Even within the same appellation, fine-tuned, experienced palates can discern differences between vineyards, between plots of the same vineyard, and, apparently, even from one string of vines to another. You and I, of course, can only swirl and sniff and muse inconclusively. As such, the message of wines that speak of their terroir, asserts that their unique, nuanced qualities that can never be duplicated—by anyone, anywhere.
The early Greeks were the first to tame the vitis vinifera vines, the wild grape vines that grew haphazardly in nature. Instead of letting them continue to randomly intertwine around shrubs, bushes and trees, they developed organized planting and trellising systems. In time, a thriving wine exporting industry resulted, and soon thereafter, the special attributes of certain vineyard locations became known and coveted throughout the Mediterranean. Where the wines came from, and the terroir they revealed, was how early connoisseurs and aristocrats selected their favorite wines. Unique and distinctive wines were, then as now, to paraphrase the Michelin Guidebooks, “Wines worth seeking out.”