THE ADVOCATE 689
VOL. 79 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2021
By Paul M. Daykin, Q.C., and Bruno De Vita, Q.C.*
Terroir (tair-wahr): soil or earth, used in a very special sense in French in
connection with wine, as goût de terroir.
—Frank Schoonmaker, Encyclopedia of Wine1
Great wines taste like they come from somewhere. Lesser wines taste interchangeable;
they could come from anywhere. You can’t fake somewhereness.
You can’t manufacture it ... but when you taste a wine that has it, you
—Matt Kramer, Making Sense of Wine2
TERROIR: THE GEOGRAPHY OF WINE
When strolling down the aisles of one’s favourite wine shop, flipping
through the pages of a wine journal or visiting the websites of a wine producer,
one is bound to read about wines that are claimed to be “terroir-
driven”. But as we all know, wines can’t drive, nor do they take public transit.
And the phrase “driven” suggests some purposefulness in the wine-
making process, even though wines that are an expression of their place of
origin were probably made with less intervention by the winemaker than
* Paul Daykin, Q.C., and Bruno De Vita, Q.C., are senior partners of Aaron Gordon Daykin Nordlinger LLP and Alexander
Holburn LLP, respectively. They grew up in Vancouver’s east side, before it was hip. They met at Renfrew Elementary School,
where they studied French, among other things. Neither can remember learning the word “terroir”.