“ Foot-Treading”

Rather than using a wine press, grapes are crushed by barefoot participants repeatedly stomping on them to release their juices and begin fermentation. Stomping was widespread in the history of winemaking. With the introduction of industrial methods, it is less common today.

“ Latour-de-France”

A commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales in southern France, located on the border between France and Catalonia. It also happens to be a hotbed of natural wine producers.

“ Saint-Émilion ”

Saint-Émilion is a commune in the Gironde department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in south-western France.

“A.B ”

“Agriculture Biologique”: France's national logo for organic products since 1985. This certification is not recognized in the United States.


An Italian wine region located in mountainous central Italy off the Adriatic Sea. It borders the Marche to the north and Lazio to the west, and is about 80km from Rome.


An anise flavored spirit derived from botanicals, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium ("grand wormwood"), together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs.


"Alcohol by volume" (abbreviated as ABV, abv, or alc/vol) is a standard measure of how much alcohol (ethanol) is contained in a given volume of an alcoholic beverage expressed as a volume percent.


An acacia is a large genus of shrubs and trees. In wine parlance we are usually referring to the wood used for barrels, casks, foudres, tonneaux, etc...


Ethyl acetate is the most common ester in wine generated during the fermentation. It is the root cause of volatile acidity.


The addition of acids (usually tartaric and malic) in order to increase the final acidity of a wine. This technique is often used when grapes are harvested too ripe, producing wines with low acidity and a high pH. It's a big no-no as far as we are concerned.


There are several different types of acids found in wine which will affect how acidic a wine tastes. The most prevalent acids found in wine are tartaric acid, malic acid, and citric acid.


A substance added to another to effect a desired change in properties.


Relating to or arising from the action of the wind.


Aeration in wine can expose aromas/flavors that weren’t present before, but in some cases can lead to oxidation. Soil aeration can helps essential nutrients and oxygen to reach plant roots but can also disrupt the soil’s natural microbial ecosystem.


Aging, with relation to wine, is the process of leaving a wine to evolve in a vessel after it has completed fermentation. Aging can change the taste and structure of a wine.


A red grape grown in the southern regions of Italy, mostly Basilicata and Campania. The vine originated in Greece and was brought to the south of Italy by Greek settlers.

“Aglianico del Vulture ”

An Italian red wine appellation based on the Aglianico grape and produced in the Vulture area of Basilicata. Located on volcanic soils derived from nearby Mount Vulture, it was awarded Denominazione di Origine Controllata status in 1971.


The Agly River is a river in southern France.


Agnano is a volcanic crater in Napoli, Italy, situated northwest of Naples in the Campi Flegrei region. It was popular among both Greeks and Romans and was famed for its hot springs.


The science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products. Like grapes!


A combination of the words "agriculture" and "tourism" in Italian: basically vacationing in a farm house. Many of our growers have these, and we are seriously considering starting a travel agency: Louis/Dressner Destinations™️.


The science of soil management and crop production.


"Associazone Italiana Agricoltura Biologica": An Italian organic certification board. This certification is not recognized in the United States.


The Aigues, Aigue, Aygues or Eygues is a French river, a tributary of the Rhône. It runs through the departments of Drôme, Hautes-Alpes and Vaucluse.


Ain is a department named after the Ain River on the eastern edge of France. It is part of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region and bordered by the rivers Saône and Rhône.


The Aisne is a river in northeastern France. It is a left tributary of the Oise. It gave its name to the French department of Aisne. It was known in the Roman period as Axona.


A white Italian grape planted primarily in the Emilia-Romagna region. Wine made from Albana di Romagna was first awarded DOCG status (Denominazione Origine Controllata e Garantita) in 1987.


A white Italian grape variety grown primarily in Sicily, where it has a long tradition producing dessert-style wines from grapes that have been dried in the sun on mats for several days after harvest.

“Alcoholic Fermentation”

A process in which some sugars (glucose) are converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide by the action of various yeasts, molds, or bacteria on carbohydrate materials. Mmmmm, mold and bacteria....

“alcoholic potential”

The potential degree of alcohol the wine can reach based on its sugar levels.


A red Italian grape variety. It is grown most commonly in the Puglia and Lazio regions of Italy. In Chile it is known as Red Moscatel.


A large geographical, historical and cultural region of south central and southeast of Portugal. In Portuguese, its name means "beyond (além) the Tagus river" (Tejo).


A red Portuguese grape planted primarily in the Dão DOC and Alentejo. It is also grown under other names in Spain, including the Canary Islands.


A simple non-flowering plant of a large group that includes the seaweeds and many single-celled forms. Algae contain chlorophyll but lack true stems, roots, leaves, and vascular tissue.


This red grape is a cross of Petit Bouschet (itself a cross of Teinturier du Cher and Aramon) and Grenache. Alicante is a teinturier, a rare grape with red flesh.


Aligoté is a white grape used to make dry white wines and is indigenous to the Burgundy region of France. For some reason people hate on this grape. We love it.

“Alionza ”

A white Italian grape variety that is grown in the Emilia-Romagna, where it has a long history of being used as both a table grape and blending grape for wine production.


Alluvium is loose, unconsolidated soil or sediments which have been eroded, reshaped by water in some form and redeposited in a non-marine setting.


The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range system and lie entirely in Europe. They stretch approximately 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) across eight Alpine countries from west to east: France, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia.


A historical region in northeastern France. it has alternated between German and French control over the centuries and reflects a mix of both cultures, for example drinking room temperature beer (not our thing) and eating choucroute (excellent.)


Altesse or Roussette is a white French wine grape variety found primarily in the Savoie region of France. It yields small harvests and ripens late but is resistant to grey rot.

“Alto Piemonte”

A wine growing region in northwestern Italy located 90 miles northeast of Alba at the base of the Italian alps. It was once one of Italy’s most important regions for Nebbiolo production, but was decimated by phylloxera in the late 1800s.


An autonomous province located in northeast Italy that is known as the Alto-Adige or Sudtirol based on where you find yourself within it. This wine region is noted for its distinct Austrian influences; many grape varieties not usually seen in other parts of Italy are grown here.


A typically rich Italian dry red wine made from the partially dried grapes of Corvina, Rondinella and other approved red grape varieties (up to 25%).

“Amarone della Valpolicella”

A DOCG produced exclusively in Valpolicella in the province of Verona. A typically rich Italian dry red wine made from the partially dried grapes of Corvina, Rondinella and other approved red grape varieties (up to 25%).


Notable Loire viticultural school where the late Christian Chaussard, Thierry Puzelat and Didier Barrouillet taught. The former two got fired for telling students to not yeast the wines or use sulfur during vinification. Oops!


A traditional Vermouth/Bitter Piemontese aperitif that has nothing to do with America.

“Ampelomyces Quiscalis”

An anamorphic fungus that is a hyperparasite of powdery mildew.


A tall, vase-like vessel with two handles and a narrow neck. Usually made of clay, it was traditionally used in winemaking to store and ferment wine. Amphoras have made a comeback over the years and are currently used by many winemakers all over Europe.


A red wine grape variety mainly grown in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, but also in some other parts of north Italy, and in south Switzerland.


The wines of the Anjou AOC are produced in the surrounding region of this small city. We are big fans of this fun, lively town and highly recommend it.


A province of France straddling the lower Loire River. Within the Anjou region are several AOC’s responsible for a broad spectrum of wines including still red, white and rosé produced with varying levels of sweetness.


A white Italian grape planted primarily in western Sicily where it can be used to produce Marsala wine. In Tuscany, it is known as Ansonaco and is the main grape of the island of Giglio.


Ansonica or Inzolia is a white Italian wine grape planted primarily in western Sicily where it can be used to produce Marsala wine. The grape is noted for its nutty aroma. In Tuscany, the grape is known as Ansonica. It is the chief component of the Tuscan D.O.C.


A philosophy founded in the early 20th century by the esotericist Rudolf Steiner that postulates the existence of an objective, intellectually comprehensible spiritual world, accessible to human experience.


A substance that inhibits oxidation, especially one used to counteract the deterioration of stored food products.


"Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée”: the A.O.C system is meant as a guarantee to the consumer that the product in question is from a specific place, and furthermore that rules have been set forth to ensure the highest quality. Whether this actually works in practice is highly debatable.


Aosta is the principal city of Aosta Valley, a bilingual region in the Italian Alps, 110 km (68 mi) north-northwest of Turin.

“Aosta Valley”

The Aosta Valley is a mountainous autonomous region in northwestern Italy. It is bordered by France to the west and Switzerland to the north.


Aoste is a French commune in the Isère department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of southeastern France.

“Apennine Mountains”

A mountain range consisting of parallel smaller chains extending 1,200 km along the length of peninsular Italy. In the northwest they join with the Ligurian Alps at Altare. In the southwest they end at Reggio di Calabria, the coastal city at the tip of the peninsula.


An alcoholic drink, usually served alongside snacks, taken before a meal to stimulate appetite. The closest Americans have to this is happy hour, which is really more akin to British people getting smashed after work.

“Appellation ”

A term mostly used in relation to where wine grapes are grown. In some cases a wine is not allowed to list the appellation unless other standards are met, such as what grapes are grown and how the wine is made.


An apprenticeship in French. The author of most of these words is half French, so he likes throwing in untranslated words to show how cultured he is.


A commune in the Savoy department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. It lies southeast of Chambéry. It is also the name of a wine appellation that produces principally white wine.


A white French grape historically grown in the Aube region of Champagne that has all but disappeared. Despite its rarity, it is still permitted to be blended into Champagne.


Arbois is a charming town in the Jura and gives the appellation its name. Of note, one of the most famous chocolate makers in France resides here.


A département in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of south-central France. It is named after the River Ardèche.


A unit of measurement based on the metric system. 100 ares of land equal a hectare. A hectare equals 2.47105 acres.


A white Portuguese grape planted primarily in the Bucelas, Tejo and Vinho Verde regions. It is know for its high acidity.


A region in the southwest of France know for its famous eponymous grape brandy.


A white Italian grape variety originating from Piedmont, Italy. Arneis (little rascal in Piemontese) is regarded as a somewhat difficult variety to grow.

“Arno River”

The Arno is a river in the Tuscany region of Italy. It is the most important river of central Italy after the Tiber.


Distinct and pleasant smells in wine caused by naturally forming compounds found in grapes. Some grapes are more aromatic than others. Good examples include Malvasia, Gewurztraminer and Viognier.

“Arruda ”

A Portuguese wine region centered on the town of Arruda dos Vinhos in the Lisboa wine region.


A producer, especially of food or drink, working in a traditional or non-mechanized way.


A product, especially food or drink, made in a traditional or non-mechanized way. The term is overused these days, co-opted as a marketing term for “authentic”. All grocery stores now carry artisanal products made in artisanal factories. It’s likely to be bullshit.

“Association des Vins Naturels”

An association dedicated to setting standard practices for "natural wine" production that was quite active in the early 2000's. While is still exists, many past members have broken off to form their own associations.


Asti is a city and commune of 76,164 inhabitants located in the Piemonte region of northwestern Italy, about 55 kilometers (34 miles) east of Turin in the plain of the Tanaro River.

“Asti Spumante ”

A sparkling Italian wine that is produced throughout southeastern Piedmont but is particularly focused around the towns of Asti and Alba. As of 2004, it is Italy's largest producing appellation.


A French department in the Grand Est region of north-eastern France. It is named after the Aube river.


A red wine grape grown primarily in the Rhône valley. It tends to be high yielding and shares similarities with Carignan.


A department in south-central France named after the river Aude.


A late harvest wine in Austrian and German wine classification: grapes are selected from very ripe bunches and have to be hand picked. Generally Auslese wine can be made in only the best harvest years that have been sufficiently warm.


Autostrade (singular: autostrada) are roads forming the Italian national system of motorways.


A region in central France, now part of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. The overriding character of Auvergne is its semi-mountainous topography, which translates quite directly into the local wine styles. The vines are often planted on the basaltic eruptions of extinct volcanoes.


The regional name for Côt or Malbec in Cahors.


A commune in the Côte-d'Or department in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region of eastern France. The AOC Auxey-Duresses may be used for red and white wine.


The term azienda means business and is used to denote a company or firm in Italian. An azienda agricola is a farming business; an azienda vinicola is a winery.


The Brevet de technicien supérieur technician certificate is a national diploma of higher education in France, established in 1959. Thank god we added a glossary term for this!


The label on the back of a wine bottle. Used to communicate information not found on the front label, such as information required by law including alcohol content, and government warnings.

“Baco Blanc”

A French-American hybrid grape variety. It is a cross of Folle blanche and the Noah grape, created in 1898 by the grape breeder François Baco and used to be widely planted all over France.


A red Portuguese grape variety planted primarily in the Bairrada DOC. As a varietal, Baga produces tannic wines with high acidity. The resulting wines can be quite rustic in their youth but prove to have incredible aging potential.


Based around the fishing village of Bandol, west of Toulon, the Bandol AOC covers the production of 8 communes.


A beautiful beach town and French AOC producing a fortified apéritif or dessert wine made from old vines cultivated in terraces on the slopes of the Catalan Pyrenees in the Roussillon.

“Bar à Vins”

“Wine Bar” in French.


An Italian wine made with the Nebbiolo grape. It was granted Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) status in 1966 and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita status in 1980. Along with its neighbor Barolo, these are considered amongst the best wines of Italy.


A red Italian wine grape variety that, as of 2000, was the third most-planted red grape variety in Italy after Sangiovese and Montepulciano.

“Barbera d'Alba”

A key DOC of Piemonte, north-western Italy, famed for its tangy, cherry-like red wines made from Barbera grapes.

“Barbera d'Asti”

An Italian red wine made from the Barbera grape variety. Under the DOCG rules, a minimum of 90% Barbera grapes must be used; the balance may be made up with either Freisa, Grignolino or Dolcetto grapes.


A city in Spain. It is the capital and largest city of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. Aren’t you glad we provided a definition of Barcelona?


A red wine produced in the northern Italian region of Piedmont. It is made from the Nebbiolo grape and is often described as one of Italy's greatest wines. Barolo needs to be aged for at least 38 months after the harvest before release, of which at least 18 months must be in wood.

“Barrel ”

A barrel, cask, or tonneau is a hollow cylindrical container, traditionally made of wooden staves bound by wooden or metal hoops. Typically used to age and store wine.

“Barrel Sample”

A sample of wine straight out of the aging vessel before bottling. Barrel samples are usually unfinished wines that haven’t reached maturity and/or finished fermentation.


French words for wine barrel in which wines are fermented and/or aged. Barriques are relatively tall and have a capacity of 225 liters (59 gallons.)


A small village about 40 miles south of Bordeaux in the southwest of France. It makes sweet white wines based on the Semillon grape.


A dark, fine-grained volcanic rock, formed from the rapid cooling of basaltic lava.

“Base Wine”

A still, often dry wine that is used as the "base" of a sparkling wine before a secondary re-fermentation or as the "base of a fortified wine before the addition of spirits.


A region of forests and mountains in southern Italy. It borders the Calabria and Puglia regions, as well as the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas.


An AOC and Grand Cru vineyard for white wine from Chardonnay in the Côte de Beaune subregion of Burgundy. The AOC was created in 1937.


A French term for stirring settled lees back into wine. Winemakers sometimes like to keep some of these solids in contact with the wine as a way to extract flavor, aroma and texture.

“BD 501”

A biodynamic preparation involving packing finely ground quartz crystal rock into the horns of cows. The preparation is then buried in Spring on a day corresponding to the lunar calendar.


A biodynamic preparation where cow manure is packed into cow horns, which are then buried in autumn on a day corresponding to the lunar calendar.


The ‘bead’ is a reference to the size of the bubbles in a sparkling wine or Champagne.


A French region in Southern Burgundy. The wine is generally made of the Gamay grape. We drink and import a lot of Beaujolais.

“Beaujolais (Appellation) ”

A French Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée wine generally made of the Gamay grape which has a thin skin and is low in tannins. Like most AOC wines they are not labeled varietally. Whites from the region, which make up only 1% of its production, are made mostly with Chardonnay grapes though Aligoté is also permitted until 2024.

“Beaujolais Nouveau”

A red wine of Gamay fermented for just a few weeks before being released for sale on the third Thursday of November. Most nouveau is industrial plonk that tastes like banana runts.


This covers 39 communes/villages in the Haut Beaujolais. The terrain of this region is hillier with more schist and granite soil composition than what is found in the regions of the Beaujolais AOC and the wine has the potential to be of higher quality.


A walled town at the center of the Burgundy winemaking region in France surrounded by the Côte d'Or vineyards.

“Beira Interior”

A viticultural region in the northeast of Portugal bordering Spain. The area is very mountainous and the grapes are planted in granite.

“Belval-sous-Châtillon ”

A commune in the Marne department in northeastern France.


A commune in Grand Est, in northeastern France. It is part of the Alsace AOC.


A viticultural area in the the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwestern France.


The capital of the department of Doubs in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. The city is located in Eastern France, close to the Jura Mountains and the border with Switzerland.


A white Italian grape variety that is grown in the Marche and Emilia-Romagna regions of Italy. It is an important component in the DOC wines of Bianchello del Metauro and Colli di Rimini.

“Bianchetta Trevigiana”

A white Italian grape variety that is grown in the Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and Veneto wine regions of northeast Italy.


"White" in Italian.


An AOC and Grand Cru vineyard for white wine from Chardonnay in the Côte de Beaune subregion of Burgundy. It is located within the commune of Puligny-Montrachet.

“Bìo Bìo”

One of Chile's fifteen first-order administrative divisions; it is divided into four provinces: Arauco, Bío Bío, Concepción, and Ñuble. It is also known by its original denomination: VIII Region.


A bio-indicator is any species or group of species whose function, population, or status can reveal the qualitative status of the environment.


The variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem.


In addition to organic farming methods, soil supplements are prepared according to Rudolf Steiner's formulas, following a planting calendar that depends on astronomical configurations and treating the earth as "a living and receptive organism.”

“Biodynamic Preparation ”

A distinguishing feature of biodynamic farming is the use of nine biodynamic preparations for the purpose of enhancing soil quality and stimulating plant life. They consist of mineral, plant, or animal manure extracts applied to the soil or directly onto plants.


Bioland is the largest organic-food certification association in Germany. Its organic certification standards exceed EU minimum requirements. This certification is not recognized in the United States.


An alcoholic preparation flavored with botanical matter so that the end result is characterized by a bitter, sour, or bittersweet flavor.

“Bladder Press”

A bladder press consists of a large cylinder, closed at each end, into which the fruit is loaded. To press the grapes, a large bladder expands and pushes the grapes against the sides.


French for “white”.

“Blanc de Blancs”

A French term that means "white from whites”. It is used to designate Champagnes made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes or in rare occasions from Pinot blanc. Blanc de Blanc distinguishes itself from Blanc de Noirs, white Champagne made from red grapes.

“Blanc de Noirs ”

The French term meaning “white wine from red grapes.” In particular, the phrase blanc de noir is used with those Champagnes, and other sparkling wines that are made entirely from the pinot noir grape.


A hamlet in the commune of Mercurol in the Drôme department in southeastern France.

“Blanquette de Limoux”

An appellation for sparkling wines from an area of southern France in the Pyrenean foothills, just south of Carcassonne. For centuries has lent its name to the local sparkling wines. 'Blanquette' is a local name for Mauzac, from which these wines are predominantly made. Confusingly, there are three other local varieties which are sometimes known as Blanquette (Bourboulenc, Clairette and Ondenc). None of these are used in Blanquette de Limoux wines.


A white Italian grape variety from the Alto-Adige in northeast Italy. The grape, which was historically grown around the commune of Bolzano in South Tyrol, gets its name from the term in the local Tyrolese dialect for "little leaves". Less than 10 hectares are currently planted.

“Blauer Portugieser”

Blauer Portugieser is a red Austrian, Slovenian wine and German wine grape found primarily in the Rheinhessen, Pfalz and wine regions of Lower Austria and Slovenia.


A wine made of grapes from more than one grape varietal and/or terroir.


The act of blending two or more finished wines together before bottling it. Sometimes this is done to add complexity.

“Bligny-lès-Beaune ”

A commune in the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France.

“Blind Tasting”

An exercise in which the tasters are kept unaware of the wines' identities when tasting them. The blind approach is routine for wine professionals (wine tasters, sommeliers and others) who wish to ensure impartiality.


A commune in the Province of Novara in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 90 kilometres northeast of Turin and about 30 kilometres northwest of Novara. Also the name of one of Italy's tiniest wine appellations.


The historic capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, in northern Italy. It’s also where Bolognese sauce comes from, which we feel is essential for you to know.


A city in the South Tyrol province of north Italy, set in a valley amidst hilly vineyards. It's a gateway to the Dolomites mountain range in the Italian Alps.


A colloquial term for indicating a wine is lacking any residual sugar.


A highly respected sweet white wine appellation of the Anjou district in the western Loire Valley of France. They are made exclusively from Chenin Blanc (known here as Pineau de la Loire).


A region in southwest France centered on the city of Bordeaux. At 120,000 hectares, it is the largest wine growing area in France. There are 54 appellations of Bordeaux wine.


Bordelais is a French term meaning "of Bordeaux".


The most common definition here is "woods" in Italian, but it is also a white Italian wine grape variety that is grown predominantly in the Liguria region of northwest Italy.

“Botrytis/Noble Rot”

A necrotrophic fungus whose most notable hosts are wine grapes. In viticulture, botrytis or “ noble rot” occurs when drier conditions follow wetter onesand can result in distinctive, sweet dessert wines.


And Italian term for a barrel, normally made of wood and of any size but usually 200 liters or more.


Bottling is the final stage in the winemaking process, where the year's harvested and produced wines are bottled into their final storage vessel. A bottling can also refer to a specific wine from a producer.


A main branch of a tree or plant.

“Bouillie Bordelaise”

A mixture of copper sulfate (CuSO4) and slaked lime used as a fungicide. It is used in vineyards, fruit-farms and gardens to prevent infestations of downy mildew, powdery mildew and other fungi.

“Bourbes/Gross Lees”

The waste from the pressing of unfermented grapes, they contain solid particles from skins, seeds, stalks. To our knowledge, the only time “gross” is used in a formal descriptor. Gross!


