I have hanged my coat on the notion of cool climate wines a long time ago. It may be a somewhat radical idea, but, the most important thing that impacts a wine's flavour profile is not the grapes it's made from, it isn't even the winemaking style, it's the climate. This brings about two concepts, namely the debatable and sometimes controversial belief(s) regarding terroir and climate.
The complex influences that result in a wine's unique traits are embodied in the concept "terroir" a term that attempts to capture all of the myriad environmental and cultural influences in growing grapes and making wine.
A classical definition of terroir would be something along the lines of this: terroir is the aggregate factors that affect the physical vineyard site: geography, geology, weather, and any other relatively unique environmental conditions that might affect the process or final quality of the fruit. Period. Nothing more.
However, wine captures aspects of history, art, romanticism, geography, gastronomy all of which provides countless avenues of enjoyment by wine aficionados everywhere.
Moreover, the French have another expression they use when it is clear they are tasting a true terroir wine — “un goût de terroir” — a taste of place.
Climate is disputably the most critical environmental aspect in ripening fruit each optimum quality to produce a desired wine style.
The nuances of climate are multi fold but arguably a good place to start understanding this concept is worth the notion of "cool climate wines". We all have this image in our minds of a sun-drenched vineyard with shiny, ready to burst grapes and verdant green canopies, but, equally as important is the opposite of sunshine – coolness.
Wines from cool climate areas may be described as elegant, nuanced, complex and balanced. Bright fruits flavours like cranberry, raspberry, sour cherry and green apple are common, as are herbaceous notes, white pepper spice (especially in Syrah) etc.
But why should cool climate wines be your go to bottles of wine?
There are few things on this planet we can agree are good for the soul: the smell of freshly baked bread, a sky full of stars and wine.
Drinking wine is more than simply consuming a beverage; it's an entire experience. I would also venture to say that mostly wine is enjoyed with food, even with the simplest of dishes, even with the unambiguous fish and chips on a newspaper. The relevance?
Cool climate wines tend to be complex and balanced, with higher acidity and more mineral flavours – making them the most food-friendly wines in the world. When paired with food cool climate wine strikes and exceptional balance of subtlety, flavour and that inherent elegance which undoubtedly help to accent the flavours in the food you’re eating.
I have long advocated regionalism. My idea and viewpoint are simply to make wines that reflect the unique environment and distinct sites. My wines focuses on the incredible quality of grapes from cool climate regions.
Occasionally, I may produce wine and release extremely small quantities from unique terroirs that gives expression to a true terroir wine — “un goût de terroir” — a taste of place.