Finding Our Terroir

Southern Virginia

The Piedmont region of Italy is home to the Nebbiolo grape.  While Nebbiolo makes world renowned wines such as Barolo and Barbaresco, it is considered an indigenous rather than an international grape.  The Nebbiolo only grows well in its place of origin, the Piedmont region and has not been successfully transplanted elsewhere.

Last month I had the opportunity to visit some very good friends who live in southern Virginia.  They are both very well travelled, but have lived in Virginia all their lives.  The old maxim, ‘you can’t be a true Virginian unless your mother was born in Virginia,’ makes them both true Virginians.  I can’t imagine them living anywhere else.  They are as much a part of southern Virginia as southern Virginia is a part of them.

Melon de Borgogne is the primary grape of the Pays Nantais in the western end of the Loire Valley.  Melon de Bourgogne is also known as Muscadet and makes a light, crisp white wine that goes well with shell fish.

When I first read about Melon de Bourgogne, the name confused me.  Bourgogne is French for Burgundy, which is on the eastern side of France, nowhere near Pays Nantais to the west.  With a little more research, I learned that Melon de Bourgogne originated in Burgundy, but is no longer grown there.  It has made Nantais its home.

I have a good friend here in Nevada who was born and raised in New Jersey.  When she was in her 20’s, she moved to Colorado.  She once told me that when she first got to Colorado, when she first stepped off the plane, she had an immediate sensation that she was home.  Even though she has family and friends in both New Jersey and Nevada, she still thinks of Colorado as home.

Some of us are lucky enough to be born in the place that feels most like home.  Others must travel away from their place of origin to find their true terroir.

5 comments on “Finding Our Terroir

  1. I can very well relate to this post: My mother is living on the plot of land she was born on, and my brother has moved to the neighboring village. Yet I, while feeling somewhat home there, am not seeing it as home. I have to add another idea of home, too: Being at home with a person can also change where you feel at home geographically…

    A quick aside: The French word for Burgundy is Bourgogne. So, is the grape named melon de bourgogne or borgogne?

  2. foxress says:

    Thank you for that additional thought of being at home with a person. That is so true. Thank you also, for catching my poor spelling! I’ll fix that right now.

  3. So true about feeling at home with a person. I am lucky to be in that position, Also interestingly I have experienced that home location sensation in 3 places. Two of them have no explanation other than the fact that when I am there I feel complete/satisfied no matter what is going on in my life. The other it turns out is where I live now. I’ve recently learned it is where I was consumated. After a life long affinity to a certain area of town my parents and I did the math and go figure they lived in the same area 9 months before I was born. I always felt a connection but never had the proof. Just things you can’t explain.
    Thank you!

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