The term “Terroir” was first used by the French to describe how specific vineyards and regions have factors such as soil,
slope and microclimate that impart unique aspects to a wine and make it different from other wines made with the same grapes
in other locations.
Terra Rosa soil profile in Coonawarra, South Australia
Over hundreds of years the French have used this concept and philosophy to investigate and empirically identify various specific
grape varieties more suited to certain regions than others. For example they now grow Shiraz in the Rhone Valley and Pinot Noir
in Burgundy and Cabernet Sauvignon in Bordeaux. Within these regions the grapes are
graded as to their quality and their unique "Terroir" or "Sense of Place" influences.
However some new world winemakers’ give little credence to this terroir or sense of place influence of soils and slopes. They
believe it is more about good vineyard and winemaking management in the creation of unique wines.
Australia is a large and diverse country divided into many areas well suited to the growing of quality grapes. The wine
regions of Australia have all trended towards planting the full range of the classic grape varieties. So in each region you
are able to find a Riesling, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Pinot Noir wine from that region as well as many other grape varieties and
wines. Although Australia is relatively ‘new world’ in the growing of grapes, already we are finding that some grape varieties
are better suited to specific regions than others.
The Flat Terrain of the Coonawarra Vineyards
For example we know Cabernet Sauvignon grows exceptionally well and produces great wines in
regions such as Coonawarra in South Australia or Margaret River in Western Australia. That Riesling
is great from the Clare Valley In South Australia, Frankland in Western Australia and the Canberra region
in New South Wales. The list goes on and we have found very unique terroir aspects in specific vineyards and
wines from other wine regions across Australia
The Rolling Hills of the Clare Valley Vineyards
We at Claremont firmly believe in the influence of terroir or a sense of place in wines and we are on a passionate
quest to discover and explore many of the Australian Terroirs that exist. Combing this “sense of place” with good
vineyard management and competent winemaking has already resulted in the crafting of great unique wines for your
lifestyle and luxury needs.