A white wine grape variety primarily grown in southern France. The variety is found in the Southern Rhône, Provence and Languedoc. It is most likely known as one of the more obscure grapes allowed in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation.

“Bourgogne Aligoté”

An AOC for white wine produced from the Aligoté grape variety in the region of Burgundy in France. The AOC was created in 1937.

“Bourgogne Blanc/Rouge”

The "generic" appellation for red or white wines made anywhere throughout Burgundy. These wines are typically intended for immediate consumption, within three years after the vintage date.

“Bourgogne Chitry ”

A part of the Bourgogne AOC at the very top of Burgundy. Red, white and rose wines are permitted with the reds made from Pinot Noir and whites from Chardonnay.


An AOC for wine in the Loire Valley region. It produces primarily red wine from the grape variety Cabernet Franc.


A commune of the Marne department in northeastern France.


The name of two Italian wine grape varieties. The most widely planted is Bovale Grande which has larger berries, while Bovale Sardo which has slightly smaller berries and tends to produce a more austere wine is found more rarely. Both are found on the island of Sardinia where they are used mainly for blending.


One of several regions in Alto Piemonte to base its red wines on the Nebbiolo grape variety. DOC laws allow the addition of up to 30% Croatina and up to 20% of either Uva Rara or Vespolina.


A spirit produced by distilling wine. Brandy generally contains 35–60% alcohol by volume and is typically drunk as an after-dinner digestif. Some brandies are aged in wooden casks. Others are colored with caramel coloring to imitate the effect of aging, and some are produced using a combination of both aging and coloring.


A red French grape variety that is grown primarily in South-West France and is most notable for its role in the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) wines of Gaillac, Marcillac and Béarn.


A type of bacterial yeast found in wineries that gives wine an earthy, mushroom like flavor. It is typically considered a wine “flaw”, but many people enjoy the taste of brett, which is often described as a “barnyard” or “funky.” In small doses it can even be charming and add character.


A French wine produced on the hills above Livron-sur-Drôme, overlooking the Drôme valley. This is the southernmost appellation of the northern Côtes-du-Rhône . Eric Texier is widely recognized for bringing attention to this micro-appellation.


A Piemontese term referring to a vineyard's summit or highest point and relating to the belief that hillside vineyards are superior for grape growing.


France’s northwesternmost region is a hilly, rocky peninsula extending out toward the Atlantic Ocean. There is no wine here, but lots of oysters and dreadlocked youths who love to pick grapes!


A commune in the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France.


A town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Catania in Sicily. Situated approximately 10 miles west-northwest from Mount Etna.


A Cru appellation for red wines produced from vineyards in central-north Beaujolais. Brouilly wines are more fruit-driven than many of the other Beaujolais cru wines.

“Brunello ”

Brunello di Montalcino is a red DOCG Italian wine produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montalcino, in the province of Siena, located about 80 km south of Florence in the Tuscany wine region.


A description for the amount of dosage added into a dry sparkling wine. After brut, in ascending order of sweetness, are extra brut (or extra sec), sec, demi-sec and doux.

“Brut Nature”

The driest end of the sparkling wine spectrum, indicating that no sugar has been added during dosage or the addition of sweetened wine or spirit after the sediment is disgorged.


The Brevet de Technicien diploma of higher education in France. The certificate is usually earned in two years, and the training curriculum includes periods of internship.


A compact, knoblike growth on a plant that develops into a leaf, flower or shoot.


A plant having or developing buds.

“Bueno River”

A river in southern Chile. It originates in Ranco Lake and like most of Chile rivers it drains into the Pacific Ocean at the southern boundary of the Valdivian Coastal Reserve.


A region in the Ain département of France. A high proportion of Bugey wine is white, but white, rosé, red and sparkling wines are all produced here.


a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France. Located in the Cote du Rhone AOC. It literally translates to “bush”.

“Burgundian ”

Relating to a style originating in Burgundy. Usually this refers to fermenting and aging wine in Burgundian barrels.

“Burgundian Bottle”

Invented sometime in the nineteenth century, it is thought that the bottle’s curved sides exist simply because this design was easier for glassmakers to create. Today it is the most commonly seen bottle shape along with the Bordeaux bottle.


The valleys and slopes west of the Saône are famous for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Burgundy has the highest number of AOCs in France and is often considered the most terroir-conscious region of the country.


A commune in the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France.

“Cabernet Franc”

A red grape grown principally in the Loire Valley, known for making a bright, pale red wine known for its aromatic, green-pepper qualities.

“Cabernet Sauvignon”

One of the world's most widely recognized red wine grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country and became internationally recognized through its prominence in Bordeaux.


An Italian municipality and the capital of the island of Sardinia, an autonomous region of Italy.


A rare red grape variety from Sardinia, grown mostly in the island's northwestern quarter.


An AOC in the South-West of France. The dominant grape variety is Malbec. It is known locally as "Côt", "Côt Noir" or "Auxerrois" and can be supplemented with up to 30% Merlot and Tannat.


The village of Cairanne is on the southern Côtes du Rhône wine route and its quality wines are designated Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC. It considered amongst the best terroirs in the area.


A region in southwest Italy that occupies the "toe" of the country’s boot-shaped peninsula.


A red French wine grape variety planted primarily in the southern wine regions such as the Languedoc. The grape is a crossing of Grenache and Malbec created by Paul Truel in 1958 at Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique.


Containing calcium carbonate; chalky. Calcareous soils contain a high amount of lime.


A commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France that happens to have a lot of good vignerons based there.


Calcium plays a very important role in plant growth and nutrition. It helps maintain the chemical balance in the soil, reduces soil salinity and improves water penetration.


Calderara di Reno is a comune in the Province of Bologna in the region of Emilia-Romagna, located about 10 kilometres northwest of Bologna.


A famous apple brandy from the Normandy region in France.


A region in Southern Italy located on the Italian Peninsula, with the Mediterranean Sea to the west. The capital city of Campania is Naples.

“Campi Flegrei”

A large volcanic area situated to the west of Naples, Italy. It was declared a regional park in 2003. The area of the caldera consists of 24 craters and volcanic edifices. A wine DOC is also named after the area.


Also called Canaiolo Nero or Uva Canina, a red Italian grape grown through Central Italy but is most noted in Tuscany. Together with Sangiovese and Colorino it is often used to create Chianti wine.

“Canary Islands”

A Spanish archipelago off the coast of northwestern Africa. Tenerife, the largest of these rugged, volcanic islands is dominated by the snowy, active volcano Mt. Teide.


Vine shoots that have reached about a year in age. The cane houses buds that form shoots, leaves and grape clusters for a single season. Older woods that may be used as a trunk or cordon.


A comune of 10,459 inhabitants in the Province of Asti in the Italian region of Piedmont.


An Italian term for a wine shop or wine cellar.


Carbon dioxide produced during fermentation causes grape solids (skins, seeds, stems) to rise, forming a cap that floats upon the wine. Unmanaged, this cap can create problems.


A type of little deer. For whatever reason, there is no word for them in English. They are the bane of our farmer’s existence, as they love to eat the shoots of the vines.


The protective sleeves on the neck of a wine bottle over the cork. Their main purpose is to keep rodents or insects from harming the cork while wine is stored for long periods, but can also be used for decorative effect.

“Carbonic Maceration”

Carbon dioxide is pumped into a sealed container filled with whole grape clusters, where it permeates through the grape skins. Fermentation starts at an intracellular level in each individual berry, making for fruity wines with little to no tannic structure.


A civil parish in the Portuguese municipality of Cascais and a 25 minute drive from Lisbon. In 2013, the parish merged into the new parish Carcavelos e Parede. The region is known for its oxidized, fortified appellation wines.


A red grape variety of Spanish origin. It is usually found in French wine but is widely planted throughout the western Mediterranean and around the globe. Two white mutations of the grape, Carignan Blanc and Carignan Gris, are rarer but found in much of the south of France.

“Carignan Blanc”

A white skinned mutation of the Carignan grape.

“Carignan Gris”

A pink skinned mutation of the Carignan grape.


A wine grape variety originally planted in the Médoc region of Bordeaux, where it was used to produce deep red wines and occasionally for blending purposes. A member of the Cabernet family of grapes, the name "Carménère" originates from the French word for crimson (carmin).

“Carolingian ”

Relating to the Frankish dynasty, founded by Charlemagne's father (Pepin III), that ruled in western Europe from 750 to 987.


A white grape indigenous to Sicily. This late-ripening vine is the main variety used in the Etna DOC. It is usually blended with Catarratto and Minella Bianca. The name Carricante comes from the Italian caricare (to load, to burden), in reference to the variety's heavy yields.


Carso-Kras is a 57 hectare wine-producing zone located in the provinces Trieste and Gorizia in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region on the border with Slovenia. It was classified as a DOC in 1985.

“Casa del Bosco”

A town in the commune of Sostegno, a province in Piemonte. It is located about 80 km northeast of Turin and about 20 kilometres northeast of Biella.


A large barrel-like container usually made of wood used for fermenting and aging wine. Can also be made of metal or plastic.

“Castagnole Monferrato”

A comune in the Province of Asti in the Italian region of Piedmont, located about 50 kilometres east of Turin and about 11 kilometres northeast of Asti.


Also known as Periquita and João de Santarém, a red wine grape found primarily in the south coastal regions but is grown all over Portugal and is sometimes used in Port wine production. The name is derived from the Portuguese term for parakeet.


A city and comune in the province of Taranto, in the Puglia region of Southern Italy, about 40 km (25 mi) from Taranto.

“Castelvetro di Modena”

A town and comune in the Province of Modena in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, located about 30 kilometres west of Bologna and about 15 kilometres south of Modena.

“Castiglione Falletto”

A comune in the Province of Cuneo in Piedmont, located about 50 kilometres southeast of Turin and about 40 kilometres northeast of Cuneo.


An autonomous community of Spain located on the northeastern extremity of the Iberian Peninsula. The capital and largest city is Barcelona.


Catania is an ancient port city on Sicily's east coast. It sits at the foot of Mt. Etna, an active volcano.


A white Italian wine grape grown primarily in Sicily, where it is the most widely planted on the island. In the Etna DOC, the grape is often blended with Minella Bianca and Carricante.


A commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France. It’s also really fun to say if you’re French and impossible to pronounce if you’re American.


A small limestone plateau deeply pitted with sinkholes common in south-central France.


Subterranean structures for the storage and aging of wine.

“Cave Cooperative”

The members in a winemaking cooperative are usually vineyard owners who deliver grapes to the cooperative, which is involved in production of wine from the grapes and the subsequent marketing activities.


"Wine retailer" in French.


The room in a winery where wine is made and/or stored. Can also refer to a personal wine collection in a residence.


Storing and aging a wine, usually in bottle, with the hopes of changing its taste and/or structure for the better.


A commune in the Aisne department and Hauts-de-France region of northern France. Bet you can’t pronounce it correctly.


A commune in the Loir-et-Cher department in central France. It’s where Hervé Villemade lives!

“Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo”

A DOC in Abruzzo that covers the cherry-red (cerasuolo translates to "cherry"), brightly flavored red wines from the Montepulciano grape.

“Cerasuolo di Vittoria”

The only Italian DOCG wine in Sicily: a dry red wine made from a blend of 50% to 70% Nero d'Avola with Frappato as the remainder. Cerasuolo means "cherry red" and refers to the colour of the resulting blend of these grapes.


A part of the Bugey appellation in the southern Jura mountains. In stark contrast to the light, alpine white wines that Bugey and Savoie are famous for, Bugey Cerdon wines are exclusively sparkling rosés made from the Gamay and Poulsard grape varieties.


A red Italian wine grape variety that is grown primarily in Lazio.The grape has very old origins and may have been used in Roman winemaking. Today it is rarely seen outside of Lazio.

“Cesanese del Piglio”

A DOCG relating to wines produced in the municipalities of Piglio, Serrone, Acuto, Anagni, Paliano in the province of Frosinone.The "Cesanese del Piglio" wines are produced on a territory of high and medium hills in large valleys on the slopes of the Ernici Mountains. It's made exclusively from the Cesanese grape.


AN IGP that covers 188 communes in the Languedoc.


The northernmost wine district in Burgundy region in France. The cool climate of this region produces wines with more acidity and flavors less fruity than Chardonnay wines grown in warmer climates.


A commune in the Maine-et-Loire department in western France.


A wine shed, or other storage place above ground used for storing casks. Usually different types of wine are kept in separate sheds.


A French municipality located in the department Saône-et-Loire , in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté.


Very porous, soft limestone soil that vine roots can easily penetrate. It provides good drainage and works best for grapes with high acidity levels. Our favorite wines tend to come from limestone soils.


A French sparkling wine named after the region it originates from. Many people use the term Champagne as a generic term for sparkling wine, but in the EU and some countries, it is illegal to label any product Champagne unless it came from the Champagne wine region of France and is produced under the rules of the appellation.


A person from Champagne.

“Chaptalisation ”

The correction or “improvement” of must by the addition of calcium carbonate to neutralize acid, or of sugar to increase alcoholic strength. In our opinion, chaptalization destabilizes the natural balance of a wine.


A grape that originated in Burgundy but is now grown widely throughout the world. Chardonnay is very neutral, with many of the flavors commonly associated with the grape being derived from such influences as terroir and (unfortunately) oak.


The industrial process of adding carbonation to wine. After the base wine goes through its first fermentation, it’s placed in another sealed pressure tank and a mixture of yeast and sugar is added to induce the secondary fermentation.


A commune in the Rhône department in eastern France. The village is part of the Beaujolais wine region and is home to numerous vineyards. It's where Eric Texier and Jean-Paul Brun live!


A historic region of France located in Burgundy. It is famous for its Charolais beef, our founder Joe Dressner’s favorite.


A commune in the Côte-d'Or in Burgundy. It used to be known under the name Chassagne-le-Haut, but the name was changed to Chassagne-Montrachet by a decree on November 27, 1879.


A wine grape variety grown in Switzerland, France, Germany, Portugal, Hungary, Romania, New Zealand and Chile.


A large French country house or castle or a winegrower's estate, especially in the Bordeaux region of France: often used as part of the name of a wine.


An AOC in the Jura around the village of Château-Chalon. Only white wines from the Savagnin grape made in the vin jaune style can be made using this appellation.


A commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France. It is one of the most famous wine making regions in the world.


A hamlet of Sancerre. Many of Sancerre’s most famous vintners are located in this area.


Any inorganic material of wholly or partially synthetic origin.


A black-skinned grape variety used in the southern French regions of Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence. A crossing of Grenache and Jurancon, the variety was created in 1958 by Paul Truel.


One of the smallest of the ten Beaujolais crus. It takes its name from the forests of oak trees (chênes in French) that once dotted the surrounding hillsides, an area that is now home to an ocean of Gamay vines. Chénas wines are among the heaviest in Beaujolais.


A small vehicle with metal or rubber links linked and articulated by axles at each of their ends, interposed between the ground and the wheels to ensure traction in terrains with a low coefficient of adhesion.

“Chenin Blanc”

A white grape from the Loire Valley of France. Its high acidity means it can be used to make everything from sparkling wines to dessert wines.


I got you babe! Well, in the context of this website, the Cher is a department in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France. It is named after the Cher River. Do you believe in life after love?

“Chestnut Wood”

Chestnut wood doesn't refer to wood from a single tree, but rather from a family of trees. The most well-known is the American chestnut, which can appear in various shades from a pale white through medium brown, which develops a reddish hue with age.


A small wine region in the Loire Valley that makes dry white wines, light red wines and rosé wines. The wine region is spread over 532 hectares, within 24 communes of the Loir-et-Cher department.


The European roe deer, also known as the western roe deer, chevreuil, or simply roe deer or roe, is a Eurasian species of deer.


Any wine produced in the Chianti region of central Tuscany, Italy. For a wine to retain the name of Chianti, it must be produced with at least 80% Sangiovese grapes.

“Chianti Classico”

A DOCG within Chianti, the designation "classico" comes from the fact that it covers the original townships where Chianti was produced historically: Castellina, Radda and Gaiole (all in Siena province). The wine must be made from 80 percent Sangiovese grapes and aged a minimum of 10 months.

“Chianti Ruffina”

Chianti Ruffina differs from the rest of Chianti because of its unique climate. This is mostly due the merging of the Sieve river with the larger Arno river, which results in noticeable temperature differences between day and night, as well as a lot of humidity in the early morning and at dusk


A city in central Chile, south of the River Ñuble.


Barolo Chinato can trace its roots back to the late 19th century when a pharmacist by the name of Giuseppe Cappellano, originated this liqueur by blending numerous herbs and spices with aged Barolo wine sweetened with a touch of sugar.


A commune located in the Indre-et-Loire department in the Region Centre, France. Unusual for the Loire Valley, Chinon AOC wines are mostly red and made exclusively from Cabernet Franc.


A species of citrus. The fruit resembles small oranges. It has a bitter flavor and is an essential flavoring agent of most Italian amari and of several brands of carbonated soft drinks that are generically called "chinotto".


One of the smallest Cru in Beaujolais, with Southeast-facing slopes on steep hills. The cooler climate at these higher altitudes gives rise to a lighter, fresher style of red wine.


A region in the north-west of Burgundy. Bourgogne Chitry wines are produced predominantly from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, grown on limestone-rich kimmeridgian soils.


A commune in the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France. It lies northeast of the city of Beaune on the plain of the Saône .


An alcoholic drink made from fermented crushed fruit, typically apples.


A red wine grape from Italy named after the Italian for 'cherry'. It is a minor component of traditional blends such as Chianti, but interest has revived in recent years.


A red wine grape, whose heat tolerance and productivity make it important in Languedoc-Roussillon and the former French colonies of Algeria, Lebanon and Morocco.

“Cison di Valmarino”

A village and commune with 2,553 inhabitants in the province of Treviso, in northeastern Italy.


A wine that is dark pink in style and may be described as a full-bodied and deep-coloured type of rosé or a light red.


A light-colored white grape that grows throughout southern France. It was once more widespread, but there are still a few Clairette strongholds in the Rhone Valley and in Languedoc.

“Clairette de Die”

An AOC producing a natural sparkling white wine from the Rhône Valley region in France. It is made from the Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains (75% minimum) and Clairette (25% maximum) grape varieties.


The process by which insoluble matter suspended in the wine is removed before bottling. This may include dead yeast cells (lees), bacteria, tartrates, proteins, pectins as well as pieces of grape skin, pulp, stems and gums.


Labelling wine based on place of origin or appellation, vinification methods and style, sweetness and vintage or grape varietal used. Some classifications enjoy official protection by being part of the wine law in their country of origin.


Soils with a small amount of clay can have trouble maintaining moisture, and soils with a larger amount of clay run the risk of becoming compacted, making it more difficult for roots to reach subsoil nutrients.

“Clermont-Ferrand ”

A city and commune of France, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, in central France, bordered by the volcanic Chaîne des Puys mountains.


The Burgundian term for a lieu-dit, aka a plot of land with a name attributed to it. In Burgundy, it is common to bottle a wine exclusively from a specific climat, and in fact many have their own AOC's, 1er Cru and Grand Cru designations.


A commune in the Loire-Atlantique département in the Pays de la Loire. It is situated at the confluence of the Sèvre Nantaise and the Moine, 17 miles southeast of Nantes.


Cloning is a technique for propagating grape vines. Cuttings from a “mother vine” are planted exclusively throughout a plot to create a crop of genetically identical grape vines.


Literally translates to "closed" in French. Originally this referred to a vineyard isolated and enclosed by a wall. Nowadays it refers to any isolated vineyard, whether it be walls, woods or any site far removed from any neighboring vines.

“Clos Saint-Jacques”

Clos Saint-Jacques is a Premier Cru vineyard used to produce red wine from Pinot noir grapes in the Côte de Nuits region of Burgundy. It is situated in the Gevrey-Chambertin AOC.


A Premier Cru vineyard used to produce red wine from Pinot noir grapes in the Côte de Nuits region of Burgundy. It is situated in the Gevrey-Chambertin AOC.


A commune in the eastern French department of Saône-et-Loire, in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. Jules loved eating at the pizzeria there as a child.


A grape cluster or grape bunch consists of the bunched up grape berries that grow on a vine.


The practice of fermenting two or more grape varieties at the same time when producing a wine. This differs from the more common practice of blending separate wine components into a cuvée after fermentation.

“Co-plantation ”

Planting more than one grape varietal or plant species on a single plot. This helps to promote polyculture and biodiversity.


Carbon dioxide: a colorless, odorless gas produced by burning carbon and organic compounds and by respiration. As a byproduct of alcoholic fermentation, when sealed or pressurized it can create the bubbles found in sparkling wine.


Another name for scale insects. Some species of which are known to harm plants.

“Coda di Volpe”

A white Italian wine grape variety that has been historically grown in the Campania region around the town of Naples. It literally translates to "fox tail", a name attributed to the very long, narrow bunches of grapes this variety produces. In Calabria it is known as Guarnaccia Bianca.


A variety of brandy named after the town of Cognac, France. Among the specified grapes, Ugni blanc, known locally as Saint-Emilion, is the most widely used.


A coastal wine appellation about 40 minutes west of Lisbon. The wines are famous for their ungrafted, bush trained vines and being bottled in 500ml bottles.

“Colchagua Valley”

One of the Chile's most famous valleys for wine production, it is located on the coast in the center of the country..

“Cold Fermentation”

Many winemakers believe a cold fermentation enhances colors and preserves a wine's fruit characteristics. A warm fermentation can also mean a rapid one, which can lead to a loss of aromas.

“Cold Maceration”

The process of putting the grapes in a refrigerated environment for several days before starting fermentation to encourage color extraction. This “cold soak” strategy helps emphasize brighter fruit notes and darker color in the finished wine.

“Cold Stabilization/Cold Clarification ”

A method used to keep tartaric acid crystals from forming after the wine has been bottled. If wines are not cold stabilized there is a chance that crystals will form when consumers place bottles of wine in the refrigerator or store it for long periods of time.


A local Venetian term for wines that see a secondary fermentation in bottle. As they are not disgorged, the yeasty residue leaves a fine sediment on the bottom ("fondo" in Italian) Colfondo are naturally lower in carbonation and categorized as frizzante.


