product is smaller, thick skinned grapes that make wines of great concentration and quality. All of this adds up to our chardonnay - a bright, acidic wine with delicious fruity notes and a nuanced minerality.
Where: Edna Valley, Central Coast, California
The Edna Valley AVA, located south of San Luis Obispo in the Central Coast, bounded by the Santa Lucia Mountains is famed for its cool temperature due to pacific breezes and maritime fog. These cooler temperatures at a lower latitude result in a long growing season that allows grapes to ripen to their full potential while preserving their acidity and nuanced flavors. Similarly to our chardonnay, our pinot noir grapes are also grown in volcanic clay and marine sediment (both vineyards used to be part of the ocean!) that result in fruity, yet complex wines.
So, next time you hear the waiter mention Terroir, or you’re drinking a can of Just Enough at home, we hope you remember this post and think about how nature made that wine unique and interesting! If you want to learn more about terroir and how it impacts wine check out this article from Earth Magazine.