As winemakers we talk at length about terroir. It is a concept we all accept implicitly; we see the evidence every day in what we see in the vineyards, and in the wines we produce and drink. It is a universal truth, not something that exists in some parts of the world and not others, as some would have us believe. And like many, we believe that Pinot Noir and Chardonnay communicates, or amplifies, differences in terroir more clearly than any other varieties can.
It has been argued that the concept of terroir goes much further than just defining the unique character of a landscape, its soils, microclimate and geography and that it also includes the impact of people on a place, the influences of tradition, culture and experience.
Chinese-American geographer Yi-Fu Tuan in his 1974 book Topophilia: A Study Of Environmental Perception, Attitudes And Values and further in his 1977 book Space And Place: The Perspective Of Experience goes even further and argues that there is also an affective bond created between people and a place. "Affective", not just between people and places, but between people and what is symbolised by the place. In other words, place is not what it is objectively, not just a set of physical characteristics, but also what it has come to represent in the minds of those who know it.
At Ten Minutes By Tractor we embrace this concept and the extension of the definition of terroir that includes the influence of people and place and the affect on each other and that a bottle of wine made from a particular place is representative of this exchange between the people who work it, farm it and care for it and the place itself. It is this that gives a personality to a place and what we ultimately see and perceive in the bottle.
The other part of this equation is that without people: although a place can exist an "affective bond", a personality and certainly wines cannot! At Ten Minutes By Tractor we are very fortunate to have great people who work tirelessly, are passionate and love what they do. Without the people we have we would not be what and who we are.