A single-vintage Tawny port aged for at least seven years, with the vintage year on the bottle instead of a category of age (10, 20, etc.). Colheita port should not be confused with vintage port: a vintage port will spend only about 18 months in barrels after harvest and will continue to mature in bottle, but a Colheita may have spent 20 or more years in wooden barrels before being bottled and sold.

“Colli Bolognesi ”

A DOCG of eastern Emilia-Romagna in Italy. It was introduced in July 1975, one year prior to Colli di Scandiano e di Canosa which covers a more westerly stretch of the northern Apennine foothills. Colli Bolognesi translates as the hills of Bologna – the city which is globally known for its pasta sauce.

“Colli Bolognesi Classico Pignoletto”

A DOCG wine produced in Emilia-Romagna. It includes the provinces of Bologna and Modena. The wine must be made exclusively with the Pignoletto grape.

“Colli Martani”

A DOC from the broad basin south of Perugia, in the Italian region of Umbria. Its rules are rather complex, so we recommend googling it.

“Colli Piacentini”

Colli Piacentini ("Hills of Piacenza") is an Italian wine region located at the western end of Emilia-Romagna. In 1967, it was given the Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) quality designation. The region has a long history of winemaking with fossilized vine roots and grape seeds excavated from the region showing viticulture taking place as early as 2000 BC. In Roman times, Julius Caesar's father-in-law Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, grew grapes in the Piacenza hills.

“Colli Trevigiani”

One of several IGT titles (or IGP: Indicazione Geografica Tipica/Protetta) used in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy. As hinted at by its title, the geographical area covered by this appellation is the hills (colli) of Veneto's eastern Treviso province. The Marca Trevigiana IGT, meanwhile, applies province wide.

“Colline Lucchesi”

A Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) created in 1968, that is located in northern Tuscany, Italy, and centered near the commune of Lucca.

“Colline Pescaresi”

An IGT for wines produced in the environs of Pescara , the most populated city in the Abruzzo region of Italy.


An Italian winemaking region in northeast Friuli, located in the northernmost part of the Province of Gorizia, which extend to neighboring Slovenia.


An AOC situated around the town of Collioure in the Roussillon. The boundaries of the AOC are identical with the Banyuls AOC: grapes that do not get used for Banyuls are produced as non-fortified still wines under the Collioure AOC.


A white grape traditionally grown in the Southwest of France for Cognac and Armagnac production. It is believed to be the genetic descendent of Chenin Blanc and Gouais Blanc.


A red Italian wine grape variety planted primarily in Tuscany. The grape is known for its deep dark coloring and is used primarily as a coloring agent in red blends.

“Commercial Yeast”

Cultivated in a laboratory, often the yeast is designed for a particular grape varietal or style of wine flavor profile. The yeast is added to the must to spur on alcoholic fermentation.


The smallest French territorial division for administrative purposes.


Decayed organic material used as a plant fertilizer.


Strength of flavor or alcohol content in wine. We prefer the flavor to the alcohol.


A neutrally flavored concrete container for making, aging or storing wine. Concrete is temperature stabilizing and is believed to soften a wine’s texture.

“Concrete Egg”

A concrete tank of ovoidal shape. Similar to the shape of the amphora, the wine is constantly spinning on itself, permitting increased contact with berries, clusters or lees. In regular barrels or tanks, these fall to the bottom and require bâtonnages or pump-overs to get the same effect.


A hard solid mass formed by the local accumulation of matter, especially within the body or within a mass of sediment.


A French AOC located in the northern Rhône, near Vienne and to the south of Côte-Rôtie. The wines made in this AOC are exclusively white, from the Viognier grape, which may have originated in the region.


A town and comune in the Veneto, about 30 kilometres north by rail from the town of Treviso.

“Contact Treatment”

Natural solutions applied onto plants to help prevent fungal infection. Copper and sulfur solutions are the most common contact treatments.


A farmer or “peasant” in Italian.


A generic name given to various types of Italian city subdivisions. Depending on the case, a contrada will be a località, a rione, a quartiere (terziere, etc.), a borgo, or even a suburb.

“Conventional Farming”

Non-organic farming. Employing chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers. Often in tandem with heavy mechanization for working and cultivating the land.

“Conversion ”

The process of changing a vineyard or farmland over from using conventional farming methods to organic or biodynamic farming methods.


Copper is part of the “Bordeaux Mixture” along with sulfur and slaked lime, that is used to help prevent mildew in vineyards. Yes, it’s the same thing that makes pennies.


The largest AOC for wine in the Languedoc, responsible for 46 per cent of the region's wine production in 2005. Carignan is the most common grape variety here.


The cordon or "arms" of the grapevine extend from the trunk and are the part where additional arms and eventually leaves and grape clusters extend.


A stopper or plug for a bottle of wine. Traditionally made of cork wood (hence the name), contemporary “corks” are sometimes made of rubber or plastic.

“Cork Taint”

In small instances, airborne fungi come in contact with the wine’s cork and creates a substance known as TCA, a chemical compound that taints a wine and ruins its taste.

“Cornalin ”

A red wine grape variety originally from the Aosta Valley, but which is now used mainly in the Valais region of Switzerland where it is called Humagne Rouge. It is almost extinct in the Aosta valley. It is often (understandably) confused with Cornalin du Valais (aka Rouge du Pays).


A commune in the department of Ardèche in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of southern France. The name is Celtic for "burnt land."


A road on the side of a cliff or mountain, with the ground rising on one side and falling away on the other. Also the name of the building on the Upper East Joe Dressner's parents lived in for many years. Matzoh ball soup and meatloaf Fridays were the best.


A commune in the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France. Located in the Burgundy region, it is 49 km away from Dijon and 280 km away from Paris. Nearby attractions include Chalon-sur-Saône which is 18 km away and Nuits-Saint-Georges which is 28 km away.


A mountainous Mediterranean island. It's been part of France since 1768 but retains its own culture, unique in its own right but closer in spirit to Italy.


A white Italian wine grape variety predominantly grown in the southeastern region of Piedmont in the provinces of Alessandria and Asti.


An Italian wine grape variety. It is grown almost exclusively in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy. Corvina is used with several other grapes to create Bardolino and Valpolicella wines.


A red Italian wine grape variety native to the Veneto. Seldom made on its own, Corvinone is blended, along with Rondinella and Molinara in Corvina-dominant red wines of Valpolicella and Bardolino.

“Costa Toscana”

Effectively a coastal sub-division of the Toscana IGT appellation. It was introduced in 2010 to allow producers in Tuscany's coastal areas to differentiate their wines from those made further inland. The climatic differences between Tuscany's coastal areas and inland areas are noticeable, and are reflected in the local wine styles.

“Coste della Sesia”

A DOC covering red, white and rose wines in Piedmont. Unlike the nearby Gattinara, Lessona and Bramaterra DOCs, Coste della Sesia wines have the right to use grape varieties other than Nebbiolo.

“Côte Chalonnaise ”

A subregion of the Burgundy wine region of France. Côte Chalonnaise lies to the south of the Côte d'Or continuing the same geology southward. It is still in the main area of Burgundy wine production but it includes no Grand cru vineyards

“Côte d'Or”

A department in the eastern part of France, part of the current region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté.

“Côte de Beaune”

An area in the southern part of the Côte d'Or, the limestone ridge that is home to the great names of Burgundy wine.

“Côte de Brouilly”

One of the ten Beaujolais cru appellations, covering the slopes of the dormant Mont Brouilly volcano in central Beaujolais.

“Côte de Nuits”

A French wine region located in the northern part of the Côte d'Or, the limestone ridge that is at the heart of the Burgundy wine region.

“Côte des Bar”

Located in the southern part of the Champagne production area, characterised by Jurassic slopes overlying Kimmeridgian limestone bedrock.

“Côte des Blancs”

Located in the department of Marne, it lies south of Epernay, stretches for about 20 km and had a vineyard area of 3,313 hectares (8,190 acres). The Côte des Blancs is a mostly eastern-facing slope that owes its name to the color of the grape that is planted: 95% Chardonnay.

“Côte du Py”

The highest point of the Morgon Cru in Beaujolais. Many consider wines from this volcanic hilltop to be the most representative of the Morgon Cru, which itself is considered the best of the Beaujolais Crus.

“Côte Vermeille”

A French wine IGP for red, rosé and white wines, produced in the territory of four municipalities on the Spanish border: Collioure, Port-Vendres, Banyuls-sur-Mer and Cerbère.


A French AOC in the northern Rhône. The vineyards are unique because of the steep slopes facing the river and their stone walls. Red wine is made with Syrah grapes and up to 20% Viognier, a white grape used for its aromatic qualities.


A hilly upland including the divide between two valleys or a hillside.

“Coteaux Champenois”

An AOC in the Champagne province of France. It covers the same area as sparkling Champagne production for still wines made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

“Coteaux d'Ancenis”

A small region centered on the historic town Ancenis in the Loire Valley that primarily produces refreshing rosé and light-bodied red wines.

“Coteaux du Loir”

A tiny appellation in the Northern Loire. Totaling less than 240 acres (100ha), these vineyards follow the course of the Loir river, hence their name. Chenin Blanc is the main grape here.

“Coteaux du Petit Morin”

A viticultural region in Champagne.

“Coteaux du Salagou”

Situated in the Languedoc, in 1960 the artificial Salagou lake was formed to provide irrigation to the Hérault river and to avoid flooding of its surrounding communes. This IGP covers 30 communes where the lake flows.


This regional appellation has been replaced since 2007 by the Languedoc appellation, which also covers the Pyrénées-Orientales.


An AOC for sweet white wine in the Loire Valley. It is situated in the Anjou, along the Layon river. The wines of Coteaux du Layon are all made from Chenin blanc, locally called Pineau de la Loire.

“Côtes Catalanes”

An IGP wine region in the Roussillon. Syrah and Grenache are the most common grapes in the appellation.

“Côtes Catalanes IGP”

Côtes Catalanes is one of the most important IGPs in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France, covering the same area as the Pyrénées-Orientales administrative department. A wide range of grape varieties are permitted.

“Côtes d'Auvergne”

A small appellation in central France covering some 410 hectares. These are spread over dozens of communes around the sprawling city of Clermont-Ferrand, best known as the home of Michelin tires. Whites are made from Chardonnay and reds from Gamay/Pinot Noir.

“Côtes de Duras”

An AOC for red and white wines in South West France. Côtes de Duras is located in the department of Lot-et-Garonne, and is located immediately adjacent to the Bordeaux wine region, which is restricted to the Gironde department, as an extension of Bordeaux immediately to the east of the departmental border.

“Côtes de Nuits-Villages”

An appellation mainly for Pinot Noir reds, with some Chardonnay. They are produced in a select group of five communes in the Côte de Nuits sub-region of Burgundy. The appellation was created in July 1937. It currently includes about 160 hectares of Pinot Noir and 9ha of Chardonnay (395 and 22 acres).

“Côtes du Lot”

An IGP title that covers wines made in the administrative department of the Lot in the southwest of France. The department, which lies southeast of Bordeaux, has been home to viticulture since Roman times and is most famous for its AOC-level appellation Cahors. The IGP covers wines made in the rest of Lot, allowing vignerons to use a geographical indicator more specific than Vin de France.

“Côtes du Rhône”

An AOC which may be used throughout the Rhône, even within more prestigious appellations. In a limited part of the region, the Côtes du Rhône-Villages AOC may be used, in some cases together with the name of the commune.

“Côtes du Roussillon ”

The broadest AOC in the Roussillon. Grenache Noir, Grenache Blanc, Carignan, Lladoner Pelut, Cinsault, Macabeu and Malvoisie are grown alongside Syrah, Mourvèdre, Roussanne, Marsanne (all from Côte du Rhone) and Vermentino (from Italy.)


A viticultural hazard that is the result of metabolic reactions to weather conditions that causes a failure of grapes to develop after flowering. In English the word shatter is sometimes used. Coulure is triggered by periods of cold, cloudy, rainy weather or very high out-of-season temperatures. Some grapes are much more prone to coulure than others.


A dark-skinned wine grape grown primarily in the Rhône valley region of France. Counoise is one of the grapes allowed into the blend of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine.


A tiny sub-appellation of Cheverny, Cour-Cheverny is white wine made exclusively from the Romorantin grape. Indigenous and exclusive to this area, barely 80 hectares are still planted.


The name of three different but related varieties of wine grapes primarily found in South West France: Petit courbu, courbu blanc, and courbu noir. All are Vitis vinifera grapes.


A commune in the Yonne department in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in North-Central France.

“Court Noué”

A rare genetic deficiency in vines that stunts the growth of berry clusters resulting in small and concentrated grapes.


A small river that has its source in the commune of Monnaie in Indre-et-Loire in France and flows into the Brenne in the town of Chançay (Indre-et-Loire). It is a sub-tributary of the Loire.

“Cover Crop”

In agriculture, cover crops are plants that are planted to cover the soil rather than for the purpose of being harvested. Cover crops manage soil erosion, soil fertility, soil quality, water, weeds, pests, diseases, biodiversity and wildlife in an agroecosystem—an ecological system managed and shaped by humans.


A former commune in the Yonne department in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in north-central France. It’s where Bernard Baudry lives!


A designation for certain French sparkling wines. Originally named “Crémant” because their lower carbon dioxide pressures were thought to give them a creamy rather than fizzy mouth-feel.

“Crémant de Bourgogne”

The appellation for the white and rosé sparkling wines of Burgundy, made predominantly from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes in the méthode traditionelle. Created in October 1975 to complement Bourgogne Mousseux (the title for sparkling red wines), the appellation is now applied to more than 13 million bottles of wine every vintage.


Greece's largest island is known for its varied terrain, which ranges from fine-sand beaches at Elafonisi to the White Mountains. Mt. Ida, the tallest of the range, is home to the Ideon Cave, which was the birthplace of Zeus, according to Greek mythology.


A red Italian grape variety that is grown primarily in the Oltrepò Pavese region of Lombardy and in the Province of Piacenza within Emilia Romagna, but also in parts of Piedmont and the Veneto.

“Crostolo River”

A stream in the Province of Reggio Emilia in Emilia-Romagna.

“Crown Cap”

A metal bottle cap with a crimped edge, used mainly to seal beverages.


A French AOC and the largest in the northern Rhone. Mostly Syrah is produced here, along with a small amount of white from Roussanne and Marsanne.


A term used to designate a particularly expressive area or vineyard.


A commune in the Province of Ancona in the Italian region Marche, located about 35 km southwest of Ancona.


The maceration of the grape skins during fermentation of red wine in order to transfer aroma, color and tannin to the wine.


A wine vat.


Any individual bottling of a wine. Wineries will use different cuvée names to indicate this. Some might only make a white and red cuvée while others will make a much broader range.

“Cuvée Buster”

A Louis/Dressner exclusive! The rules of the Cuvée Buster are as follows: 1: The wine must begin with a daring, innovative or introspective fluke of the winemaker with regards to his/her terroir or the special character of a particular vintage. 2: There are not more than 50 cases. 3: The wine must be enjoyable to drink on release.


A winery.


To decrease the level of acid in a wine. Various methods that can be used to decrease acidity, including conducting a malolactic fermentation, blending with a less acidic wine, ion exchange, and chemical treatments.


The process of separating stems from grapes. Depending on the winemaking procedure, this process may be undertaken before crushing with the purpose of lowering the development of tannins and vegetal flavors in the resulting wine.


Refers to a process in which the must of a white wine is allowed to settle before racking off the wine. This process reduces the need for filtration or fining.

“Debudding/Green Harvest”

The removing, at an early stage, of the fruit bearing buds that are superfluous, in order to restrict yields.


A vessel used to separate wine from its sediment but also aerate the wine, allowing the wine to “open up” and develop in flavor and aroma.


Transferring the contents of a wine bottle into another receptacle before serving. This can help separate wine from its sediment and also aerate the wine, allowing the wine to “open up” and develop in flavor and aroma.


The process of removing soil formed around the base of a vine, thus permitting aeration.

“Declassification ”

When a wine is sold without the proper designation or appellation on the label. This can be an intentional choice or imposed if the wine does not follow the rules of the designated winemaking area or is deemed “atypical” by the appellation’s tasting panel.


A method of extraction by boiling herbal or plant material to dissolve the chemicals of the material. Specific decoctions can be used as a treatment or defense against bugs, fungus, or disease in a vineyard.


Devatting; the removal of wine from the fermentation vats.


Established in 1928, the largest certification organization for biodynamic agriculture and one of three predominant organic certifiers. Its name is a reference to Demeter, the Greek goddess of grain and fertility.


A French term for 600-liter capacity oak barrels, typically used in the Rhône Valley but that can be found in cellars all over the world.


Though it translates to “half-dry”, demi-sec designates a moderately sweet wine. Most often used for Champagne or other sparkling wines, the term also appears on semi-sweet wines from the Loire Valley and other French regions.

“Demijohns/Dame Jeanne/Damijan ”

A large bottle with a short, narrow neck, sometimes encased in wickerwork.

“Dessert Wine”

In the United States, a dessert wine is legally defined as any wine over 14% alcohol by volume. This is bizarre, as many of the best dessert wines are actually very low in alcohol and very high in sugar.


To remove the moisture from something or dry it thoroughly. For example, a raisin is a desiccated grape.


The capital city of Burgundy. it's also where the famous mustard comes from. Pass the Grey Poupon please!


A rare red grape variety found in Italy's northeastern Veneto region. The variety, which is notable for its lack of color and light structure, is most often used as a minor blending component in Valpolicella and Amarone wines, contributing a spicy aroma. Dindarella is rarely seen as a varietal wine, although both red and rosé examples exist, mostly made under the Verona IGT and Vino de Tavola titles

“Direct Press”

Pressing grapes directly after harvesting, sometimes in whole clusters. This can produce a more delicate, less phenolic and less colored wine, making it particularly suited for white, rose, and some sparkling wine production.

“Disgorgement ”

The process of taking dead lees or sediment out of sparkling wine. The neck of the bottle is placed in a solution of freezing brine, freezing the lees into hard lump. Once opened, the pressure from the bubbles in the bottle push out the frozen sediment.

“Distillation ”

To purify by vaporizing, then condensing and cooling the vapor and collecting the resulting liquid. This is the method used to make spirits.

“Dive Bouteille”

A natural wine festival that takes place annually in Saumur, France.


A “Denominazione di Origine Controllata” is a quality assurance label for Italian wines. The system is modeled on the French AOC system and infers that the wine in question is unique because of the region it comes from and/or the style in which it was produced.


"Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita" is the highest level in the Italian appellation system. Producers follow strict regulations set by the region, including yields and permitted grapes. The wine is then tested by a committee to guarantee the geographic authenticity of the wine and its quality.


A commune in the Province of Imperia in the Italian region of Liguria, located about 120 kilometers southwest of Genoa and about 35 kilometers west of Imperia, on the border with France.

“Dolcetto ”

A red Italian grape grown in the Piedmont. The Italian word dolcetto means "little sweet one", but the wines are made dry and can be quite rustic and tannic.

“Dolcetto d'Alba”

One of seven Dolcetto focused DOC wines produced in Italy's north-western PIemonte region. The wine is named after the grape from which it is made and the area where it is produced. It is considered the most notable of the Dolcetto classified reds, thanks to the considerable number of quality producers in the vicinity. It received DOC status in 1974.


A mountain range located in northeastern Italy. They form a part of the Southern Limestone Alps and extend from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley in the east.


A “Domaine” traditionally refers to a winemaking territory or estate.


Formerly part of of Burgundy and now a district comprised in the department of Ain, bounded on the west by the Saône and Rhône rivers, on the east by the Ain and on the north by the district of Bresse.


“Denominazione d’Origine Protetta.” A DOP certification guarantees that a product and all phases of production for that product have been carried out in a strictly defined geographic area.


In sparkling wine, a small amount of wine (usually mixed with sugar) that is added back to the bottle after secondary fermentation and disgorgement.

“Douce Noir”

An ancient red grape historically from Savoie but more widely planted in Argentina today. In Italy is it called Bonarda.

“Douro ”

One of the major rivers of the Iberian Peninsula, flowing from its source near Duruelo de la Sierra in Soria Province across northern-central Spain and Portugal to its outlet at Porto.


The natural or artificial removal of a surface's water. The internal drainage of most agricultural soils is good enough to prevent severe water-logging, but many soils need artificial drainage to improve production or to manage water supplies


The IGP title for red, white and rosé wines that are made in the administrative department of the same name in the northern Rhône Valley, France. It covers wines that do not meet the strict conditions of AOCs, whether geographically or stylistically.


A type of fly belonging to the family Drosophilidae, whose members are often called "small fruit flies" or pomace flies, vinegar flies, or wine flies, a reference to the characteristic of many species to linger around overripe or rotting fruit.


A prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall, leading to a shortage of water.

“Dry Farming”

Farming without irrigation.


A wine with little to no residual sugar, meaning the wine is not sweet.

“Duché d'Uzès”

A very recent AOC created in 2012. The area is at the extreme southwest of the Rhône valley, northeast of Costières de Nimes and south of the Cevennes. Whites, rosés and reds can be produced within the appellation.


A traditional French red grape that is mostly grown around the Tarn River, northeast of Toulouse. It is usually blended with other traditional varieties and production has been declining in recent years.

“Eau de Vie”

An eau de vie is a clear, colorless fruit brandy that is produced through fermentation and double distillation.


De-budding is the removing, at an early stage, of the fruit bearing buds that are superfluous, in order to restrict yields.


An organic certification organization founded in France in 1991. It is based in Europe but conducts inspections in over 80 countries, making it one of the largest organic certification organizations in the world.


A biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.


A term often used to designate any blended wines from Alsatian white grape varietals without indicating the percentages in the composition. The different grape varieties may be vinified together or separately.


“Leaf-stripping”: removing old leaves from a vine in order to favor the lighting and the aeration of grape bunches. This allows a better ripening of berries and reduces the risk of occurrence of certain fungal diseases.

“Egg White Fining”

A solution of egg whites can be used to remove phenolic compounds associated with harsh astringency in red wines, as the protein binds with the larger polymeric material in the wine.


The aging of a wine after fermentation and before bottling.

“Elevation ”

Height above sea level. High elevation vineyards tend to make fresher, brighter wines.

“Eloro Pachino ”

A small DOC appellation from vines surrounding the city of Pachino and its sub-zone of Eloro. It is exclusively for red wine from the Nero d'Avolo grape, though the wines can be supplemented with up to 10% of Frappato and Pignatello.

