What is terroir?

Many wine lovers will have heard this word in the wine vocabulary. When we ask ourselves what the terroir (in French) of a wine is, it is easy to assume that the term comes from the soil, but what does it refer to? The first thing to bear in mind is that a good wine comes largely from the soil in which the vine is grown. In today’s post we will explain in a simple way what terroir or terroir is and why it is so important.

What is terroir

Terroir is the dialogue between the plant, the land the nature and man. It is a set of factors that define the region where the vineyard is located. A good wine transmits and transports you to the place where it originates. At Bodegas Murillo Viteri we consider ourselves fortunate to be able to work in contact with nature, respecting the environment and the land where our vineyards are located.

The first thing that determines the terroir is the soil. The characteristics of the soil where the vines are located have a direct influence on the wine we make. The peculiarities of each type of soil will give differences to both the vine and the wine that is made. Some of the factors that have a direct effect are the altitude of the land, the humidity of the soil, the orientation of the vineyard, its slope and the composition of the soil. The amount and type of minerals in each soil has a direct influence on the grapes and therefore on the wine.

In the case of Bodegas Murillo Viteri, our vineyards are located in La Rioja Alta, in the municipalities of Cenicero and Fuenmayor. Our La Taola, Valdegún and Los Valles estates are located on mainly calcareous soil, at an altitude of 466 m. and facing north. They are 35-40 years old on average and are goblet trained. The result: a unique product, a wine of the highest quality from a privileged land.

The second important factor in defining terroir is the climate. The type of climate will have a direct influence on each wine, being very important to take into account the humidity or dryness, the hours of sunshine, frost, temperature differences between day and night, rain or wind intensity. At Bodegas Murillo Viteri our vineyards are located in a warm and temperate climate, with mild temperatures and moderate rainfall. To the north we have the Sierra Cantabria mountain range, a natural shield that protects us from the Atlantic influence and the north wind.

Finally, in order to know what terroir is, we must take into account the human factor. It will be the wise decisions of each winegrower that will ultimately determine the type of wine we will obtain. Their decisions about the land where to plant, the type of grapes to choose, the treatments to carry out, when to plough, prune or harvest have a direct influence on the terroir and the result of each wine.

What is terroir 2

A wine made from the same type of grape, but in different places and by different people, will never give the same result. In short, terroir generates the diversity of wines and gives them their raison d’être. Each wine is a world, and they represent the terroir from which they come, carrying in their essence the features of the land.

Rioja Wines – Bodegas Murillo Viteri

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