Wine's sense of place is so strong that the same grape grown in two different places can produce wines that taste almost nothing alike. Just as with twins separated at birth, you expect the unexpected similarities and differences to delight. Yet take two equally valued wines from the same grape but from different circumstances-think French Chardonnay from Burgundy and Australian Chardonnay from halfway around the world-and you taste only the differences.
Although it's unclear exactly how different soils and climates affect a grape's divergent flavors, it shouldn't be surprising that they do. The grape vine needs little to survive-nitrogen, CO2, and water-and little of each of those.
The roots, meanwhile, live submerged in and surrounded by the soil, awash in comparatively huge amounts of nutrients, minerals, and other substances. After six months, when the grapes are harvested and made into wine, the soil content and quality make a significant, concentrated difference.
Place matters. Just as nowhere else sounds like New Orleans, wine from this hill or that valley has its own unique taste.
Partners in Wine,
Wine Lover's Devotional Jonathon Alsop