Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Terror: Terroir!

Bruce Cole over at Saute Wednesday has a pointer to an article on the havoc the latest wine study results are wreaking in France. Scientists from Reims and Brussels will present a paper next week expected to dump the high end wine market on its ear. After a detailed comparison of environmental conditions to wine prices, the big discovery? There is no corellation to environment and quality of the finished product.

"Wine-making has become so sophisticated that it can completely shade the effect of terroir, and vines can be grown in almost any place, as long as the weather permits, and the right combination of vines is made,' the pair state before concluding with the chilling observation: 'The French terroir legend obviously does not hold; at least in the Haut-Médoc region.'
The real result of this study (besides fainting, light-headedness, shortness of breath or just plain denial) is the hope the archaic French AOC will be reformed.

'AOC laws are too strict. Many exceptional wines such as Daumas-Gassac, produced in Languedoc, are unable to obtain an AOC label, essentially because they use vines that are not in conformity with AOC rules,' they say.

'As a result, producers are forced to sell their wine as low grade 'vin de pays', while Didier Daguenau, who produces outstanding Pouilly-Fumé wines, obtained an AOC label for his worst production, made with bad quality grapes, and which he calls "quintessence of my balls".'

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