“Emilia IGT”

Emilia IGT/IGP (or dell'Emilia IGT/IGP when prefixed by the name of a grape variety) is a key appellation in the Emilia-Romagna region. Given the quantity of Lambrusco wine made in the area, sparkling wines in all three colors (red, white and rosé) are covered by the Emilia IGT title, as are all forms, mutations and variants of the Lambrusco grape variety.


A region in northern Italy. Emilia-Romagna is considered one of the richest regions of Italy with regards to its gastronomic and wine-making tradition. We wholeheartedly agree.

“Enamel Lining”

Some stainless steel and concrete tanks or vats are lined with enamel, a vitreous, usually opaque, protective or decorative coating baked on metal, glass, or ceramic ware. The idea is to avoid erosion of the vats or tanks. It also affects the texture of a wine while it ages.

“Encostas d'Aire ”

A Portuguese wine region located on the limestone hills extending across the northern end of the wider Lisboa wine region into the southwestern corner of the Beiras region.


A white Portuguese grape grown primarily in the Dão DOC. It is mainly used as a blending grape.

“Enkirch ”

A municipality belonging to a Verbandsgemeinde, a kind of collective municipality – in the Bernkastel-Wittlich district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.


The science and study of wine and winemaking. Does not take viticulture into account (the agricultural endeavours of vine-growing and of grape-harvesting.)


A substance produced by a living organism that acts as a catalyst to bring about a specific biochemical reaction. Specific enzymes are used in commercial winemaking to make more extracted and more aromatic wines and to accelerate the winemaking process.


A white Italian grape grown primarily in Piedmont. The grape has a long history in the Piedmont region, with the first written record dating to 1606. It most likely originated in the alpine hills of northern Piedmont.


The action of processes that removes soil, rock, or dissolved material from one location on the Earth's crust, and then transports it to another location.


A fungal “trunk disease” that affects mature grape vines. While there are many ways to combat it, most of the them preventative, there is still no known cure for esca.


A commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France.


A property where vines are cultivated and wine is made.

“Estate Bottled”

“Estate Bottled” means that 100 percent of the wine came from grapes grown on land owned or controlled by the winery. The winery must crush and ferment the grapes and finish, age, and bottle the wine in a continuous process on their premises.


An active volcano on the east coast of Sicily. Etna also describes the surrounding area characterized by volcanic soil.

“Etna DOC”

A DOC for wine from the Etna region in Italy. This territory is closely tied to Mount Etna, the biggest active volcano in Europe. Much of it is covered with crops and natural vegetation and grape growing has always been a vital part of this area.


A civilization of ancient Italy that ruled the area corresponding roughly to Tuscany, western Umbria and northern Lazio, with offshoots also to the north in the Po Valley, Emilia-Romagna, south-eastern Lombardy and southern Veneto, and to the south, in some areas of Campania.

“Exposition ”

The direction a hillside vineyard faces. This can determine the amount of sunlight and wind the vines receive, when the grapes reach maturity and how susceptible they are to illness.


A wine with clearly projected aromas and flavors that describe the grape varietal, the region, and/or the terroir.


A dry Champagne or sparkling wine. In Champagne, the scale from driest to sweetest is: Brut Nature, Extra Brut, Brut, Extra-Dry (or Extra-Sec), Dry (or Sec), Demi-Sec and Doux.

“Extraction ”

Extracting compounds such as flavor, tannin, color and other phenolics from the remnants of crushed grapes into the fermenting grape juice during winemaking.


Italian for "factory". The implication is not necessarily industrial.


A white Italian grape. It is cultivated on the coast of Campania north of Naples and frequently consumed in southern Italy with seafood.


Despite this grape's name translating to "famous", it is amongst the most obscure in all of Italy and indigenous to the southern part of Emilia-Romagna.


Italian for "farm".


An AOC in the Languedoc region in France. It is also known as Coteaux-du-Languedoc Faugères and lies 20 km northwest of Béziers, on the hills of Hérault. It is a local classification within the Coteaux-du-Languedoc AOC.


A white Italian wine grape grown primarily in the Piedmont region. Historically it has been used as a blending partner with Nebbiolo to soften that grape's harsh tannins. When planted on warm climate sites, it can develop minerality and notes of sea salt.


A commune in South Tyrol in northern Italy about 25 kilometers northeast of Bolzano.


A French comarca and a traditional Occitan-speaking area in the département of Pyrénées-Orientales. Fenouillèdes has been part of France since the Treaty of Corbeil in 1258.


Unlike a rental, where a farmer pays a yearly rate to cultivate the land and keeps the totality of his crop, in a fermage, a yearly fee is applied from region to region based on the annual crop.


A metabolic process that consumes sugar in the absence of oxygen. The products are heat, organic acids, gases, or alcohol. In winemaking, yeast consumes the natural sugar in grape juice and converts it to CO2 and alcohol.

“Fernão Pires”

A white Portuguese grape grown throughout Portugal, especially in the Tejo and Bairrada, where it is also known as "Maria Gomes".

“Fertilizer ”

Any material of natural or synthetic origin that is applied to soils or plant tissues to supply one or more essential nutrients to the plant.


A white Italian wine grape variety that is grown primarily in the Campania region of southern Italy and on the island of Sicily. The grape has a long history in the Campanian region and is believed to have been the grape behind the ancient Roman wine Apianum.


A typical Italian style of bottle, usually with a round body and bottom, partially or completely covered with a close-fitting straw basket. Think Chianti in the 80’s!


Fiberglass tanks are a very neutral vessel for storing and fermenting wine.

“Field Blend”

A vineyard co-planted with many different grapes, often red and white. While uncommon now, for many regions this was the norm more than the exception until the mid 1900's. Wines made from field blends are often but not always co-fermented.

“Filtration ”

Filtration works by passing wine through a material that contains a series of very small holes. Particles that are too large get held back and are effectively removed from the liquid. Filtration can remove cloudiness, but if overdone it can also remove flavor and depth.

“Fine Lees”

The dead yeast cells leftover from fermentation. This fine lees can enhance an aging wine with added richness, flavor and aroma complexity, and can also bind with excess tannins. When wine is aged with fine lees, it is referred to as “Sur lie”.


Fining is a process where a substance is added to wine to create an adsorbent, enzymatic or ionic bond with the suspended particles. Unlike filtration, which can only remove particulates (such as dead yeast cells and grape fragments), fining can remove soluble substances.


The sensation of flavors your palate experiences after you have swallowed the wine.


A commune in the Côte-d'Or department in the Bourgogne region on the Grand Crus route in eastern France.

“Flavescence Dorée”

A bacterial disease of the vine spread by a type of grasshopper. Infection may kill young vines and greatly reduce the productivity of old vines. There is no cure for the moment and the only way to manage its spread is by uprooting of infected plants.


An unpleasant characteristic in a wine. Common flaws include brett, volatile acidity (va) oxidation, reduction and cork taint. In partial defense of flaws : a) nothing is perfect b) “clean” or “perfect” winemaking can lead to standardized, boring results.


One of the ten Crus in the Beaujolais.


Siliceous stone that reflects and retains heat well. It’s what cavemen used to start fires!


The capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture.


A few weeks after the initial buds, the flowers start to grow in size with individual flowers become visible. It is during this stage of flowering that the pollination and fertilization of the grapevine takes place within about ten days - with the result being a grape berry, containing around 1-4 seeds.


Les Folatières is the largest premier cru vineyard in the Côte de Beaune commune Puligny-Montrachet.


The leafy parts of a tree or plant.

“Folle Blanche”

Folle Blanche was the traditional white grape variety of the Cognac and Armagnac regions of France. It is also known as Picpoule as well as Gros Plant and Enrageat blanc. It is also grown in the Muscadet.


A commune in the metropolitan area of Paris, France. It is located 55.5 kilometres (34.5 mi) south-southeast of the centre of Paris. Also the name of a famous French dessert!

“Fonte Cal”

A rare, indigenous white grape grown in the Beira Interior region of Northern Portugal.


A town and commune in the province of Potenza, Basilicata in southern Italy. It is bounded by the comuni of Acerenza, Avigliano, Filiano, Ginestra, Maschito, Palazzo San Gervasio, Pietragalla, Ripacandida. American World War I veteran Antonio Pierro was born in Forenza in 1896.


A comune in the province of Parma, in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. It is located 100 kilometres west of Bologna and about 25 kilometres southwest of Parma. The town lies on the east bank of the Taro River and is home to a great wine fair we go to every year.


Also known as Canina nera, a red Italian wine grape variety grown primarily in the Emilia–Romagna region of northern Italy. Fortana mostly contributes tartness and acidity in red blends.

“Fortification ”

A wine to which a distilled spirit, usually grape brandy, is added for preservation. Despite technological advances in preserving wine, fortification continues to be used because the process can add distinct flavors to the finished product.

“Foudre ”

A large wooden vat, significantly larger than typical oak barrels, often with the capacity to hold more than a thousand liters of wine.


A commune in the Loir-et-Cher department of central France.

“Franc de Pied”

Ungrafted vines that are immune to phylloxera. This has nothing to do with the vines themselves: the pests cannot live in certain soil types, for example sands and loose schists...


A region in eastern France, on the border with Switzerland. Largely rural, it's characterized by gentle mountains, fertile agricultural valleys and pine forests.


A sparkling wine from Lombardy. Franciacorta sparkling wines must be made by metodo classico, out of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and/or pinot blanc.


A grape grown exclusively in Etna with a very unclear past. It is not mentioned in any books. Some posit it may be Pinot Noir hence 'francese' or francisi. It may also be a completely individual variety of its own.


Frappato di Vittoria or Frappato is a red Italian wine grape variety planted primarily in Sicily. It is most commonly seen as a component of Sicily's only DOCG wine, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, which consists of 30-50% Frappato and 50-70% Nero d'Avola.

“Free-Run Juice”

The juice extracted from grape bunches crushed under their own weight. These are often separated from pressed juices as they will have had less time macerating and can add balance to a blend or make a unique expression on their own.


A red Italian wine grape variety grown in the Piedmont region of north-west Italy, primarily in Monferrato and in the Langhe, but also further north in the provinces of Turin and Biella. Freisa is a vigorous and productive vine whose round, blue-black grapes are harvested in early October.

“French Oak.”

An oak barrel. From France.


This Italian area is known predominantly for its white wines. It is bordered by the Alps, separating it from Austria. Slovenia borders the region on the east and the Italian region of Veneto forms the western border and part of the southern border with the Adriatic Sea.


An Italian “semi-sparkling” wine with between 2.5 and 3.5 bars of pressure compared to the 5 to 6 bars found in a Spumante or fully sparkling wine. Prosecco is the most well known frizzante wine style.


An AOC in South West France in the department of Haute-Garonne and Tarn-et-Garonne, located about 35 km north of Toulouse.


A deposit of ice formed when temperatures fall below freezing. Spring frosts can have a devastating effect on vineyards as they may freeze the buds before they turn into grapes. A bad frost can therefore decimate a crop months before harvest.


An Indicazione Geografica Tipica title used in Lazio, Italy. It covers red, white and rosé wines in both still and sparkling forms and even sweet passito wines.


An approach to agriculture pioneered by the Japanese farmer Masanobu Fukuoka. To summarize in this puny definition, the approach essentially encourages bio-diversity and a completely hands-off approach, the idea being that a healthy eco-system will self regulate itself and, in such, human intervention should be reserved for emergencies.


A red Italian wine grape variety that is grown primarily in the Valle d'Aosta region of northwest Italy.

“Fungal Disease”

A disease caused by pathogenic fungi. Common fungal vineyard fungal illnesses include: downy mildew, powdery mildew, grey mold, anthracnose, black rot and crown gall.


Chemical compounds or biological organisms used to kill parasitic fungi or their spores. A fungistatic inhibits their growth. Fungi can cause serious damage in agriculture, resulting in critical losses of yield, quality, and profit.


Any member of the group of organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts, molds, and mildew, as well as the more familiar mushrooms.


An acronym for "Groupement Agricole et Commercial". This structure consists of farmers combining resources to produce under a single company name.


An AOC in South West France in the département of Tarn, just north of Toulouse.

“Galego Dourado”

A rare white grape indigenous to Portugal.


A rocky, schistous clay soil commonly found in most of Tuscany's best vineyards.


Round rocks or pebbles typical of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the Rhône wine region in southeastern France. They are known for absorbing heat from the sun during the day and releasing it at night, thus helping grapes to mature faster.


A purple-colored grape variety used to make red wines, most notably grown in Beaujolais and in the Loire Valley around Tours. Its full name is Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc. It is a very old cultivar, mentioned as long ago as the 15th century. Also, we love Gamay.

“Gamay d'Auvergne”

A unique strain of Gamay found excluvively in the Auvergne region of France. These are only found in older vines and selections massales, as "Gamay du Beaujolais" or Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc is used for most new plantations. It has a rustic, peppery quality and darker fruit.


A dry, white wine from the Veneto region of north-eastern Italy. Although Gambellara wines are made predominantly from Garganega grapes, Trebbiano Toscano and Trebbiano di Soave (Verdicchio) are permitted for use in small quantities.

“Gang of Four”

An informal group of four wine makers (Jean-Paul Thévenet, Guy Breton, Jean Foillard & Marcel Lapierre) dubbed the “Gang of Four” in the 1980s by importer Kermit Lynch, pioneers in what would become the natural wine movement.


Quite literally someone making wine out of their garage.


A variety of white Italian wine grape widely grown in the Veneto region of North East Italy, particularly in the provinces of Verona and Vicenza. It is Italy's 6th most widely planted white grape.


Discontinuous bushy associations often composed of kermes oak, lavender, thyme, and white cistus typically found in the South of France. It is quite common for wine lovers to associate the strong, distinct smells of the garrigue to a wine or cuisine.


A red Italian wine with status produced from Nebbiolo grapes grown within the boundaries of the commune of Gattinara which is located in the hills in the north of the province of Vercelli, northwest of Novara in the Piemonte region. It was awarded DOC status in 1967 and received its DOCG classification in 1990.


An Italian dry white wine produced in a restricted area of the Province of Alessandria, Piedmont. Gavi was Italy's first white wine to gain international repute. Made exclusively from the Cortese grape, a variety which has a heritage dating back to the 1600.


Derived from animal tissues, gelatin can be used as a fining agent for wine.


A city in Switzerland that lies at the southern tip of expansive Lac Léman (Lake Geneva). Surrounded by the Alps and the Jura mountains, the city has views of dramatic Mont Blanc.


A port city and the capital of northwest Italy's Liguria region. It's known for its central role in maritime trade over many centuries.


A country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan.


A commune in the Côte-d'Or department of France in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region in eastern France. It lies 15 km South of Dijon. The Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) Gevrey-Chambertin may be used only for red wine with Pinot noir as the main grape variety.


An aromatic wine grape variety used in white wines that performs best in cooler climates. The variety has high natural sugar and the wines are usually off-dry. Did you know Gewürztraminer and lychees share the same aroma compounds?


An Italian island and comune situated in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the coast of Tuscany. The island is one of seven that form the Tuscan Archipelago, lying within the Arcipelago Toscano National Park.


A French AOC in the southern Rhône. It is primarily a red wine region, with a very small amount of rosé wine produced.

“Gioia del Colle”

A town and commune of the Metropolitan City of Bari, Apulia, southern Italy. The town is located on the Murge plateau at 360 metres above sea level.


A red Italian wine grape variety that is grown in Sardinia and used mostly in the production of fortified wines in the Giro di Cagliari DOC. The grape was once widely planted throughout Sardinia but was decimated when the phylloxera epidemic hit the island at the end of the nineteenth century.


Wine produced in the communes of Givry, Dracy-le-Fort and Jambles in the Côte Chalonnaise subregion of Burgundy. Red and white wine are produced there, though reds represent 80% of the production. There are 27 Premier Cru vineyards within Givry AOC, but no Grand Cru vineyards. The AOC was created in 1946.


A white variety of grape of Slovenian origin that is now mostly found in Prosecco.


Whoa, a pop-up within a pop-up! If you see a word highlighted in this color, hover over it or click it to get its definition.


An exceptionally easy to drink wine.


Gneiss soil is fairly infertile and formed from either volcanic, granite, or schist soil that looks similar to granite. Minerals are arranged in bands that run through the rock, but it is a very hard, infertile soil, making it good for grape-growing.


This ancient method of vine training involves no wires or other system of support, and results in a goblet shaped growth. Vines trained in this manner, referred to as 'head training', essentially resemble a small bush or shrub. They are best suited to warm, dry climates, without fertile soil.


A Cru in the Muscadet. Gorges is the only part of the region dominated by basalt soils, giving the wines from the area a unique structure.


A town and comune in northeastern Italy, in the autonomous region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. It is located at the foot of the Julian Alps, bordering Slovenia.


A commune in the Province of Viterbo in the Italian region Latium, located about 100 kilometres northwest of Rome and about 35 kilometres northwest of Viterbo.


An asexual propagation technique. This is the process of placing a shoot system (a scion) of one cultivar or species on the root system (a rootstock) of another. When grafting, the scion will contain multiple buds, but budding consists of a single bud.

“Grand Cru”

A regional wine classification that designates a vineyard known for its favorable reputation in producing wine. It is the highest level of classification of AOC wines from Burgundy or Alsace.

“Grand Noir”

Grand Noir de la Calmette is a red teinturier grape variety that is a crossing of Petit Bouschet and Aramon noir created in 1855 by French grape breeder Henri Bouschet at his vineyard in Mauguio in the Hérault department. The grape was named after the breeding station Domaine de la Calmette.


Composed of 40-60% quartz, 30-40% Orthoclase and various amounts of hornblende, mica, and other minerals. This soil warms quickly and retains heat well. The soil's high level of acidity works to minimize the acid levels in the grapes which works well with acidic grapes.


A brandy of Italian origin made by distilling the skins, pulp, seeds, and stems (i.e., the pomace) left over from winemaking after pressing the grapes. It was originally made to prevent waste by using these leftovers.


Loose siliceous pebble soil that has good drainage but poor fertility. Vines planted in this type of soil must penetrate deeply to try to and find nutrients in the subsoil.


In winemaking, the concept of working "by gravity" refers to the act of using gravity to move liquids without artificial manipulation. For example, having a press strategically placed above a fermentation vessel in order to rack the juice directly rather than through an electric pump.


While indigenous to Sicily, studies in the early 2000's have proven this white grape to be identical to Garganega.


A white Italian wine grape variety of Greek origins.

“Grechetto Rosso”

A native grape to the hills of Lazio surround the Bolsena lake. It shares similarities with Sangiovese but is considered its own distinct variety in the area.


An Italian wine grape that may be of Greek origin. The name relates to both white (Greco bianco) and black (Greco nero) wine grape varieties. The name "Greco" is sometimes used as a synonym for several varieties of supposed Greek origins-most notably Trebbiano.

“Green Harvest”

The dropping of unripe (aka green) clusters of grapes from the vine. It is a form of crop thinning to help manage yields and to enable the remaining grape clusters to fully ripen according to the winemaker's aims.


One of the most widely planted red wine grape varieties in the world. It ripens late, so it needs hot, dry conditions such as those found in Spain, where the grape most likely originated.

“Grenache Blanc”

The fourth most widely planted white variety in France after Ugni blanc, Chardonnay and Semillon. In Southern France and Sardinia, Grenache Rose and Grenache Gris are also found making pale rosé and lightly tinted white wines.

“Grenache Gris”

A pinkish-grey mutation of the grenache grape.


A hard type of pottery made of clay containing pieces of stone and/or sandstone.

“Grey Rot”

A necrotrophic fungus whose most notable hosts are wine grapes. The result of consistently wet or humid conditions, and typically results in the loss of the affected bunches.


A red Italian wine grape variety commonly grown in the Piedmont region. The name Grignolino derives from the word grignole which means "many pips" in the local Piedmontese dialect of the Asti region.


A white Italian wine grape variety which withstands high temperatures and is widely used in Sicily, particularly for making Marsala.


A French term referring to foliage or grapes getting burnt by the sun.


“Grey” in French.


A red French wine grape variety that is grown primarily in the Loire Valley of France. The name is derived from the French word grolle, meaning "crow" and is said to reflect the deep black berries of the Grolleau vine.

“Gros Manseng”

A white wine grape variety that is grown primarily in South West France. It produces dry wines in the Jurançon and Béarn regions of Southwest France.

“Gross Lees”

The large debris leftover from the winemaking process that can include stems, seeds, skins. Also the only time to use the word “gross” and not sound like a seven year old.

“Grosses Gewächs”

The term Grosses Gewächs is used to identify the finest white wines of Germany, and is specific to dry wines. It is not an official part of German wine law, but was conceived by a group of top producers in the early 2000s as part of a plan to identify the best vineyard sites.

“Growth cycle”

The annual growth cycle of grapevines is the process that takes place in the vineyard each year, beginning with bud break in the spring and culminating in leaf fall in autumn followed by winter dormancy. From a winemaking perspective, each step in the process plays a vital role in the development of grapes with ideal characteristics for making wine.

“Grüner Veltliner”

An aromatic white grape variety grown primarily in Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

“Gulf of Trieste”

A very shallow bay in the extreme northern part of the Adriatic Sea. It is part of the Gulf of Venice and is shared by Italy, Slovenia and Croatia.

“Gustative ”

Of or relating to taste or tasting.


The most famous wine of the Colli Piacentini, its name historically derived from the traditional gutturnium jug that people drank the wine from. It is a blend of 55-70% Barbera, with Croatina/Bonarda completing the blend. It can be produced in a variety of styles ranging from dry to slightly sweet, still to slightly sparkling.


A style of cane pruning is commonly used in cooler climate growing regions, including Burgundy, Sonoma, and Oregon. By limiting the vine’s lignified growth (the hard brown part) to just the trunk, the vine is less vulnerable to frost and better protected than spur pruned vines.


A soft sulfate mineral composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate. It is widely mined and is used as a fertilizer and as the main constituent in many forms of plaster, blackboard/sidewalk chalk, and drywall.


Hail consists of balls or irregular lumps of ice which rain from the sky. A hail storm can severely damage vines and grape clusters, and is especially dangerous when the grapes are fully formed.

“Hakuna Matata”

It's a problem free philosophy.


