The word "terroir" is certainly one of the most heard terms in conversations between wine lovers. But do you really know what it means?

In this article, we'll help you understand once and for all what terroir is and the crucial role it plays in creating a wine's identity. 

The meaning of terroir

"Terroir" is a French term that doesn't have a literal translation. Something that, from the outset, suggests that it is a concept of some complexity.
In essence, terroir expresses the combination of a series of natural and human factors that influence the cultivation of vines and the production of wine. The interaction between these factors gives rise to specific characteristics that help give the wine a unique identity.

Elements such as soil, climate, exposure to the sun, the terrain's orography, the grape varieties used, as well as cultivation practices and winemaking techniques all play a part in this concept. Recently, the microbiological fauna of the environment and subsoil has been identified as another defining ingredient of terroir. The combination of these elements will have an impact on the final expression of the grape and, in turn, on the wine itself. 

The soul of wine translated

It is this communion between man and nature that determines the terroir of each plot of land. A unique combination that acts as a signature of the place.

The terroir thus translates the soul of the wine, outlining its character and personality in a unique way that cannot be reproduced anywhere else. This is why wines made from the same grape varieties can produce different results depending on the region of origin.

The role of man in building terroir

Human intervention is one of the fundamental pillars in the creation of terroir.
To produce distinctive wines, a producer needs to know the region and respect the surrounding terroir. This involves not only mastering the natural conditions, but also understanding the cultural heritage, local traditions and knowledge passed down through generations.

Only in this way can they make the most of the terroir in question and offer a unique experience when tasting their wines.

The great importance of terroir

In keeping with what is natural and authentic, the importance now attributed to terroir is in opposition to the standardisation of wines.
Indicating the region of origin on bottle labels is therefore a growing practice, as a way of promoting the recognition of distinctive wines and stimulating the appreciation of different terroirs.

Exploring terroir as a distinctive factor isn't just about wine; it's also about uncovering the essence of a region. This approach has made it possible to create territorial brands, boosting the development of various regions and sectors such as wine tourism.

The terroirs of the Douro: a national treasure

Portugal is blessed by the diversity of its terroirs, where each wine region tells its own story.
At Sogevinus, we have the privilege of working with the many terroirs of the Douro, a true national treasure.
With a centuries-old winemaking history, the Douro is the oldest demarcated and regulated region in the world. Its unique characteristics were officially recognised in 1756 and have been preserved and promoted ever since.

Recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, this region is an impressive mosaic of microclimates, varied soils, unique orography and an enormous wealth of indigenous grape varieties. This unique combination, combined with one of the most beautiful landscapes sculpted by man, ancestral traditions and the accumulated knowledge of several generations of local producers, help define the region's various terroirs. The result is unique conditions for the production of a wide range of wines with an authentic and unrivalled character, from the iconic Port wines to the elegant DOC Douro wines.

Discover the secrets of a surprising terroir

Exploring the terroir is like unlocking the deepest secrets of a region through wine.
Set out to discover all the nuances of the Douro's terroirs with the special selection we have for you.
Visit our Uva Wine Shop and let yourself be enchanted by centuries of history and a unique passion for wine.