Terroir is a French term which describes the effect of place on a wine. The idea of terroir is at the core of all appellation systems in Europe.
Perhaps one of the most interesting differences between the terroir of a place like Cortona versus many of the new world wine growing regions is the centuries of agricultural heritage and the encouragement of sustainable ecosystems achieved through diversity. In Napa Valley, for example, we see miles of contiguous vineyards, but in Cortona we see vineyards adjacent to wheat fields, adjacent to olive groves, and butting up against riparian or non-cultured forest areas. The Tuscans have learned through centuries which plot of land is perfect for Sangiovese, which one for olives, which one for wheat, and which one for wildlife.
The diverse and mixed terroir at the Baracchi Estate:
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