Commonly known as rock salt. Halite forms in isometric crystals, the mineral form of sodium chloride.


Great Shakespeare play! But in the case of this website: a small settlement, generally smaller than a village. In fact, many villages are composed of multiple hamlets.

“Hand Harvesting”

Harvesting grapes manually helps keep any rotting or diseased grapes from being vinified, as well as bugs and small animals which can be picked up by harvesting machines. It is in our opinion one of the most important steps in making the best wine possible.

“Hang-Time ”

A literal term referring to the amount of time a bunch of grapes can hang on the vine before being harvested.


The process or period of gathering a crop.


A metric unit of square measure, equal to 100 ares. A hectare is equal to 2.47105 acres.


A metric unit of capacity equal to one hundred liters, used especially for wine, beer, grain, and other agricultural produce.


A department on the Mediterranean coast of southern France.


A substance that is toxic to plants and is used to destroy unwanted vegetation. Often made of harmful chemicals, which can seep into soil and find its way into finished wine. Yum!


A French AOC in the Northern Rhône wine region of France. It produces mostly red wine from Syrah; however, small quantities of white wine are also produced from Roussanne and Marsanne.


“Hectoliters per hectare”: used to describe how much wine is produced for each hectare of land. These quantities are directly affected by the density of vine plantings, soil types and weather conditions.


A hoe is an ancient and versatile agricultural and horticultural hand tool used to shape soil, remove weeds, clear soil, and harvest root crops. Shaping the soil includes piling soil around the base of plants, digging narrow furrows and shallow trenches for planting seeds or bulbs.

“House Wine”

A relatively inexpensive wine sold in a restaurant, often by the glass as well as by the bottle in an unmarked carafe. Also used as slang for someone’s everyday wine at the house.


A huaso is a Chilean countryman and skilled horseman, similar to the American cowboy or Mexican charro.


The dark organic material in soils, produced by the decomposition of vegetable or animal matter and essential to the fertility of the earth. Only one “m” away from being the healthy snack we love dipping carrots in.


Grape varieties that are the product of a crossing of two or more species. Due to their often excellent tolerance to disease, hybrid varieties have, to some extent, become a renewed focus for European breeding programs.

“Hydrogen Sulfide”

An important contributor to the so-called ‘reductive’ aromas and flavors present in some wines. Its odor is associated with rotten eggs or sewage. It is produced in different concentrations by wine yeasts and can occur naturally.


A diatomic anion that consists of an oxygen and hydrogen atom held together by a covalent bond, which carries a negative electric charge. It is an important but usually minor constituent of water and this is definitely the nerdiest definition on our website.


“Indicazione Geografica Tipica”, recently changed to "Indicazione Geografica Protetta" or IGP, is the third of four classifications of wine recognized by the government of Italy. IGT/IGP wines are labeled with the locality of their creation, but do not meet the requirements of the stricter DOC or DOCG designations. The designation also exists in France but is much rarer.

“Il Perpetuum”

A method for creating fortified wine using solera aging, in which younger wine is used to replace older wine that had evaporated or been drawn off for drinking. This was the starting point for what became known worldwide as traditional Marsala wine.


The Institut National de l'Origine et de la Qualité is the French organization charged with regulating French agricultural products with Protected Designations of Origin.

“Indigenous ”

Originating or occurring naturally in a particular place.

“Industrial Agriculture”

The system of chemically intensive food production developed in the decades after World War II. Hallmarks include chemical fertilizers, chemical pesticides, chemical herbicides, over irrigation, genetically modified crops and soil overworked by machines.

“Industrial Wine”

Wine made at an industrial scale, employing chemical and mechanical farming techniques. Industrial wine is usually filtered and fined and often contains chemicals and additives to give the wine a uniform quality.


The concept of "infusion" maceration is to avoid strong extraction. Rather than trying to draw color and tannin from the grapes, they "infuse" like a tea.


A town in the district of Ludwigsburg in Baden-Württemberg in Germany.

“Inoculation ”

To introduce cells or organisms into a culture medium. In winemaking, this refers to adding selected yeasts to grape juice in order to start fermentation.


A substance used for killing insects. Usually chemical.


A professional organization representing and promoting the AOC wines of the Rhone Valley.


Any human hand in the vinification process.

“Intra-Cellular Fermentation”

A fermentation process that occurs when enzymes found inside grapes attack sugars. The end result of intracellular fermentation is the production of alcohol in an environment absent of yeasts.


An essential micronutrient for plants because it plays an important role in photosynthesis. Soil rich in iron is often red.


A district of the Apennine Mountains around Avellino, a town in Campania. It’s about 50 km east of Naples.

“Irrigation ”

The supply of water to land or crops to help growth, typically by means of channels.

“Isarco River”

The Eisack (Italian: Isarco) is a river in Northern Italy, the second largest river in South Tyrol. Its source is near the Brenner Pass, at an altitude of about 1990 m above sea level.


The Soča or Isonzo (Italian) is a 138-kilometre (86 mi) long river that flows through western Slovenia (96 kilometres or 60 miles) and northeastern Italy (43 kilometres or 27 miles).


Istria, formerly Histria, is the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Kvarner Gulf. It is shared by three countries: Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy.

“Itata Valley”

A wine region in the southern end of Chile's long, thin wine producing zone. This historical, cool-climate region is dominated by plantings of Carignan, Muscat of Alexandria and PaÌs (aka Mission.)


Farmland that is plowed and harrowed but left unsown for a period in order to restore its fertility as part of a crop rotation or to avoid surplus production.


A variety of white grape found primarily in the Savoy wine region of France. It is a high-yielding vine variety which is used to produce lightly scented, refreshing and gently aromatic dry white wine, such as Vin de Savoie.


A tiny white wine AOC in the Loire Valley. It covers 65 hectares of calcareous-clay hillsides, all facing south or south-east. The wines are dry and produced from Chenin blanc. It’s also scientifically impossible for an American to pronounce.


A wine bottle with a capacity of 3 liters equivalent to 4 standard 750ml bottles.

“Jules Chauvet”

Considered by many as the father of the French natural wine movement, Jules Chauvet was an influential wine maker, scientist and wine taster from Beaujolais who died in 1989.


A Cru within the Beaujolais AOC. In contrast to the claims of Régnié, Juliénas growers believe that this area was the site of the first vineyards planted in Beaujolais by the Romans during this conquest of Gaul.


A wine region located between Burgundy and Switzerland full of quirky grapes (Savagnin, Poulsard, Trousseau) and wine-making styles (Vin Jaune or vin de paille). Perhaps the holy grail of wine-geek regions.


A wine region in South West France in the foothills of the Pyrenees, around the commune of Jurançon. It produces a dry white wine and a more sought after sweet white wine. The grape varieties used are Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng and Courbu.


A German language wine term for a wine which is made from fully ripened grapes of the main harvest, typically picked in September and usually made in a light style. Literally translates to “cabinet”!


Kallstadt is a village in the Palatine part of Rhineland-Palatinate, one of Germany's 16 federal states. During much of the 19th century, it was part of the Kingdom of Bavaria. The Heinz family (yes. the ketchup one) and the Trump family (yes, that one...) both originate from here!


Kaolin is a clay mineral also known as “china clay”. Not to be confused with Shaolin, the Buddhist monastery in Henan province, China whose kung fu style influenced the Wu-Tang Clan.


A topography formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. It is characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves. It has also been documented for more weathering-resistant rocks, such as quartzite, given the right conditions.


An aromatic white grape variety. It was bred in 1929 by August Herold by crossing Trollinger (a red variety also known as Schiava grossa or Vernatsch) and Riesling.


A very unique type of soil found in the grape growing areas of eastern Loire Valley, southern Champagne and at the core of the Chablis wine region. French geologist Alcide d'Obigny identified a unique layer of dark marl which he named Kimmeridgian in the 18th century.


A settlement in Slovenia. It is the seat of the Municipality of Komen. It is located on the Karst Plateau in the Slovenian Littoral.


A limestone plateau extending across the border of southwestern Slovenia and northeastern Italy.


Kvevri are large earthenware vessels used for the fermentation, storage and aging of traditional Georgian wine. Resembling large, egg-shaped amphorae without handles, they are either buried below ground or set into the floors of large wine cellar. They are quite large and can easily fit a person in them.

“L'Herbe Rouge”

A restaurant in Valaire, France, a tiny hamlet in the Loire Valley. Home to our famous multi-day tastings in the winter.

“La Chapelle Heulin”

A commune in the Loire-Atlantique department of western France in the Muscadet region.

“La Dhuys”

The Dhuys or Dhuis, is a river in northeastern France that runs through the Aisne and Marne departments.

“La Marne”

La Marne is a commune in the Loire-Atlantique department in western France.

“La Neuville-aux-Larris”

A village in the Marne region of Champagne. This might be the most French village name of all time. And we have a home in Saint-Gengoux-de-Scissé!

“Lac Salagou”

A reservoir formed by the Salagou dam. It is located in the center of the department of Herault in southern France, on the Salagou river, a tributary of the river Lergue which flows into the Hérault.


Ladoix wine is produced in the commune of Ladoix-Serrigny in Côte de Beaune of Burgundy, France. The Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) Ladoix may be used for red and white wine with respectively Pinot noir and Chardonnay as the main grape variety.


A stone trough with an open top. These can also be in plastic and in Chile, “lagar” typically refers to large wood vats, also with open tops.

“Lagrein ”

A red wine grape variety native to the valleys of South Tyrol in northern Italy. Along with Marzemino, it is a descendant of Teroldego, itself related to Syrah, Pinot Noir and Dureza.

“Lake Bolsena”

A crater lake of central Italy of volcanic origin. Roman historic records indicate activity of the Vulsini volcano occurred as recently as 104 BC; it has been dormant since then.


The name of both an Italian red wine grape (of which many local strains exist) and wine made from those grapes. The most well known of its wines are the frizzante red wines of Emilia-Romagna.

“Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce”

One of the five Lambrusco DOCs (along with Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetra, Lambrusco di Sorbara, Reggiano and Lambrusco di Modena), situated in Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy. The DOC was created in 1970.


A hilly area to the south and east of the Tanaro river in in Piedmont. It is famous for its wines, cheeses, and truffles—particularly the white truffles of Alba.


A historical coastal region in southern France, extending from Provence to the Pyrenees Mountains and the border with Spain. It's now part of Occitanie.

“Languedoc-Roussillon ”

A common but unfortunate lumping together of the Languedoc and the Roussillon, two Mediterranean regions in the South of France that have very little to do with each other. Though the designation was officially retired in January 2016, it still persists in the wine world.


A commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France.


Rock fragments ejected from a volcano.


A commune in the Drôme department in southeastern France.


A commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in south-western France.

“Late harvest wine”

Wine made from grapes left on the vine longer than usual. Late harvest is usually an indication of a sweet dessert wine, such as late harvest Riesling. Late harvest grapes are often more similar to raisins, but have been naturally dehydrated while on the vine.

“Layon River”

The Layon is a 89.9 km long river in the Deux-Sèvres and Maine-et-Loire départements. Its source is near Saint-Maurice-la-Fougereuse. It flows generally northwest.


Situated in the central peninsular section of Italy, it has almost 5.9 million inhabitants, making it the second most populated region of Italy. The capital of Lazio is Rome, which is also Italy's capital and the country's largest city.

“LBV Port”

A vintage Port kept four to six years in wood before being bottled. Once in the bottle, it ages for at least three more years. The label always displays the harvest year and bottling year.


The abbreviation for Louis/Dressner/Mckenna, our "official" company name.

“Le Landreau”

A commune in the Loire-Atlantique department in western France.

“Le Loir”

A small river in the Loire Valley, not to be confused with theLoire river from which the region gets its name. Yes, it's confusing.

“Le Mans”

A city in France on the Sarthe River.

“Le Pallet”

A commune in the Loire-Atlantique department of western France. It lies on the Sèvre Nantaise river.


A city in Italy’s southern Apulia region. It's known for its baroque buildings.


The deposits of dead yeast and other particles that precipitate to the bottom of a vat of wine after fermentation and aging. Some wines (notably Chardonnay, Champagne and Muscadet) are sometimes aged “on the lees”, leading to a distinctive yeasty aroma and taste.

“Les Montils”

A commune in the Loir-et-Cher department of central France. It' s where Thierry Puzelat lives!

“Les Picasses”

One of the most famous vineyard sites in the Chinon appellation. Many producers produce wine from theses 17 hectares.

“Les Pucelles”

Les Pucelles is one of Puligny-Montrachet's top Premier Cru vineyards, located at the very southern end of the Côte de Beaune. It lies on the hillside above the village itself and is planted entirely to Chardonnay, much like its Grand Cru neighbors.

“Les Riceys”

A commune in the Aube department in north-central France. It is situated in an important viticultural area, and in particular is known for Rosé des Riceys wine.


A red wine-specific DOC of the Piemonte wine region in north-western Italy. It is one of several Piemontese wines to be based on the region's native Nebbiolo grape variety.


A commune in the Pays-de-la-Loire in north-western France.


A French term for a small geographical area bearing a traditional name. The name usually refers to some characteristic of the place, its former use, a past event, etc. In wine parlance, a lieu-dit usually refers to a single vineyard.


A crescent-shaped region in northwest Italy. Its Mediterranean coastline is known as the Italian Riviera.


Pulverized limestone or chalk.


A sedimentary rock composed mainly of skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral, forams and mollusks. It is a common component in the soil of many great wine growing regions, including Burgundy, the Loire, Champagne, and Jerez.


A sparkling wine region in the Languedoc. Wine historians believe that the world's first sparkling wine was produced in this region in 1531 by the monks at the abbey in Saint-Hilaire.


A rich, sweet dessert wine.


The capital and the largest city of Portugal. Lisbon's urban area extends beyond the city's administrative limits with a population of around 2.8 million people, being the 10th-most populous urban area in the European Union.

“Lladonner Pelut”

A mutation of Grenache most commonly found in both French and Spanish Catalonia.


Loam is soil composed mostly of sand, silt, and a smaller amount of clay. By weight, its mineral composition is about 40–40–20% concentration of sand–silt–clay, respectively. These proportions can vary to a degree, however, and result in different types of loam soils: sandy loam, silty loam, clay loam, sandy clay loam, silty clay loam, and loam.

“Loin de l'Oeil”

A white French wine grape variety native to South West France. Prior to the phylloxera epidemic, Len de l'El constituted more than 30% of all plantings in the Gaillac region.


A department in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France. Its name originates from two rivers which cross it, the Loir on the North and Cher on the South.

“Loire River”

The Loire is the longest river in France and the 171st longest in the world. The central part of the Loire Valley was added to the World Heritage Sites list of UNESCO on December 2nd, 2000. Vineyards and châteaux are found along the banks of the river throughout this section.

“Loire Valley”

A wine region including the French wine regions situated along the Loire River from the Muscadet region near the city of Nantes on the Atlantic coast to the region of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé just southeast of the city of Orléans in north central France.


The most well known beer from Brasserie de la Pigeonnelle in the Loire and a standby for the thirsty vignerons of the natural wine world.

“Lombardy ”

Lombardy is one of the twenty administrative regions of Italy. Milan, Lombardy's capital, is the second-largest city and the largest metropolitan area in Italy.

“Long Island”

An expansive, densely populated island in southeastern New York State, stretching east from New York City.

“Lot Number”

An indication of when a particular wine was bottled can often be found in small print on many wine labels. This is an skippable information for 93% of wines, but sometimes it hides interesting information like the vintage or grape variety.


A white grape indigenous to the Minho region of Northern Portugal and the most common varietal used in the production of Vinho Verde


A massif in Southern France, part of the French Prealps where the region of Provence borders the Southern Rhône.


A city and commune in Tuscany. It is famous for its intact Renaissance-era city walls.


A commune in the Saône-et-Loire department of Burgundy. It’s six kilometers from the farm house in Denyse Louis’s family. This area, completely surrounded by vines, is where the inspiration for Louis/Dressner began.

“Lunar Calendar”

A calendar based upon the monthly cycles of the moon's phases. This is in contrast to solar calendars, whose annual cycles are based directly upon the solar year. Biodynamic farming follows the lunar calendar.

“Lutte Raisonnée ”

“The reasoned struggle”: growers who practice this kind of viticulture claim to use chemicals less often and less aggressively than conventional growers. Growers who claim to use this approach are subject to no system of checks and no agreed limits as to what is permissible.


An enzyme discovered in the 1920s and used for decades in the pharmaceutical, dairy and cheese industries, this natural protein has come into increasing use in the wine industry in the past decade. It helps avoid spoilage, particularly from "piqûre lactique".


A white wine grape. It is widely grown in the Rioja region of northeastern Spain, the Cava producing areas south of Barcelona, and the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France.

“Maceration ”

The winemaking process where the phenolic materials of the grape—tannins, coloring agents and flavor compounds—are leached from the grape skins, seeds and stems into the must.

“Machine Harvesting”

The machine harvesting of grapes is typically done using an over-the-row harvester that travels through vineyards using rubber or fiberglass rods to shake fruit off vines and into large reservoirs. This practice is common for the vast majority of vineyards in the world.


A small city in east-central France. It is the prefecture of the department of Saône-et-Loire in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté.


A small appellation in the Mâconnais of wines sourced exclusively from the village of Chardonnay. It's a bit confusing since the village has the same name as the grape. In fact, locals argues that it originates form there!


The Mâcon-Charnay title covers white wines made exclusively from the Chardonnay grape variety, as well as red and rose wines produced from Pinot Noir and Gamay.


Lugny is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in the region of Burgundy. Mâcon-Lugny wines are those produced under the Mâcon appellation within the communes of Bissy-la-Mâconnaise, Lugny, Saint-Gengoux-de-Scisse (our home village!) and Cruzille.


An Villages appellation in the Mâconnais that no longer exists. Today the wines would be labelled Viré-Clessé.

“Mâcon-Villages ”

Mâcon-Villages is an appellation covering white wines produced in selected communes of the Mâconnais wine area of southern Burgundy. The appellation represents a step up in quality from the standard Macon title and specializes in dry white wines made from Chardonnay.


This is an appellation that does not exist anymore. It has been replaced by Viré-Clessé.


A region in the south of the Burgundy in France, west of the Saône river. It takes its name from the town of Mâcon. It is best known as a source of good value white wines made from the Chardonnay grape.


A chemical element required in relatively large quantities for the normal physiological processes of living things. Macroelements include carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, potassium, sodium, calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, and sulfur.


A French wine AOC located in the Loire Valley. The production includes red, rosé and white wines. For the reds and rosés, the main grape variety is gamay and in the secondary grape variety is Pinot Noir. For whites, the grape variety is Chardonnay.


A fortified wine made in the Portuguese Madeira Islands off the coast of Africa. Madeira is produced in a variety of styles ranging from dry wines and is noted for its unique winemaking process which involves heating the wine.


Wine produced around the village of Madiran in the South West of France under two AOCs: Madiran for red wines and Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh and Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Sec for white wines.


A comune (municipality) in the Province of Novara in the Italian region of Piedmont, located about 90 kilometres northeast of Turin and about 30 kilometres northwest of Novara.


A red Italian wine grape variety that is predominantly grown in the Calabria region of southern Italy. There are two related but distinct varieties; Magliocco Canino and Magliocco Dolce also known as Guarnaccia Nera.


A mineral that is important for normal bone structure in the body.


A 1.5 liter bottle of wine equivalent to two standard 750 ML bottles.


A state spanning west-central India, is best known for its fast-paced capital, Mumbai (formerly Bombay).


A commune in the Marne department in north-eastern France. Mailly is known for its Champagne. The village's vineyards are located in the Montagne de Reims subregion of Champagne, and are classified as Grand Cru (100%) in the Champagne vineyard classification.


One of the traditional provinces of France. It corresponds to the former County of Maine, whose capital was also the city of Le Mans. The area, now divided into the departments of Sarthe and Mayenne.


A purple grape variety used in making red wine. The grapes tend to have an inky dark color and robust tannins. In the South-West it is known as Malbec or Auxerrois. In the Loire it is know as Côt. Both regions produce radically different expressions of the grape.

“Malbo Gentile”

A dark skinned grape variety grown in Emilia-Romagna. Here, it is permitted as a minor blending component in the sparkling Lambrusco wines, but is also used to make varietal wines.

“Malic Acid”

Malic acid is an organic compound with the molecular formula C₄H₆O₅. It is is made by all living organisms, contributes to the sour taste of fruits and is used as a food additive. In wine, we often talk about malolactic fermentation, where these harsh acids are converted to much softer, creamier lactic acids.

“Malolactic Fermentation”

A process in winemaking in which tart-tasting malic acid, naturally present in grape must, is converted to softer-tasting lactic acid.


A group of wine grape varieties grown historically in the Mediterranean region, Balearic islands, Canary Islands and the island of Madeira, but now grown in many of the winemaking regions of the world.

“Malvasia di Candia”

This grape is the source of conjecture in ampelographic circles, with some believing the vine is one of many sub-varieties of the omnipresent Malvasia, while others claim it as an altogether separate cultivar. The name Candia is from a Greek port bearing the same title, from where it is thought to have made its ancient voyage to the Apennine peninsula.

“Malvasia Nera”

The darker-skinned member of the greater Malvasia family. It is an aromatic, thin-skinned variety that can be used for dry, sparkling and sweet wines, as well as specialty passito and rosé styles.


A red Italian wine grape that is planted primarily in Tuscany. While its use has been diminishing, Mammolo was historically included in the blended Sangiovese-based wines, where it contributes a distinctive violet aroma.


A chemical element with symbol Mn and atomic number 25. It is not found as a free element in nature; it is often found in minerals in combination with iron.


A white grape varietal indigenous to the Calabria. It is used mainly in blends with other grapes of the area.

“Manual Press”

A device to press grapes and extract juices manually. Today, the vast majority of presses are electric.

“Manzoni Bianco”

White grape named after Professor Luigi Manzoni, who created new grape varieties by selecting, crossing and grafting vines from various vineyards during the 1920s and 1930s. A cross between Riesling and Pinot Blanc created between 1930 and 1935.


Maranges wine is produced in the communes of Cheilly-lès-Maranges, Dezize-lès-Maranges and Sampigny-lès-Maranges in Côte de Beaune of Burgundy. The Appellation d'origine contrôlée Maranges may be used for red and white wine with respectively Pinot noir and Chardonnay as the main grape variety. The production consists of around 95% red wine and 5% white wine. There are no Grand Cru vineyards within the Maranges AOC.


