Is it a myth the concept of terroir?

by Marta Burgués

A French professor named Valéry Michaux, director of research at Neoma Business School, says that quality of some of the best wines in the world has been reduced to the concentrated knowledge instead to the importance of terroir.

According to this professor, wines as the sparkling from Champagne and the ones from Rioja do not succeed due to soil chemistry but to a concentration of knowledge, and thus he has written it up in a book recently.

Titled ?Strategies of wine-making territories, clusters, governance and territorial brand?, the book co-authored by Professor Michaux is based on the argument that the cluster effect, strong management and territorial brand are now more important than the terroir knowledge.

For the materialization of this book, several researchers were pooled and they analyzed cases from different vineyards around the world, including the successful regions of Champagne and Rioja, as well as regions such as Cahors and Armenia, and more dispersed producers found in northern Italy and in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon.

Under this premise, Michaux ensures the success of wine regions not based on the taste of wine, but on a collaborative effort between oenologists and related producers.

To Michaux, California’s Silicon Valley is a perfect example of ?cluster effect?, which connects several disparate circles, including a strong entrepreneurial culture, direct competition, continuous experimentation, innovation, mutual aid and solidarity, finding then the key to success.

In his words:

?The presence of a strategic alliance between professionals contributes significantly to the development of a single territorial umbrella brand and thus its influence. A strong local self-governance is also essential for a territorial brand to exist.?

Definitely, it will be interesting to learn more about the scenario expressed in the book co-written by Professor Michaux, and discover a little more about cooperation between oenologists and producers from the most important wine regions of the world.

What do you you think? What influences the most in the success of a wine region? And in winemaking? Today we recommend:

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