Cover Image

Larger ImageView Larger

Great Wine Terroirs

Jacques Fanet (Author), Beatrice de Verdiere (Other)

Available worldwide

Hardcover, 240 pages
ISBN: 9780520238589
November 2004
$58.95, £50.00
"The vine and its wine are a great mystery. Only the vine reveals to us what is the real taste of the earth," writes Colette. In this sumptuously illustrated and wonderfully informative book, Jacques Fanet invites us on an entertaining tour of the world's most celebrated winegrowing regions to discover the characteristics of the bond that ties the vine to its place of birth: the terroir. Terroir is a uniquely French term for the subtle interaction of natural factors and human skills that define the characteristics of each winegrowing region.

Interviewing growers and researchers in France, Spain, Italy, California, Chile, Australia, and South Africa, Fanet looks for the soil in the soul of each wine. He takes us back millions of years to show how movements in the ancient bedrock, faults, mountain building, tidal flow, sedimentation, and volcanic activity contribute to the precise and individual character of each terroir, making the great winegrowing regions what they are today. Great Wine Terroirs provides wine enthusiasts with everything they will want to know about different soils and climates, the relationship between international grape varieties and the soil in which they grow, and how these factors affect the taste of the wines.

Color geological illustrations and timelines support the text and explain key phenomena. Fanet also provides a glossary, geographical index, and index of soil types and grape varieties. He explains enological practices and their effect on the terroirs and answers questions such as why the Châteauneuf plateau, almost 300 feet about the Rhône Valley, is surrounded by river alluvia and why there are fossilized oysters in the soils of Chablis. Those interested in the wine of California will find a lively discussion of the Napa Valley, with a detailed explanation of how the San Andreas fault, the Sierra Nevada, and the Great Central Valley have all played a part in creating the most spectacular wine-producing region on the continent.
Terroir: Myth or Reality
Vineyards on the Edges of Faults
Sedimentary Basins
Quaternary Terraces
The Ancient Basement
Vineyards in the Foothills of Mountains
Volcanic Terroirs

Index: Grape Varieties
Index: Regions
Jacques Fanet is a specialist in soil science, viticulture, and enology. He was Assistant Director of the National Institute of Appellations (INAO) in France.
“An entertaining and educational tour of the great wine regions of the world.”—Dale Rice Austin American-Statesman
“A splendid reference book that will please the wonkiest wine geek you know. . . . A fascinating tour of the world’s wine regions.”—Anne Schamberg Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Fanet provides a comprehensive tour of [the] great grape-growing regions and vividly highlights the specific geological features that distinguish each area.”—Dave Desimone Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“Great Wine Terroirs left me wanting to travel to the areas Fanet describes, to use it as a guidebook while matching the wines and terroirs in person. . . . [Has] the potential to show nonscientists that scientific principles apply even to the simple pleasures of life.”—Stuart West Science (AAAS)
“Terroir, ‘the uniquely French term for the subtle interaction of natural factors and human skills,’ begins to make more sense when compared and contrasted on a worldwide scale: France, Spain, Italy, California, Chile, Australia and South Africa are all considered in detail, with an eye to connecting soil essence to climate, grape varieties and the final taste of the wine.”—Claudia Conlon The Wine News
“A most attractively designed book of remarkable scholarship. . . . Fanet’s wealth of geological knowledge makes a fascinating start on the long journey towards a rounded understanding of terroir.”—Andrew Jefford The World Of Fine Wine
“Fanet . . . takes the reader on a sedimental journey, examining the soils, subsoils and substrata of the most prominent of the world’s wine regions. He includes the geologic history and climate of each, and how all of these factors affect the flavor and character of the wines.”—Tim Moriarty Wine Enthusiast

Join UC Press

Members receive 20-40% discounts on book purchases. Find out more