One of the twenty regions of Italy. The region is located in the Central area of the country, bordered by Emilia-Romagna and the republic of San Marino to the north, Tuscany to the west, Umbria to the southwest, Abruzzo and Lazio to the south and the Adriatic Sea to the east.


Pre-phyloxera method of propagating vines where a shoot was laid down and buds buried, creating a new plant. In rare cases this is still actively used in vineyards.


A coastal area of western central Italy, bordering the Tyrrhenian Sea. It includes much of south-western Tuscany and part of northern Lazio.

“Maria Thun”

An authority on biodynamic agriculture. She created the annual Biodynamic Sowing and Planting Calendar.


Marl or marl-stone is a calcium carbonate or lime-rich mud or mudstone which contains variable amounts of clays and silt. Little known fact: the rapper Marley-Marl DID NOT find inspiration in this type of soil when coming up with his name.


Marsala is a fortified wine, dry or sweet, produced in the region surrounding the Italian city of Marsala in Sicily. Originally, this addition of alcohol was to ensure that it would last long ocean voyages.


A white wine grape, most commonly found in the Northern Rhône region. It is often blended with Roussanne. In Savoie the grape is known as grosse roussette.

“Marufo/Mourisco Tinto”

Marufo or Mourisco tinto is a red Portuguese wine grape that is planted primarily in the Douro DOC. It is a recommended grape in Port wine production.


A town and commune of the province of Potenza, in the Basilicata region of southern Italy. Like other towns in the Vulture area, Maschito was repopulated by Albanian refugees after the occupation of Albania by the Ottoman Empire.

“Massa Marittima”

A town and comune in the province of Grosseto in Tuscany.


A fortified farmhouse or country house on a country estate usually found in the Italian region of Puglia. A masseria is similar to a hacienda in Spain or a plantation in the United States.

“Massif Saint-Thierry”

A wine region of Champagne located northwest of Reims. This region is represented by 15 wine villages: Brimont, Cauroy-lès-Hermonville, Chalons-sur-Vesle, Chenay, Cormicy, Hermonville, Merfy, Montigny-sur-Vesle, Pévy, Pouillon, Prouilly, Saint-Thierry, Thil, Trigny, Villers-Franqueux.

“Master of Wine”

A qualification issued by The Institute of Masters of Wine in the United Kingdom. The MW qualification is generally regarded in the wine industry as one of the highest standards of professional knowledge.

“Maturation ”

The optimal age of the berry on the vine for harvesting. Optimal ripeness varies widely on the wine’s style (sparkling, sweet, etc…) as well as the vigneron’s personal taste.


A town and commune in Talca Province in central Chile's Maule Region. It takes its name from the Mapudungun words for "valley" and "rainy".

“Maule Valley”

A wine-producing region in Chile's Central Valley. The area is located 250 km south of Santiago, Chile’s capital city, and forms part of the Central Valley region. It is one of the largest wine growing regions in Chile and is also one of the country's oldest and most diverse valleys.


A white variety mainly grown in the Gaillac and Limoux regions in the southwest of France.


A department in northwest France named after the Mayenne River. Mayenne is part of the current region of Pays de la Loire and is surrounded by the departments of Manche, Orne, Sarthe, Maine-et-Loire, and Ille-et-Vilaine.


An indigenous grape variety of the Aosta Valley in northwest Italy. It is usually blended with Petit Rouge, the dominant variety of the region, but is occasionally made into varietal wines.


The process of changing from working largely or exclusively by hand or with animals to doing that work with machinery.

“Mediterranean Sea”

The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa and on the east by the Levant.

“Melon de Bougogne”

A variety of white grape grown primarily in the Loire Valley region of France. It is best known through its use in the white wine Muscadet.


A city in Argentina’s Cuyo region and the heart of Argentina's wine country, famed for Malbecs and other red wines.

“Menu Pineau/Orbois”

A white grape variety planted primarily in the Loire. Despite being all but extinct, in the late 20th century, it was the third most widely planted grape variety in the department of the Loir-et-Cher.


Wines produced in Mercurey and Saint-Martin-sous-Montaigu in the Côte Chalonnaise subregion of Burgundy. Red and white wine is produced here, though red consists of 80% of the production. There are 32 Premier Cru vineyards within Mercurey AOC, but no Grand Cru vineyards. The AOC was created in 1936.


A former commune in the Drôme department in southeastern France. On 1 January 2016, it was merged into the new commune Mercurol-Veaunes.


A commune in the Ain department of eastern France. It's where the Renardat-Fâche live!


Don’t serve this to that guy from Sideways! The name Merlot is thought to be a diminutive of merle, the French name for the blackbird, probably a reference to the color of the grape.


A white French wine grape variety that is now grown predominantly in the Loir-et-Cher department of the Loire Valley. Historically, the grape was found more widely throughout the Loire and western France and was even used in the production of Armagnac

“Metalliferous Hills”

The largest range in the Tuscan Apennines, located in the western portion of Tuscany.


The Metayage system is the cultivation of land for a proprietor by one who receives a proportion of the produce as a kind of sharecropping.

“Methode Ancestrale”

An ancient technique for making sparkling wines. In France it implies a finished fermentation in bottle where the trapped C02 creates a natural carbonation (this is synonymous with pétillant naturel). In Italy it usually infers adding sweet grape must to the bottle for a secondary fermentation in bottle.

“Methode Traditionelle”

The labor-intensive process where wine undergoes a secondary fermentation inside the bottle through added sugars and yeast. It’s complicated and we can’t fit all the info in this definition due to space constraints: thanks developers! Now our visitors have to go look it up on their own!


Meursault is a large village in the Côte de Beaune sub-region of Burgundy. Its wines are regarded as highly as those of its southern neighbor Puligny-Montrachet. This is despite Meursault not having any grand cru vineyards to speak of.


A comune in Trentino in the northern Italian region Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, located about 15 kilometres north of the city of Trento. It's where Elisabetta Foradori lives!


A metamorphic rock that contains quartz and mica, resembling slate as it can easily be split.


Refers to studies or tests relating to very small living things such as bacteria and their effects on living organisms and eco-systems.


The climate of a very small or restricted area. Factors such as elevation, exposure, and terrain can all contribute to a vineyard or parcel having its own unique microclimate.


A type of physical filtration process where a fluid (in this case wine) is passed through a special, pore-sized membrane to separate microorganisms and suspended particles from process liquid.


Bacteria and microscopic algae and fungi, especially those living in a particular site or habitat.


Southern France is colloquially known as le Midi.


The capital of Lombardy region in northwestern Italy, and the second most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,363,180.


A thin, whitish coating consisting of minute fungal hyphae, growing on plants. If left untreated, it will spread to the grapes clusters and rot them. Mildew is one of the biggest challenges viticulturists face in wet, northern climates.


A viticultural hazard in which grape bunches contain berries that differ greatly in size and, most importantly, maturity.


A commune of Catania, a small city in northern Sicily.


A white Italian wine grape variety that is indigenous to the island of Sicily, where it is grown in the foothills of Mount Etna. The name Minella is derived from the Sicilian word minna (or "small breast") to which the berries have some resemblance due to their elongated shape.

“Minerality ”

A term used to describe a flavor or aroma that is not spice, herb or fruit. The flavor or aroma of minerality is popularly associated with the terroir or origin of the wine, especially if the region the wine is produced in has a soil that is high in minerals and is rocky.


AN AOC in the Languedoc. The red wines of the Minervois appellation are produced from Carignan, which may account for no more than 40% of the blend, and Grenache, Lledoner Pelut, Mourvedre, and Syrah grapes.


A region in Northern Portugal that shares many cultural traits with Galicia in Spain. The most famous wines of the area are Vinho Verde.

“Minimal Intervention”

Creating wine with as little human intervention as possible, both in the vineyard and in the cellar. This winemaking philosophy often overlaps with “natural winemaking” and there is probably some boring internet debate going on about it right now.


A commune in the Ain department in eastern France.


A commune in the Puy-de-Dôme department in Auvergne.


In France, it refers to a violent, cold, north or northwest wind that accelerates when it passes through the valleys of the Rhône and the Durance Rivers to the coast of the Mediterranean around the Camargue region.


A model of moped by French manufacturer Motobécane. The Mobylette was launched in 1949 and was manufactured until 1997, with production numbers exceeding 14 million with peak production in the 1970s, averaging around 750,000 annually. The word "Mobylette" has since become something of a genericized trademark in the French language, referring to mopeds in general.


A city and comune in Emilia-Romagna.


A French term used to describe wines that are medium-sweet to sweet.


A red Italian wine grape planted almost exclusively in the Veneto region. It adds acidity to the wines of the Valpolicella and Bardolino regions, which are made with blends of Corvina, Corvinone, Molinara and Rondinella.


Also known as Gascon, an ancient dark-berried grape variety native to eastern France, specifically the Savoie region.


A region of Piedmont in Northern Italy. It comprises roughly (and its extent has varied over time) the modern provinces of Alessandria and Asti.


Our favorite character from Friends! Just kidding: a red wine grape that is grown primarily in Sardinia. The vine originated in Spain but is rarely grown there in recent times.


Wine made exclusively from one grape varietal with the goal of showcasing the qualities of that specific grape.


The agricultural practice of producing or growing a single crop, plant, or livestock species, variety, or breed in a field or farming system at a time. For a myriad of reasons that won’t fit in this definition, monoculture is far from enviable.


A monopole ("monopoly" in French) is an area controlled by a single winery and can be as small as a lieu-dit (named vineyard) or as large as an entire appellation d'origine contrôlée. While many wineries technically have monopoles, the term is almost exclusively used in Burgundy.

“Mont Ventoux”

A mountain in the Provence region of southern France. On the north side, the mountain borders the Drôme département.

“Montagne de Reims”

Montagne de Reims is one of the five sub-regions of the Champagne wine region. Its soils are chalk-based, with striations of loam, lignite, clay, sand, silt, and marl. Pinot Noir is the main grape cultivated.


A named cru of the Bugey appellation that covers land in the Ain department. This mountainous vineyard site is most famous for its complex, floral sparkling wines made from the Altesse and Chardonnay grape varieties. It's where Franck Peillot lives!


A hill town and commune in Tuscany, Italy. It is famous for its Brunello di Montalcino wine. The town is located to the west of Pienza, close to the Crete Senesi in Val d'Orcia.


A commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in the region of Burgundy.

“Monte Amiata”

A mountainous area 20 km northwest of Lake Bolsena in the southern part Tuscany. It is located within the provinces of Grosseto and Siena.


The comune of Montefalco and a small area of the comune of Bevagna constitute the regulated geographical area for Montefalco wines. Every year around Easter, the town sponsors a major festival called Settimana Enologica — or Wine Week — where visitors can enjoy the principal wines produced in the area including the comparatively simple red table wine, Montefalco Rosso, the more complex DOCG red wines Sagrantino, for which the area is famous.

“Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG”

A red wine from Umbria made with the Sagrantino grape and grown around the town of Montefalco. Required to be at least 95% Sagrantino, the wines must be aged for 30 months; the secco spending at least 12 of those months in oak barrels. The sweet wine is made in a passito style produced from dried grapes. They were granted DOCG status in 1992.


A medieval hilltop town in Tuscany. Surrounded by vineyards, it’s known for its vino nobile red wine. Not be confused with Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, a red wine made from the Montepulciano grape in the Abruzzo region.

“Montepulciano d'Abruzzo”

An Italian DOC for red wine made from the Montepulciano grape in Abruzzo. It should not be confused with Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, a Tuscan wine made from Sangiovese and other grapes.

“Montepulciano Grape”

Montepulciano is a red Italian wine grape variety that is most noted for being the primary grape behind the DOCG wines Offida Rosso, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane, Rosso Conero and the DOC wine Rosso Piceno Superiore


A red grape of Emilia Romagna, grown near the town of Monterrico.


A frazione of the comune of Valsamoggia in the Metropolitan City of Bologna,Emilia-Romagna, located about 20 kilometres west of Bologna.


A commune in the Loir-et-Cher department of central France.


An appellation for various white wine styles (still, sparkling, dry and sweet) from the commune of Montlouis-sur-Loire in the France's central Loire Valley. These are uniformly based on Chenin Blanc (known locally as Pineau de la Loire.)


A city in southern France, 10km inland from the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.


The highest point of the department of Calvados in Normandy.


Morgon is one of the ten Beaujolais crus located on the slopes of the Beaujolais hills on the western side of the Saone River. The wines made here from the Gamay grape variety tend to be denser than those made in much of the rest of Beaujolais and best for aging.

“Moscato d'Asti”

A DOCG sparkling white wine produced mainly in the province of Asti. The wine, produced with the Moscato grape, is sweet,low in alcohol and considered a dessert wine.

“Moscato Giallo”

A white Italian grape variety that is a member of the Muscat family of grapes. Known for its large deep clusters of loose, deep-yellow berries and golden colored wine, Moscato Giallo is grown mostly in northern Italy where it is most often used to produce passito style dessert wines.


A wine region that takes its name from the Mosel River. The area is known for the steep slopes of the region's vineyards overlooking the river.

“Mother Rock”

The original rock from which something else was formed. Mainly used in the context of soil formation to describe the soils from which vines sink their roots in and feed on.


Made from the Gamay grape variety, are known for being some of the most concentrated and tannic made in Beaujolais. Floral and fruit-driven in youth, these wines often develop spicy, earthy characteristics as they age.


A red grape variety that is grown in many regions around the world including the Rhône and Provence regions of France. Mourvèdre tends to produce tannic wines that can be high in alcohol.


A wine fault exclusively found in wines without added sulfur. Some describe it as old salami skin, roasted nuts, stale popcorn… Essentially a bacterial flaw similar to brett, but that is actually olfactory! Once the wine interacts with saliva, it smells so funky you taste it!


A city in eastern France, near the Swiss and German borders.

“Müller-Thurgau ”

A white grape variety which was created by Hermann Müller from the Swiss Canton of Thurgau in 1882. It is a crossing of Riesling with Madeleine Royale. It is used to make white wine in Germany, Austria, Northern Italy, Hungary, England, Australia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, New Zealand, the United States and Japan.


A white wine grape variety. In France, it is a minor constituent in the dry and sweet wines of Bordeaux, such as Sauternes. It rarely makes up more than 10% of the blend, which is dominated by Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc.


A French region and white wine. It is made at the western end of the Loire Valley, near the city of Nantes in the Pays de la Loire region. More Muscadet is produced than any other Loire wine. It is made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape, often referred to simply as melon.

“Muscadet Coteaux de la Loire”

A small AOC that covers roughly 200 hectares of vines. It is located off the Loire river between Nantes and Ancenis. It is exclusively planted in Melon de Bourgogne.

“Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine”

Officially established in 1936, this appellation covers 8,217 hectares within 21 villages in the Loire-Atlantique department and two in the Maine-et-Loire department. This appellation produces 80% of all Muscadets.


The Muscat family of grapes include over 200 grape varieties belonging to the Vitis vinifera species that have been used in wine production and as raisin and table grapes around the globe for many centuries. Their colors range from white to yellow to pink to near black.

“Muscat d'Alexandrie”

A white grape that is a member of the Muscat family of Vitis Vinifera. It is considered an "ancient vine", and wine experts believe it is one of the oldest genetically unmodified vines still in existence.

“Muscat Petits Grains”

A white grape of Greek origin that is a member of the Muscat family of Vitis vinifera. Its name comes from its characteristic small berry size and tight clusters.


Freshly pressed fruit juice (usually grape juice) that contains the skins, seeds, and stems of the fruit.


Nancy is the capital of the north-eastern French department of Meurthe-et-Moselle, and formerly the capital of the Duchy of Lorraine.


A city in western France on the Loire River, 50 km from the Atlantic coast. The city is the sixth-largest in France, with a population of nearly 300,000 in Nantes and an urban area of 600,000 inhabitants.

“Napa Valley”

An American Viticultural Area located in Northern California. Records of commercial wine production in the region date back to the nineteenth century.


The capital city of Campania in Southern Italy. It sits by Mount Vesuvius, the still-active volcano. Dating to the 2nd millennium B.C., Naples has centuries of important art and architecture. It's also a terrifying place to drive and not uncommon to see a family of four (and their dog) zipping through the streets on a single moped.

“Native Yeast”

Naturally occurring yeasts, found in the vineyard or the cellar that cause spontaneous fermentation. We firmly believe wines made with natural yeasts show more complexity and are a better reflection of terroir.

“Natural WIne”

Natural wines are almost Baroque-esque in that they use ancient instruments to make music that might be analyzed as "imperfect"; these ancient instruments bring us closer to its original source but forces us to accept "off" notes: seeing beauty, worth and humility in the imperfect.


A Italian wine grape predominantly associated with its native Piemonte region, where it makes the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita wines of Barolo, Barbaresco, Roero, Gattinara and Ghemme.

“Nebbiolo d'Alba”

A DOC encompassing a large area around the town of Alba, situated in the region of Piedmont in north-west Italy. Granted its classification in 1970, the wines are named after the red grape Nebbiolo from which they are made, and the area where they are produced (Alba).


A négociant is the French term for a wine merchant who assembles the produce of smaller growers and winemakers and sells the result under its own name. Négociants buy everything from grapes to grape must to finished wines in various states of completion.


A dark red wine grape grown primarily in South West France in the region between Albi and Toulouse. It is a direct descendant of Mavro rootstock, a grape variety cultivated extensively on the island of Cyprus.


A red wine grape variety native to southern Italy. It is grown almost exclusively in Puglia and particularly in Salento, the peninsula which can be visualised as the “heel” of Italy.

“Nerello Mascalese/Nerello Cappuccio”

Nerello is a name given to two varieties of red grapes (Mascalese and Cappucio) that are grown primarily in Northern Sicily, specifically around Mount Etna. Mascalese is often compared to Pinot Noir while Cappucio is lighter and more fruit forward. They are always blended together.

“Nero d'Avola”

Also known as Calabrese, it is the most important and widely planted red wine grape variety in Sicily. The dark-skinned grape is of great historical importance to Sicily and takes its present-day name from the town of Avola on the island's southeast coast.


An herbaceous plant that has jagged leaves covered with stinging hairs.


A neutral vessel is used to age or store wine without imparting any extra flavors to the wine.

“New Oak”

A new oak barrel will impart a stronger oak flavor on to a wine compared to an older one.


What you should be everyday of your life! But in the case of this definition, the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department on the French Riviera, sitting on the shores of the Baie des Anges.


A city in the Occitanie region of southern France. It is the capital of the Gard department.


Nitrogen is essential to plants as a major component of chlorophyll, the compound by which plants use sunlight energy to produce sugars from water and carbon dioxide (i.e., photosynthesis.)

“Noble Grapes”

Noble grapes are said to retain their character no matter where they are planted. The white noble grapes were Sauvignon blanc, Riesling and Chardonnay. The red noble grapes were Pinot noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. We think this is kind of stupid, but whatever.

“Noble Rot”

Noble rot is the beneficial form of a grey fungus (yum!), botrytis cinerea, affecting wine grapes. If they are then exposed to drier conditions and become partially raisined. this form of infection is known as noble rot. This gives a powerful concentration to berries low in juice.


An almost instinct red grape grown in the Auvergne region of France.


Usually a wine blended from two or more vintages. This is a common practice for winemakers seeking a consistent style of wine, year after year. Often used in regard to Champagne and sparkling wine, as well as many fortified wines like Port, Sherry or Madeira.


A region of northern France. Administratively, Normandy is divided into five départements: Calvados, Eure, Manche, Orne, and Seine-Maritime.


The “nose” of a wine is used to describe how it smells in the glass. Different wine varietals produce different aromas. The nose is also affected by how the wine is made and stored.


A white Italian grape variety grown in the Trentino region north of Lake Garda in the Valle dei Laghi.


A wine sold in the same year in which it was harvested. The most widely exported nouveau wine is Beaujolais nouveau which is released on the third Thursday of November, often only a few weeks after the grapes were harvested.

“Novi Ligure”

A city and comune north of Genoa, in the Piedmont region.


The main town of the Côte de Nuits wine-producing area of Burgundy.


A comune in Southern Sardinia.


Oak is used in winemaking to vary the color, flavor, tannin profile and texture of wine. It is usually introduced in the form of a vessel (eg barrel, cask, vat) during the fermentation or aging periods


A wine flavored by oak, either through the use of oak barrels (particularly new oak barrels), or other oak products (chips, staves, powder etc.)


A hilltop town town an hour north of Lisbon famed for its medieval architecture and fortified wall encirclement. The area is quite touristic and very close to the sea.


A naturally occurring volcanic glass formed when lava extruded from a volcano cools rapidly with minimal crystal growth.


A commune in the Hérault department of the Languedoc. It's where Guilhem and Palma Dardé live!


Wine tourism.


A commune in the Marne department of Champagne. The village where the Tarlant family reigns!


Wines with a small amount of residual sugar.

“Oidium ”

A fungal disease affecting vines, caused by powdery mildew.

“Old Oak”

Oak vessels that have seen many years of use, thus imparting less oak flavor on a wine.

“Old Vines”

Old grape vines typically produce lower yields. There is a general belief that older vines, when properly handled, will produce a better, more concentrated, age worthy wine.


Relating to the sense of smell.

“Omega Grafting”

A grafting technique that uses a special tool to cut vines into interlocking shapes allowing them to be easily grafted together. There has been much recent speculation that this grafting style, very popular in the 80’s, has been a big factor in the mortality of vines from esca.


a white French grape found predominantly in the Gaillac region of southwest France. The Ondenc grape can a highly perfumed, full-bodied wine. It is also high in acidity which lend itself well to the production of sparkling wine.


A semi precious variety of agate with different colors in layers. Also an early 90's hip-hop group known for their smash hit Slam.

“Open Vat”

When fermentations take place in vessels that are “open” to the environment in which they are situated. Open fermentations were the traditional method of fermentation before closed or lidded fermentation vessels were introduced.

“Orange Wine”

Skin-contact wine, amber wine, or orange wine is a type of wine made from white wine grapes where the grape skins are not removed, and stay in contact with the juice for days or even months.


Agricultural production without, or with limited use of chemical fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides.

