Soil and Wine Quality: Old World versus New World

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Old World opinion, especially in France, strongly emphasizes soil effects on vines, grapes, and wines at a vineyard level, particularly in relation to vine water status. These are fundamental to the concept of terroir which underlies the official French appellation contrôlée system, although the influence of soil is generally regarded as less significant than that of climate. In Germany, large local differences in climate associated with topography are often considered to override soil effects (see mesoclimate and climate and wine quality), although soils are still regarded as an important factor governing wine quality.