Terroir-ist Tuesday: What’s New…

Welcome to Terroir-ist Tuesday – binNotes’ continuing series on all things Burgundy.

by L.M. Archer, FWS


Greetings, dear readers! Hope you had a fantastic holiday last week. binNotes took a few days off to relax with friends in Whistler before returning home to celebrate post-holiday with blended family – good times all around.

Today we take a break from Burgundy to talk what’s new at binNotes…

First up, thanks to everyone following the drunken cyclist’s brainchild, the Monthly Wine Writing Contest, hosted this month by confessionsofawinegeek . So much fun to witness other wine writers at work in their respective wheelhouses. Santé!

In case you haven’t noticed, the tagline for binNotes now reads: ‘binNotes | a wine blog – for those who consider Burgundy an art, not just a beverage.’ I’ll let other wine industry professionals focus on the broader topic of ‘wine.’ I’m sticking to what I love – Burgundy.

Over dinner during my recent FWS post-harvest trip to Burgundy, Brigitte Houdeline, the newly appointed director of BIVB, asked me why I love Burgundy so much. I mean, it’s just one wine region of many. Hmmmm, good question. Why DO I possess such a  passion for all things Burgundy?

A line from Shakespeare comes to mind:

“…What is honor? A word. What is in that word honor? what is that honor?…”

– Wm. Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part V, Scene I

Replace the word ‘honor‘ with ‘terroir and you have a skeleton key with which to unlock the mysteries of Burgundy. Burgundy, that ‘riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma,’ to paraphrase Winston Churchill – a ‘riddle wrapped inside a mystery inside an enigma’ called terroir.

Terroir.  A word coopered in Burgundy, and only vaguely translatable in English.

Terroir. A  term used to describe a vineyard’s relationship to sun, rain, aspect, soil. But also a wine grower’s relationship to the vineyard, and a wine maker’s commitment to tradition.

Terroir embodies the heart of a wine region, and the soul of its wine.  Burgundy’s terroir serves as a touchstone, speaking to impeccable standards, deft technique, elegant expression. In short, the heart wants what the heart wants – and my heart wants Burgundy.

The trip to Burgundy also helped to recalibrate my ‘true north.’ Taking the leap from wine writer to winery employee last spring re-arranged my priorities in an unexpected manner.  My writing voice got sucked into the vortex of tasting room management a came out the other side a deaf-mute. Even special events creation and coordination got mangled.

As a result, I’ve re-adjusted those skewed priorities. Yes, I continue to work in the wonderful world of food and wine. But I’ve shifted to an environment supportive of my need for writing, educating, and pouring fine wine.

I also now have time to help my sister contemplate a possible move from wine grower to wine maker…contemplations which currently remain ‘off-line’  due to privacy issues…but make for some interesting discussions.

What this means for you, dear readers, is a swag bag of binNotes goodies to munch on, including:

That it, folks  –  thanks for letting me share these changes with you, and for your ongoing interest and support. Feel free to leave a comment on any topic you’d like to see discussed in future posts – and see you next Terroirist Tuesday for my ongoing Burgundy series…Cheers!

Next Terroirist Tuesday’s topic:  The Maconnais.


Copyrighted 2013. All Rights Reserved. All photos courtesy of the author.

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