“Organic Certification”

A certification process for producers of organic/biodynamic food and other organic/biodynamic agricultural products. In some countries, certification is overseen by the government. In others it is overseen by third party organizations, often for a fee.


A city in the northern Loire.


A white Italian grape variety that is grown in the Piacenza hills of Emilia-Romagna.. Here the grapes are often blended with Malvasia in the DOC white wines of the area. In some regions the grape is used in slightly sparkling frizzante and fully sparkling spumante wines.


A small city perched on a rock cliff in Umbria, right on the border of Lazio. A DOC of the same name is used for wines produced in the surrounding area.


An extremely rare red wine grape varietal grown just to the north of the city of Verona in the Veneto region of Italy. Oseleta grapes were and are still used to add color and tannin to locally crafted red wines.


A rare red wine grape varietal grown just to the north of the city of Verona in the Veneto region of Italy. Oseleta grapes were and are still used to add color and tannin to locally crafted red wines.


A subregion within the town of Gorizia in northeastern Italy, in the autonomous region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. It is located at the foot of the Julian Alps, bordering Slovenia.


A winemaking term that has several meanings but most commonly refers to the headspace of air between wine and the top of the container holding the wine. Wine in the barrels is regularly "topped up" and refilled to the top with wine in order to minimize the head space.


When a barrel of wine is intentionally not topped up so that the wine will partly evaporate and become increasingly concentrated.


Oupia is a commune in the Hérault department in the Occitanie region in southern France.


A river in southern France and left tributary of the Rhône. It rises in the southern French Prealps, in the commune of Montauban-sur-l'Ouvèze. It flows into the Rhône in Sorgues, north of Avignon.


Oxidation occurs when the wine has been exposed to oxygen and the oxygen has dissolved into the wine. This can be done intentionally to impart character or be the result of negligent winemaking, resulting in browned wines with dulled, tired flavors.


Pachino is a town and comune in Sicily as well as a DOC for red wine (Eloro Pachino)


The process of pairing food with wine to enhance the dining experience.


A red grape that has played a prominent role in the Chilean wine industry. Up until the turn of the 21st century, it was Chile's most planted variety before being overtaken by Cabernet Sauvignon. Today it is most commonly used in the production of jug wine in the Bío-Bío.


A wine tasting term referring to the feel and taste of a wine in your mouth. It also used to point out one's individual taste.


Palissage is a vineyard structure that gives support and suspends the vines above the ground and allows them to grow in accordance with their growth habit. Vine trellises are made up of posts (wooden or metal) and driven into the ground.


Usually made of stone (often volcanic), a palmento is the site where grapes were crushed, their juice was fermented, and the resulting wine was stored. Many can still be found throughout southern Italy, notably in Calabria and Sicily, and while illegal, many are still in use.


A white grape widely grown in Spain and South Africa, best known for its use in sherry production. It is also grown in the Douro region of Portugal where it is used for table and fortified wines.


Pantelleria, the ancient Cossyra, is an Italian island in the Strait of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea, 100 km southwest of Sicily and 60 km east of the Tunisian coast. It is famous for its Zibibbo based passitos.


A specific plot or tract of land.


A white grape from Catalunya traditionally used to make Cava. Distinguished by its high acidity, it is also occasionally used in some still wines.


If you don’t know what Paris is, I don't know what to say.


A city in Emilia-Romagna famous for its prosciutto (ham), cheese, architecture, music and surrounding countryside. It is home to the University of Parma, one of the oldest universities in the world. Also home to Tabarro, one of the best wine bars in the world!


Harvesting grapes over multiple passes is a technique used to harvest grapes at different stages of maturity. The goal is produce a spectrum of dry to sweet wines.


The French term for the process of drying grapes so their flavors and sugar become concentrated.


A rare local white grape that is found principally in the Marche with a DOC for wines of the same name. It is also found in Lazio.


An Italian name for straw wine, wine made from grapes that have been dried to concentrate their juice. The classic method dries clusters of grapes on mats of straw in the sun, but some regions dry them under cover, on roofs, or on modern racks.

“Passito di Pantelleria”

An Italian DOC for Moscato wines made from dried grapes grown in Italy's most southerly territory, the island of Pantelleria. Situated just 45 miles (70km) from the north-east coast of Tunisia, in northern Africa, this volcanic island lies at a latitude of 36 degrees north and is home to some of Europe's most southerly vineyards; only those in Crete and Cyprus lie closer to the equator.


A city in southwestern France, set along the Pyrenees mountains’ northern edge approximately 85 km from the Spanish border.

“Pays d'Auge”

An area in Normandy, straddling the départements of Calvados and Orne (plus a small part of the territory of Eure.) The chief town is Lisieux.

“Pays d’Hérault”

The IGP title for wines made in the Hérault department of the Languedoc on the southern coast of France. The IGP area encompasses the whole department regardless of terroir and includes everything from mountains to coastal plains. Hérault is one of the most viticulturally productive departments of France.

“Pays d’Oc”

The IGP title for red, white and rosé wines that are made in a large area on the southern coast of France. The catchment area for the IGP corresponds roughly to the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region – one of the largest winegrowing areas in France. The IGP covers all the wines that are not made under the strict laws that govern the AOC-level appellations in the regions: among them Corbières, Minervois and the Languedoc appellation itself.


A person who works the natural resources of their habitat.


A grape indigenous to the Calabria region of Southern Italy.


A white Italian wine grape that grows in the Marche, Abruzzo, Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio regions of Italy. Ampelographers believe that the grape is likely native to Marche.


The science of soil.


A natural and historical region of the autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain. It is located in the south of the Principality of Catalonia between the pre-coastal mountain range and the Mediterranean Sea


A type of volcanic rock consisting of sedimentary rock that contains fragments of younger igneous material and is formed when magma comes into contact with wet sediments.


A French term for a plant nursery, where plants (such as grape vines) are propagated and grown to usable size.


The operator of nursery where plants (such as grape vines) are propagated and grown to usable size.

“Père et Fils”

“Father and son” in French


An ancient Italian system for training grape vines overhead on wires or wooden a wooden structure. It is used typically in hot climates, where it helps to keep the grapes and earth cool, and preserve moisture.


Permaculture is a system of agricultural and social design principles centered around simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems.


A genus of oomycetes that are obligate plant pathogens of many eudicots. Most species in this group produce a downy mildew disease, which can cause severe damage to many different cultivated crops, as well as wild and ornamental plants.


A city, commune, and the capital of the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France. Perpignan was the capital of the former province and County of Roussillon (Rosselló in Catalan) and continental capital of the Kingdom of Majorca in the 13th and 14th centuries.


A red grape grown primarily in the Savoie region of France.


A substance, usually chemical, used for destroying insects or other organisms harmful to cultivated plants or to animals.

“Pétillant Naturel”

A sparkling wine produced in the méthode ancestral, where the wine is bottled prior to fully completing its first fermentation, allowing carbon dioxide to be produced by the natural sugars found in the grapes.


A white skinned italian wine grape.

“Petit Arvine”

A white grape variety grown mainly in Valais, Switzerland and Valle d'Aosta in Italy.

“Petit Manseng”

A white wine grape variety that is grown primarily in South West France. It produces the highest quality wine of any grape in the Manseng family. The name is derived from its small, thick skin berries.

“Petit Meslier”

A rare wine grape that is a minor component of some Champagne blends. It is valued for its ability to retain acidity even in hot vintages.In the very rare cases where it is not blended, it makes crisp wines tasting of apples.

“Petit Rouge”

A red Italian wine grape variety that is believed to be indigenous to the Valle d'Aosta region of northwest Italy. The grape is somewhat obscure and is not widely grown outside the Valle d'Aosta, where it is primarily a blending variety but some varietal wines are produced.

“Petit Verdot”

A red grape, principally used in classic Bordeaux blends. It ripens much later than the other varieties in Bordeaux, often too late, so it fell out of favor in its home region. When you want a wine to be good, just add 2% Petit Verdot!


The Palatinate, historically also Rhenish Palatinate, is a region in southwestern Germany. It occupies roughly the southernmost quarter of the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, covering an area of 5,451 square kilometres with about 1.4 million inhabitants. Its residents are known as Palatines.


A measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution.


The phenolic compounds in wine, a large group of several hundred chemical compounds that affect the taste, color and mouthfeel of wine.


A fine-grained volcanic rock composed of alkali feldspars and nepheline.


The process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water. Photosynthesis in plants generally involves the green pigment chlorophyll and generates oxygen as a byproduct.


A compact cryptocrystalline siliceous rock, usually containing some graphite and argillaceous material (clay).


A pest originally native to North America. These almost microscopic, pale yellow sap-sucking insects feed on the roots and leaves of grapevines. In the late 19th century the phylloxera epidemic destroyed most of the vineyards for wine grapes in Europe, most notably in France.


Sanitary with regard to pests and pathogens.


A city and commune in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy, the capital of the eponymous province. The etymology is long-standing, tracing an origin from the Latin verb placēre, "to please." In French, and occasionally in English, it is called Plaisance.

“Piana Rotaliana”

An alluvial plain between the Adige river and the Noce torrent, located in the north of Trentino on the border with Alto Adige.


A historical region of northern France, stretching north from the suburbs of Paris and vineyards of Champagne to the beaches of the Bay of Somme on the English Channel.


Originally known as Pichilemo, a beach resort city and commune in central Chile, and capital of the Cardenal Caro Province in the O'Higgins Region. The commune comprises an urban centre and twenty-two villages, such as Ciruelos, Cáhuil, and Espinillo.

“Pied de Cuve”

Done 1-2 weeks before harvest, a small quantity of grapes are crushed and then set in a stainless steel tank with the skins to start fermentation. Once the rest of the fruit has been harvested, a small amount of this juice is added to jump start fermentation.


A red Italian grape variety that is planted primarily in the Campania region. The grape is considered a specialty of the region. Its name "piedirosso" means "red feet" and reflects the bottom of the grape’s vine, which is red, similar to the feet of a pigeon.


A region of Italy bordering France and Switzerland, sitting at the foot of the Alps. It’s known for sophisticated cuisine and wines such as Barolo.


Someone from the region of Piemonte in Northern Italy.


The process of breaking up the thick layer of skins, stems and seeds that forms at the surface of fermenting red wine and submerging it during fermentation to extract color, tannins, flavor and aromas from the grape solids.


A comune in the Province of Frosinone in the Italian region of Lazio, located about 50 kilometres east of Rome.


A red Italian grape variety that is grown in Sicily.


An ancient white grape variety grown in the hills of Emilia-Romagna, often used to produce sparkling wine.


A red Italian wine grape grown predominantly in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northeast Italy. Believed to have been cultivated in the hills of Rosazzo, the grape is now a prominent variety in the Colli Orientali del Friuli Denominazione di origine controllata

“Pineau d'Aunis”

A nearly instinct red French grape variety that is grown primarily in the Loire Valley around Anjou and Touraine. Very few producers make red wines from it, but those that do love it for its light body and unmistakable white pepper aromas.


A hilly portuguese town, located in the Douro Valley. It's where João Roseira lives!

“Pinot Blanc”

A white grape that is genetic a mutation of Pinot noir. It is grown in Alsace, Germany, Luxembourg, Italy, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia to produce full bodied white wines which can be either sweet or dry.

“Pinot Fin”

An ancient clone of Pinot Noir that is very rarely found anymore in Burgundy. It has small berries.

“Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio”

A white grape variety. The wines produced from this grape also vary in color from a deep golden yellow to copper and even a light shade of pink, making it is one of the more popular grapes for skin-contact wine.

“Pinot Meunier”

Pinot Meunier, also known as Meunier or Schwarzriesling, is a variety of black wine grape most noted for being one of the three main varieties used in the production of Champagne.

“Pinot Noir”

A red wine grape variety. Pinot noir grapes are grown around the world, mostly in the cooler climates, and the grape is chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France. Pinot Noir is the primary varietal used in sparkling wine production in Champagne and other wine regions.


A pipa or 'pipe' in English is the traditional 550-liter wooden cask used for aging, as well as measuring quantities of Port.


A simple “peasant wine” from Chile usually served with meats and typical dishes of the traditional Chilean home. While many now use the term pejoratively, a small wave of producers have reclaimed the name as an affordable wine of pleasure and sharing.

“Piqûre Acétique”

A degradation of ethanol to acetic acid and ethyl acetate by acetic bacteria. In particular, it has the effect of increasing the volatile acidity and causing an acetic fermentation and the creation of vinegar.

“Piqûre Lactique”

During an incomplete alcoholic fermentation or stuck fermentation, lactic acid bacteria can degrade sugars (glucose, fructose, arabinose, xylose). This results in an increase in volatile acidity with appearance of lactic characters (yogurt, fermented milk.)


A plateau is an area of highland, usually consisting of relatively flat terrain that is raised significantly above the surrounding area, often with one or more sides with steep slopes.


In real estate, a plot is a tract or parcel of land owned or meant to be owned by some owner.


The primary purpose of plowing is to turn over the upper layer of the soil, bringing fresh nutrients to the surface while burying weeds and the remains of previous crops and allowing them to break down.

“Pneumatic Press”

A machine used to press grapes to extract their juices. In the middle of the press is a rubber bladder filled with either water or air. As it expands from the center of the press, the grape skins are pushed up against the outer ring.

“Pollino National Park”

A national park in southern Italy that straddles the regions of Basilicata and Calabria. It is Italy's largest national park, covering 1,925.65 square kilometers.


The simultaneous cultivation or exploitation of several crops or kinds of animals.


Also known as marc, the solid remains of grapes, olives, or other fruit after pressing for juice or oil. It contains the skins, pulp, seeds, and stems of the fruit. Grape pomace has traditionally been used to produce brandy. Today, it is mostly used as fodder, as fertilizer, or to extract bioactive compounds like polyphenols from it.


A French wine-growing commune and Appellation d'origine contrôlée within the Libournais in Bordeaux. The wine produced here is predominantly from Merlot with Cabernet Franc playing a supporting role.


Wine produced in the commune of Pommard in Burgundy. The Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) Pommard is only used for red wine with Pinot Noir.

“Ponte de Lima”

Located in the Minho region and the oldest chartered town in Portugal. It is named after the long medieval bridge that passes over the Lima river that runs next to the town.


A textural term for an igneous rock consisting of large-grained crystals such as feldspar or quartz dispersed in a fine-grained silica. The larger crystals are called phenocrysts.

“Port Wine”

Port wine (also known as vinho do Porto, Porto, and usually simply port) is a Portuguese fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. It is typically a sweet, red wine, though it also comes in dry, semi-dry, and white varieties.


A commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France. A typical Mediterranean fishing port, situated near the Spanish border on the Côte Vermeille in south west France, Port-Vendres is renowned for its numerous fish and seafood restaurants.


A municipality and district in central, eastern Portugal. Portalegre was founded in the reign of Afonso III in 1259. It was to be given to his son Afonso of Portugal, Lord of Portalegre.

“portes ouvertes”

Translating literally to "open doors", a tradition where one artisan hosts others at their place and opens it to the public or professionals.


A Chilean town and commune located in the Ñuble Province, Biobío Region.


A Late Jurassic sequence of rock strata. The name is derived from the Isle of Portland in Dorset, where the strata are exposed and have been extensively worked. Rocks of this age have in the past been called the Portlandian stage by geologists, which corresponds with the late Tithonian stage of the internationally used geological timescale.


A coastal city in northwest Portugal known for its stately bridges and port wine production.


A wine whose original terroir, whether intentional or not, is inconsequential to the final result.


A commune in the Loir-et-Cher department of central France.


An appellation for white wine in the Mâconnais subregion of Burgundy. Only Chardonnay is allowed to be grown in Pouilly-Fuissé.


A red French grape variety from the Jura. While technically a dark-skinned noir grape, the skins of Poulsard are quite thin, producing very pale colored red wines, even with extended maceration.


The German wine classification system was first implemented by the German Wine Law of 1971. The quality is dependant not on yields but on the ripeness, or must weight of the grapes.

“Pradikat System”

Literally translates to “predicate.” Prädikat wines are “predicated” on a certain level of natural ripeness. But this does not necessarily refer to the amount of sweetness in the finished wine. How dry the wine ferments is up to the winemaker. It’s really complicated, go look it up.

“Premier Cru”

A French wine term corresponding to "First Growth", and which can be used to refer to classified vineyards, wineries and wines, with different meanings in different wine regions. Essentially it means a wine is the best of the best. Whether you agree is another matter.

“Press Juice”

The juice extracted from the pressing of the grapes themselves. This distinguishes itself from free-run juice, the juice that has been extracted through the process of crushing, the natural break down of the grape cell walls during maceration and fermentation and by the own weight of the grape berries as they are loaded on top of each other in a press.


Pressing in winemaking is the process where juice is extracted from grapes. This can be done with the aid of a wine press, by hand, or even by the weight of the grape berries and clusters.


A black-skinned grape traditionally grown in Puglia (the “heel” of Italy) where it was introduced in the 18th century. The grape found its way to the United States in the mid-19th century, where it is known as Zinfandel.


A Trebbiano clone grown in the Umbria region of Italy.


An Italian white wine. Prosecco DOC can be spumante ("sparkling wine"), frizzante ("semi-sparkling wine"), or tranquillo ("still wine"). It is made primarily from Glera grapes, formerly known as Prosecco, but other grape varieties may be included.


A geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône River to the west to the Italian border to the east, and is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the south.The largest city of the region is Marseille.

“Prugnolo Gentile”

One of many synonyms of Sangiovese, this one being the local name used in the town of Montepulciano.


Prunelard Noir is an ancient and rare black-berried grape variety thought to have originated in Gaillac, southern France. The arrival of phylloxera in the late 19th Century virtually wiped out all Prunelard Noir plantings, which once covered much of the Tarn department.


To trim (a tree, shrub, vine) by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to increase fruitfulness and growth. Pruning helps to control yields, which in turn helps to produce better quality grapes with higher concentration.


A region in Southern Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea to the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Òtranto and Gulf of Taranto to the south. Its southernmost portion, known as the Salento peninsula, forms a "tacco" or heel on the boot of Italy.


Puligny-Montrachet is a commune in the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France. In the middle of the Côte de Beaune, it is a well-known appellation of Burgundy wine, containing one of the most famous vineyards in the world, Montrachet.


A type of volcanic rock, produced when lava with a very high content of water and gases is discharged from a volcano.


A municipality belonging to a Verbandsgemeinde, a kind of collective municipality – in the Cochem-Zell district in Rhineland-Palatinate of Germany. This is where Clemens Busch lives!

“Pündericher Marienburg”

A 25 hectare vineyard that spans and entire hillside facing the village of Pünderich. Exposed full South/Southwest and right on the edge of the river, it is widely considered amongst the very best sites in the Mosel.


Pupillin is a commune in the Jura department in Franche-Comté in eastern France. It's where Pierre Overnoy and the Houillon family live!


A large lava dome and one of the youngest volcanoes in the Chaîne des Puys region of Massif Central in central France.

“Pyrenees Mountains”

Mountains that separate the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of Europe, stretching more than 430km between Spain and France and rising higher than 3,400m in elevation.


A german wine classification, Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete (QbA), or quality wine from a specific region. It is usually a basic level of everyday, mostly inexpensive quaffing wines.


A classy way of saying "easy to drink."


Common material found in most vineyard soils - especially sand and silt based soils. The high PH of quartz can reduce the acidity of a wine and its heat retaining property can increase ripening of the grapes, resulting in wine of higher alcohol content.


Planted throughout the Douro Superior, this is one of the Douro's best white grapes, contributing bright, refreshing acidity to white blends. When (rarely) it is vinified as a single variety, its aroma is reminiscent of acacia and orange blossom, with vegetal notes and a strongly mineral character, full body and good acid structure. The bunches are medium-sized, the grapes small and greeny-yellow in color.

“Rabo de Ovelha ”

Rabo de Ovelha is white Portuguese wine grape variety that is grown all over Portugal. It should not be confused with the red Rabo de Anho grape variety that is found in the Vinho Verde region. It is an authorized grape variety in the Bairrada, Borba, Bucelas, Redondo, Reguengos, Setúbal and Vidigueira Denominação de Origem Controlada.


The process of siphoning wine off the lees into a new, clean vessel.


Rancio wine is defined as dry because all of its sugars have been fermented into alcohol. "Rancio" refers to the wine's aging in partially filled barrels, an environment that favors oxidation. In order to cultivate pleasing flavors in these surroundings, it is essential that the wine have a high alcohol content.


A town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Catania in Sicily. It is situated at the northern foot of Mount Etna, 70 kilometres northwest of Catania.


Rasteau is an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée for wine in the southern Rhône wine region of France, covering both fortified and unfortified wines.


Recioto refers to a dessert wine made from grapes that were dried on mats after picking. This process turns the grapes closer to raisins, concentrating the flavors.

“Récoltant Manipulant”

The French term for "Grower Champagne": champagnes that are produced by the same estate that owns the vineyards where the grapes are grown.


When a wine is “reduced”, it doesn't have enough oxygen to polymerize (that is, to have its molecules combine), resulting in skunky, stinky, sulfurous smells. Certain wines, like Syrah, are more susceptible to reduction.


A very old family of Italian dark-skinned grape varieties native to the Venetian zone and neighbouring areas of Friuli, Gavi, Trentino, Istria, and Karst Plateau. It is considered autochthonous in these regions.

“Reggio Emilia ”

Reggio Emilia is an Italian city in Emilia-Romagna. It has about 171,400 inhabitants and is the main comune (municipality) of the Province of Reggio Emilia. It’s where Parmesan comes from!


An Cru appellation for red wines in northern Beaujolais. While the communes of Regnie-Durette and Lantignie were once only a part of the more-generic Beaujolais Villages appellation, years of lobbying by the region's growers saw the area confirmed in 1988 as the tenth Beaujolais cru.

“Remontage/Pumping Over”

The process of pumping red wine up from the bottom of the tank and splashing it over the top of the fermenting must; the purpose is to submerge the skins so that carbon dioxide is pushed to the surface of the must and released.


Towards the end of their long resting period, bottles must be moved and rotated to loosen the sediment (a mixture of dead yeasts) thrown off by secondary fermentation. This process causes the sediment to collect in the neck of the bottle in preparation for disgorgement: the ejecting of the sediment under pressure that then leaves the wine clear.

