Not Climate or Terroir but Climate and Terroir

Baja winery tours

Baja winery tours

Ask a wine lover what the most important thing is in winemaking. The answer will tell you a lot about the person. Not much about wine.

Some will say it’s climate and point out that most wine comes from one of only three climates: Mediterranean, continental and maritime. QED. Others, though, say “No, no, it isn’t the climate, it’s the place.” Except, of course, that true wine lovers don’t say “place”; they say “terroir”.

What Is “Terroir”?

Well, the French like to have their say and it is a French word so this is what l’Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin said in 2010: terroir is “an area in which collective knowledge of the interactions between the identifiable physical and biological environment and applied vitivinicultural practices develops, providing distinctive characteristics for the products originating from this area.” Or, if we dare translate the long-winded frogs, it’s “a place where everyone knows what they’re doing.”

What about the Soil?

Some wine lovers would add that the nature of the soil is not irrelevant: Chablis grows best in a clinging white clay while anyone drinking a red Bordeaux would like to think the vines have had their roots in some well-drained gravel. But who are we to argue with l’Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin?

So What Does Baja Wine Country Have?

Join us on a Baja winery tour and you’ll find that Baja California settles the argument by saying that it’s actually both.

If you were to go higher into the Sierra, you’d find cooler summers and in winter there could actually be frost on the ground but that’s not where wine is made.The climate in the area where vines are grown is Mediterranean. Summers are dry and mild and the winters cool and (sometimes) rainy.

As for the soil, those Bordeaux growers would dig their hands into this well-drained and stony soil – and they’d smile. They’d recognize this as a perfect place to grow Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Do people actually know what they’re doing? Well, sixteen million gallons of wine are made here every year, and the people who drink it are generally smiling as broadly as those Bordeaux growers we mentioned.

Baja winery

Baja winery

Come and See for Yourself

But don’t take our word for it. Contact us today and book your tour.