Winemakers must take terroir seriously, hears EWBC
Producers who want to make wines that are true to their terroir must cut out the "noise" of modern winemaking techniques and look back to the traditions of how their wines were made, according to Californian winemaker Randall Grahm.
Speaking at the opening session of the fifth annual European Wine Bloggers Conference in Izmir, Turkey, Grahm said he was encouraged by the number of winemakers, particularly in the New World, who are prepared to look for the "sense of place" in their wines and not rely on the controls modern winemaking techniques give them.
"You feel different when you taste a wine that comes from a place," stressed Grahm, and "not a laboratory". "Terrior is being taken more seriously than ever before," he added. "We are seeing a fundamental shift in winemaking."
Winemakers, he said, were increasingly looking to make wines that were "the real deal", which meant looking back in history to how wines should be made. He said we were fortunate to be living at a "magical" time that could take us out of a "vinous ice age". "Real wines in the future will derive from the genius of the place where they are grown."
He urged more winemakers not to rely on grafts and rootings for their vines, but to go back to planting their own seeds which were far more likely to grasp the true characteristics of the soils in the vineyard.
Grahm was talking as part of an opening session of the conference that is centred around the concept of bloggers and wine communicators being the "source" of information, and the importance of how they use and disseminate information.
Vrazon, the wine communications company behind EWBC, said: "It is no longer enough to be adding content about wine, it is increasingly important to create a source of knowledge, or intelligence, either through original research or expert analysis".
The EWBC 12 conference is backed by Wines of Turkey and has attracted around 280 delegates from 40 countries. As well as sharing experiences and expertise on blogging and social media, they will also have the opportunity to taste wines from producers from across the eastern Mediterranean.
IWC co-chairs Tim Atkin MW and Charles Metcalfe will lead a Grand Terroir tasting that looks to showcase wines from Turkey, Georgia, Lebanon, Armenia and Egypt.