Have you ever wondered what Terroir means? Look it up in a dictionary and you’ll be given a definition that reads something like this…
The complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate.
But Sarah and I believe it’s more than that, as well as a sense of place, our interpretation of the word includes a sense of behaviour and a sense of culture.
Whilst it’s true that in terms of terroir, a wine’s flavour and structural characteristics can reflect soil types and climate; it can also reflect the nature of the winemaker and importantly the processes they adopt.
When we introduced Fairbourne to the discerning London market, the client was looking for a new world wine to bridge the gap between the popular “Marlborough style” and their serious Sancerre wines of the Loire Valley. Looking for a wine that represented where it was grown, the ability to age gracefully and some of the vibrancy of new world Sauvignon Blanc. Fairbourne was the wine they chose to meet that new market segment and we have been supplying for the past 6 vintages. Consistency is also sought after by buyers looking at super premium wines.
We committed Fairbourne to varietal specialisation and sustainably managed vines to grow consistent, site specific premium Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Our grapes are hand-picked from a single site and grown on a hillside vineyard with clay gravel soils. Restraint is the key influence of the Fairbourne winemaking philosophy. Grapes are fermented as site batches with neutral yeast to capture their individual fruit and site expressions. Fermentation is managed in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks over a four week period. The batches are carefully blended, including a small portion barrel fermented in new French oak, this creates a silky entry, which generously ascends across the palate with a supple texture and dry finish.
Because our wines are terroir inspired, it probably serves as no surprise, that Sarah and I have always been intrigued by Sancerre; we’re excited to be heading to the Loire Valley in a few weeks time to ensconce ourselves in a French harvest. We’ll be sharing our travels on the blog, so stay tuned… There will undoubtedly be some culinary delights to share!