A term coined in France and largely internalised there for the influence of origin, climate and soil type in interaction with the grape varieties and local wine culture on the special and unmistakable typicity or characteristic of the wine that grows there. This can only be inadequately translated as environment, but means much more. The winemaker's art also plays a considerable role, in that he takes into account the special conditions of his vineyard when making wine. An apt definition comes from the well-known winery owner Bruno Prats:
The French term terroir covers all the natural conditions that influence the biology of the vine and consequently the composition of the grape itself. Terroir is the confluence of climate, soil and landscape, the interaction of an infinite number of factors: Night and day temperatures, rainfall distribution, hours of sunshine, slope and soil permeability, just to name a few. All these factors react with each other and form what the French winegrower calls terroir in each individual part of a winegrowing region.