“Renaissance des Appellations”

An organization founded by French vigneron Nicolas Joly focused on promoting organic and biodynamic work of small, independent farmers dedicated to promoting this work within their respective regions. Other important collaborators include the late Stefano Belloti, Mark Angeli and Giuseppe Ferrua.


A French city in the east of Brittany at the confluence of the Ille and Vilaine. Rennes is the capital of the region of Brittany, as well as the Ille-et-Vilaine department.


Implies the wine is of higher quality because it’s been aged longer (whether that’s actually true or not is up for debate.) Traditionally winemakers would "reserve" some of their best wine rather than sell it immediately, coining the term.

“Reserve Wine”

Wine that is intentionally held back in the cellar to blend with more current vintages.

“Residual Sugar”

The sugar that remains in a wine after fermentation completes. Often this determines how sweet a wine is.


"A reunion" in French.

“Reverse Osmosis”

A purification process that uses a partially permeable membrane to remove ions, unwanted molecules and larger particles from liquid. In reverse osmosis, an applied pressure is used to overcome osmotic pressure.


The region of soil in the vicinity of plant roots in which the chemistry and microbiology is influenced by their growth, respiration, and nutrient exchange.

“Rhône Region”

The Rhône wine region in Southern France is situated in the Rhône valley and produces numerous wines under various Appellation d'origine contrôlée designations.

“Rhône River”

The Rhône is one of the major rivers of Europe and has twice the average discharge of the Loire (which is the longest French river.)


Rhyolite is an igneous, volcanic rock, of felsic composition. It may have any texture from glassy to aphanitic to porphyritic. The mineral assemblage is usually quartz, sanidine and plagioclase.

“Ribolla Gialla”

A white Italian grape grown most prominently in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northeast Italy. The grape is also found in Slovenia where it is known as Rebula.


A white grape variety originating in the Rhine region of Germany. It produces dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and sparkling white wines. Riesling is a variety which is highly "terroir-expressive", meaning that the character of Riesling wines is greatly influenced by the wine's place of origin.


A commune town in the Puy-de-Dôme department in Auvergne in central France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.


A process originating from the Veneto region of Italy where the skins of a new vintage are soaked into the last year's wine. This adds complexity and tannic structure to the wine.


The Italian agricultural practice of growing crops on sloping land in order to regulate the flow of water while reducing the risk of erosion and landslides. It is used in many hilly regions in Italy.


A commune in the Province of Piacenza in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, located about 150 km northwest of Bologna and about 20 km southwest of Piacenza.


A commune in the Pyrénées-Orientales department in southern France.


A commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.

“Robert Parker”

A retired U.S wine critic. His wine ratings on a 100-point scale in “The Wine Advocate”, with his particular stylistic preferences and note taking vocabulary, have become internationally influential in wine buying and even winemaking practices to fit the “Parkerized” palate.


La Roche-Noire is a commune in the Puy-de-Dôme department in Auvergne in central France.


Trimming of vines.


Romorantin is a traditional French variety of white grape, a sibling of Chardonnay. Once quite widely grown in the Loire, it is now only grown in the Cour-Cheverny AOC. Less than a 100 hectares are currently planted.


An Italian grape variety. Almost all of the total global growing area of 2,481 hectares (6,130 acres) is in the Veneto region of northern Italy,and the grapes are used in wines from the Valpolicella and Bardolino wine regions.


A healthy root or part of a root used as a basis in grafting hybrid plants. A hybrid grape plant is made up of a graft between the rootstock plant and the budwood plant, also known as the scion.


A commune in the Hérault department in the Occitanie region in southern France. If you’re there, go eat at La Cave Saint Martin!


An ancient white grape grown in such minute quantities that today, only one producer in Italy's Lazio region grows the variety, for use in Lazio IGT wines. No DOC exists for Roscetto when made in purezza (pure), so these wines are released under the generic Lazio IGT designation.

“Rosé des Riceys”

A French AOC in the three villages of Les Riceys, a commune in the Aube department of Champagne that exclusively produces rosé from the Pinot Noir grape. The wines are quite rare, with only 17 producers currently making them (making Champagne much more profitable).


“Pinked”: A wine that incorporates some of the color from the grape skins, but not enough to qualify it as a red wine. The color can vary but is usually a shade of pink, hence the name.

“Rossese di Dolceacqua”

An indigenous red grape from Liguria in northwestern Italy. Rossese di Dolceacqua wines must be at least 90-percent Rossese to be labeled as such, and the remaining 10 percent may be made up with various other red varieties sanctioned for use in the Imperia province.


"Red" in Italian.

“Rosso di Montalcino”

A DOC established in 1984 as a means of giving Brunello di Montalcino producers the flexibility to continue the tradition of long aging of the region's flagship wine. Rosso di Montalcino is made from 100% Sangiovese grown in the same delineated region as Brunello di Montalcino. However, the wine is required to spend only six months aging in oak and 1 year total aging before release.

“Rosso di Montepulciano”

A DOC for red wines based on the Sangiovese grape located in Tuscany, central Italy. It is the junior appellation associated with the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG.


A systemic chemical herbicide. It is used to kill weeds, especially annual broadleaf weeds and grasses that compete with crops. It was discovered to be an herbicide by Monsanto chemist John E. Franz in 1970 and brought to market in 1974 under the trade name Roundup.


A white Portuguese wine grape planted primarily in the Alentejo and Douro regions. In Alentejo, the grape is known as Alva. In the Douro, it is known as Codega.


A white grape grown originally in the Rhône wine region in France, where it is often blended with Marsanne.

“Roussette de Savoie”

An AOC for white wine in the Savoie region of France. The AOC covers much of the Western part of the Savoie AOC for wines made at least in part from the regional grape variety known as Altesse, also called Roussette.


One of the historical counties of the former Principality of Catalonia, corresponding roughly to the present-day southern French département of Pyrénées-Orientales (Eastern Pyrenees). It may also refer to Northern Catalonia or French Catalonia.


Rovello Bianco or Greco Muscio is a white Italian wine grape variety that is grown in the Campania region of southern Italy. While the grape has been described in wine literature since 1875, the variety was on the verge of extinction until a collaboration by the University of Naples Federico II and University of Palermo along with a local wine grower in Taurasi help revive the variety with new plantings in 2003.

“Ruby Port”

The least expensive and most extensively produced type of port. After fermentation, it is stored in tanks of concrete or stainless steel to prevent oxidative aging and preserve its bright red color and full-bodied fruitiness. The idea is to treat this more like a wine.


A red Italian grape variety from the Piedmont region. It is largely used in making Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato, a small production red varietal wine.

“Rudolph Steiner”

An Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect and esotericist. He is the inventor of biodynamic agriculture.


A red Spanish/Portuguese wine grape variety that is grown primarily used in port wine production in the Douro region of Portugal.


Wine produced in the communes of Rully and Chagny in the Côte Chalonnaise subregion of Burgundy. Red and white wines are produced, with whites representing 2/3rds of global production. There are 23 Premier Cru vineyards within Rully AOC, but no Grand Cru vineyards. The AOC was created in 1939.


A “rustic” wine is one that can be described as hearty, earthy or rough-edged. The opposite of a rustic wine would be one that’s refined, elegant or smooth. “Rustic” is also a good way to describe tannins that have a chewy or coarse texture.


Saarland is a forested, southwestern German state bordered by France and Luxembourg. Named after the Saar River, a tributary of the Moselle, Saarland is considered part of the greater Moselle wine region.


A state of Germany in the west of the country. With an area of 2,570 km² and population of 995,600 in 2015, it is the smallest German state in both area and population apart from the city-states of Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg. Saarbrücken is the state capital and largest city; other cities include Neunkirchen and Saarlouis.


A white grape grown primarily in the central and northeastern France within the Yonne and Allier départments. Sacy ripens early, and produces light-coloured wines low in acid and alcohol.


An Italian red grape variety that is indigenous to the region of Umbria in Central Italy. It is grown primarily in the village of Montefalco and the surrounding area, with a recent rapid increase in planting area from 351 hectares (870 acres) in 2000 to 994 hectares (2,460 acres) by 2010 dedicated to the grape, in the hands of about 50 producers.


A French term meaning literally "to bleed," saignée refers to the process of bleeding or pulling juice from a tank of red must that is just beginning fermentation. The lightly-colored juice that is bled out of the tank produces a rosé.


A commune in the Loir-et-Cher department of central France.


The most northerly of the ten Beaujolais cru areas, located just to the south of the Mâconnais appellations of Pouilly-Fuissé and Saint-Veran. Saint-Amour wines are among the lightest of the Beaujolais crus, often displaying spiced berry and stone-fruit characters with a marked minerality. 25% of the cru's sales occur in February in relation to Valentine's Day.


Saint-Aubin wine is produced in the commune of Saint-Aubin in Côte de Beaune of Burgundy.


An AOC for white wine in the Burgundy wine region of France close to Chablis. The approximately 100 hectares of vineyards in the appellation are planted exclusively in Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris, making it a true anomaly in Burgundy.


A commune in the Hérault department in the Languedoc. Saint-Chinian AOC wine is usually a blend of several grape varieties, and produced in red, rosé, and white versions. Mourvèdre and Grenache represent approximately 70% of the grapes grown on the land.


A town and comune in the Aosta Valley of Italy.


Saint-Gengoux-de-Scissé is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in the region of Bourgogne in eastern France. A 16th century farmhouse here is the French Louis/Dressner homebase!


A commune in the Puy-de-Dôme department in Auvergne in central France. It's where Jean Maupertuis lives!


A French AOC in the northern Rhône wine region of France. While St.-Joseph is primarily a red wine region based on the Syrah grape, there may be up to 10% Marsanne and Roussanne in the blend.


A commune in the Ardèche department in southern France.


A former commune in the Maine-et-Loire department in western France. On 31 December 2015, it was merged into the new commune Val-du-Layon. It’s where the Mosse used to live!


A former commune in the Indre-et-Loire department in central France. On 1 January 2017, it was merged into the new commune Coteaux-sur-Loire.


A French AOC for white wine in the northern Rhône wine region of France. Located in the southernmost part of Northern Rhône, the appellation is very small and not widely known. The production is mainly sparkling wine, though still wine is also made.


Saint-Pourçain is an Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) for wine located around Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule in the Auvergne region of France. It can alternatively be considered as an upstream satellite of the Loire wine region or as a tiny wine region in its own right.

“Saint-Romain Rasteau”

Saint-Romain-en-Viennois is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.


Saint-Satur is a commune in the Cher department in central France. It is a medieval town near the Loire River in the former province of Berry.


Saint-Thierry is a commune in the Marne department in north-eastern France.


An AOC for white Burgundy wine from the Mâconnais subregion. The geographical area of this appellation extends over 8 communes and is divided into two small islands separated from each other by the Pouilly-Fuissé appellation. Chardonnay is the only grape allowed in the appellation.


A commune in the Lot department in south-western France.


A geographic region at the southern end of Puglia in Southern Italy. It is a sub-peninsula of the Italian Peninsula, sometimes described as the "heel" of the Italian "boot".

“Salice Salento”

A red Italian wine produced primarily from the Negroamaro grape in the provinces of Brindisi and Lecce. The wine received DOC status in 1976.

“Salon des Vins de la Loire”

The annual Loire Valley wine trade fair. While the "salon" has lost much of its influence and we no longer attend, it was a very important place for us to meet new growers and stay in touch with current ones for a very long time. It's also where the "off" salons such as the Dive Bouteille began to flourish and prosper.

“San Giorgio”

Porto San Giorgio is a commune in the Province of Fermo, in the Marche region of Italy. It has approximately 16,500 inhabitants and it is located on the coast of the Adriatic Sea.

“San Leone”

A suburb of modern Agrigento in Sicily's (Italy) southern coast.

“San Marco Argentano”

A town and commune in the province of Cosenza in Calabria.

“San Remo”

A city on the Mediterranean coast of western Liguria in north-western Italy.


A French AOC for wine produced in the eastern part of the Loire valley Almost all of the appellation lies on the left bank of the Loire, opposite Pouilly-Fumé. It is well regarded for and primarily associated with Sauvignon blanc, though Pinot Noir is also grown.


Warm, airy soil that is composed of tiny particles of weathered rocks. One of the few soils that the phylloxera louse does not thrive in, the soil drains well but does not have good water retention.


Sandstone is a clastic sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized mineral particles or rock fragments. Most sandstone is composed of quartz or feldspar because they are the most resistant minerals to weathering processes at the Earth's surface.


A red Italian grape variety that derives its name from the Latin sanguis Jovis, "the blood of Jupiter". It is the most planted grape of central Italy from Romagna down to Lazio, but is most recognized for the numerous Tuscan appellations producing it.

“Sans Souffre”

Wines made without the addition of S02, a common preservative used in the overwhelming majority of wine production. Adherents to this philosophy feel that omitting S02 offers lets the wine be "alive", "pure" or "naked". But it is inherently risky and can lead to a myriad of flaws if done unsuccessfully.

“Santa Juana”

A city and commune of the Concepción Province in the Bío Bío Region of Chile. It lies south and west of the Biobío River in the valley of Catirai and is 48 kilometers from Concepcion, Chile.


A Portuguese red grape grown primarily in the Douro and used in Port blends.


A commune in the Côte-d'Or department lying at the southern end of the Côte de Beaune, it is an appellation of Burgundy wine. The production consists of almost 85% red wine, and a little over 15% of white wine. There are no Grand Cru vineyards within the Santenay AOC.


Santenots is a Premier Cru climat that falls under the Volnay appellation in the Cote de Beaune.


The capital and largest city of Chile as well as one of the largest cities in the Americas. It is the center of Chile's largest and the most densely populated conurbation. The city is entirely located in the country's central valley.

“Saône River”

A river of eastern France. It is a right tributary of the Rhône, rising at Vioménil in the Vosges department and joining the Rhône in Lyon, just south of the Presqu'île.


Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily and before Cyprus) and an autonomous region of Italy. It is located in the Western Mediterranean, to the immediate south of the French island of Corsica.

“Sarthe River”

The Sarthe is a 313.9 km (195.0 mi) long river in western France. Together with the river Mayenne it forms the river Maine, which is a tributary to the river Loire.


A commune in the Maine-et-Loire department in western France. The historic town is located between the Loire and Thouet rivers, and is surrounded by the vineyards of Saumur itself. It is also the name of a large appellation producing principally red wine from Cabernet Franc along with a small amount of white from Chenin Blanc.


A red wine appellation of Saumur in the central Loire Valley wine region of France. Cabernet Franc is the main production here, producing lighter, quaffable reds.


A French sweet wine from the Graves section in Bordeaux. Sauternes is made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle grapes that have been affected by Botrytis cinerea, also known as noble rot.

“Sauvignon Blanc”

A green-skinned grape variety that originates from the Bordeaux region of France. It most likely gets its name from the words sauvage ("wild") and blanc ("white"). Sauvignon is one of the most widely planted grapes in the world.

“Sauvignon Gris”

A pink wine grape that is a clonal mutation of Sauvignon Blanc. The grape is primarily found in Bordeaux and Chile, where it was imported with Sauvignon blanc and Sauvignon Vert cuttings. The grape produces less aromatic wines and is often used for blending.

“Sauvignon Rose”

A local term in the Cheverny and Touraine for a particular strain of Sauvignon with rosy skins.


A variety of white grape with green-skinned berries. It is mostly grown in the Jura region of France, where it is made into dry wine or the famous vin jaune and vin de paille.


A commune in the Maine-et-Loire. It lies near the Loire River 15 km south west of Angers and is best known for its production of highly rated white wine made from Chenin Blanc.


A commune in the Indre-et-Loire department in central France.


The Burgundian AOC Savigny-lès-Beaune may be used for red and white wine with respectively Pinot noir and Chardonnay as the main grape variety. The production consists of slightly over 85 percent red wine, and slightly less than 15 per cent white wine.


A French department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of the French Alps. Think of fondue!

“Savoir Faire”

French for "know how": the capacity for appropriate action.


A white grape variety. It is primarily grown in Germany and Austria, where it often is called Sämling 88 (English: Seedling 88), and some parts of the New World. Scheurebe wines are highly aromatic and are used for sweet and an increasing number of dry wines.


A red German/Italian grape variety that was likely first originally cultivated in the wine regions of South Tyrol and Trentino, but today is almost exclusively cultivated on steep, sunny locations in the Württemberg wine region of Baden-Württemberg.


Laminated, crystalline rock based soil that retains heat well and is rich in magnesium and potassium but is poor in organic nutrients and nitrogens.


A type of alcoholic beverage that may take several forms, including distilled fruit brandies, herbal liqueurs, infusions, and "flavored liqueurs" made by adding fruit syrups, spices, or artificial flavorings to neutral grain spirits.


A person who is slick and obvious in the purely commercial pursuit of their salesmanship or expectations as a customer.

“Seara Nova”

A Portuguese white grape that is a cross between Diagalves and Fernão Pires. It was crossed in Portugal in 1951 by Leão Ferreira. In 2010, 681 hectares were recorded.


“Dry” in French.

“Second Growth”

Can mean the second tier of wine in the Bordeaux classification hierarchy, after First growth (aka premier cru or 1er cru) but in the case of this website, refers to grape bunches that have grown after the harvest season and are not used in winemaking.

“Secondary Fermentation”

A process which entails a second period of fermentation in a different vessel than the one used to start the fermentation process. In sparkling wine production, the secondary fermentation often takes place in the bottle that the wine will be sold in.


The solid material that settles to the bottom of any wine container, such as a bottle, vat, tank, cask, or barrel. Sediment is a highly heterogeneous mixture of dead yeast cells, the insoluble fragments of grape pulp and skin,and the seeds that settle out of new wine.

“Sedimentary Rock”

Rock that has formed through the deposition and solidification of sediment, especially sediment transported by water (rivers, lakes, and oceans), ice ( glaciers), and wind. Sedimentary rocks are often deposited in layers, and frequently contain fossils.


An appellation for red, white and rosé wines from the small parish of Séguret in the southern half of the Rhône valley in France. Séguret is one of about 20 villages (this figure changes every few years) that are permitted to add their names to the AOC Côtes du Rhône Villages appellation, having been identified as producing higher quality wines expressive of the regional style.

“Selection Massale”

French term for a vineyard management technique by which dead or under-performing vines are replaced with new vines grown from cuttings from well adapted older vines (whether from the same vineyard or another), maintaining both the vineyard's health and diversity.

“Semi-Carbonic Maceration”

Whole cluster grapes are put in a sealed vat. The free-run juice from the grapes crushed at the bottom starts fermenting, and the resulting CO2, now trapped in the vat, starts an intracellular carbonic maceration within the whole clusters.


A golden-skinned grape used to make dry and sweet white wines, mostly in France and Australia. Its thin skin and susceptibility to botrytis make it dominant in the sweet wine region Sauternes AOC and Barsac AOC in France.


A Portuguese strain of the white Palomino grape.


An ancient strain of Syrah.


A rock composed serpentine minerals, the name originating from the similarity of the texture of the rock to that of the skin of a snake. Minerals in this group are formed by serpentinization, a hydration and metamorphic transformation of ultramafic rock from the Earth's mantle.

“Serra Masio”

The village of Serra Masio belongs to the municipality of Canelli, in the province of Asti in Piemonte.

“Serralunga d'Alba”

A commune in the Province of Cuneo in the Italian region of Piedmont.

“Sesia River”

The Sesia is a river in Piedmont and a tributary to the Po.


A city and a municipality in western Portugal. It lies within the Lisbon metropolitan area. In the times of Al-Andalus, the city was known as Shaṭūbar. In the 19th century, the port was called Saint Ubes in English and Saint-Yves in French.

“Sèvre River”

The Sèvre Nantaise is a river in western France, a left-bank tributary to the Loire.


A commune in the Marne department and Grand Est region in north-eastern France.


A rare, indigenous red grape grown in the Emilia-Romagna province of northern Italy.


Fine grained sedimentary soil that can turn into slate when under pressure. The soil is moderately fertile and retains heat well.

“Share Cropper”

A tenant farmer who gives a part of each crop as rent.


Sharecropping is a form of agriculture in which a landowner allows a tenant to use the land in return for a share of the crops produced on their portion of land.


A fortified wine made from white grapes that are grown near the city of Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia, Spain. Sherry is produced in a variety of styles made primarily from the Palomino grape.


Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is an autonomous region of Italy, in Southern Italy along with surrounding minor islands, officially referred to as Regione Siciliana.


A commune in the Province of South Sardinia located about 50 kilometres northwest of Cagliari and about 11 kilometres north of Sanluri in the Marmilla historical sub-region.

“Sieve River”

A river in Italy. It is a tributary of the Arno River, into which it flows at Pontassieve after a course of 62 km. The Sieve rises in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, near the Futa Pass, at 930 m of elevation.


A flint and sand based soil type found primarily in the Loire Valley that is formed from a mixture of clay, limestone and silica. It’s what cavemen started fires with!


A hard, un-reactive, colorless compound that occurs as the mineral quartz and as a principal constituent of sandstone and other rocks.


Soil type consisting of fine grain deposits that offer good water retention but poor drainage. It is more fertile than sand.

“Simeto River”

The Simeto is a 113-kilometre long river in Sicily, southern Italy. It is the second longest river on the island after the Salso.

“Single Vineyard Bottling”

A wine made from grapes grown at one specific vineyard site with the goal of showing the terroir of that specific site.


A historic city on the island of Sicily, the capital of the Italian province of Syracuse.


A hot wind, often dusty or rainy, blowing from North Africa across the Mediterranean to southern Europe.


An extremely rare red grape from Piemonte. Only a hand full of hectares are still planted, particularly in the Asti province.


Slate is a fine-grained, foliated, homogeneous metamorphic rock derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash through low-grade regional metamorphism.

“Slavonian Oak”

Slavonia is a region in northeastern Croatia. The oak grown in Slavonia is known for compact fibers and a tight grain. Most distinctively, Slavonian barrels tend to be large and are said to impart more subtle flavors and softer tannins.

“Slow Food”

An organization founded in 1986 that promotes local food and traditional cooking. Promoted as an alternative to fast food, it strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds, and livestock characteristics of the local ecosystem.

“Slow Press”

A gentle, long and slow pressing of grapes, allowing for a higher quality juice that can be less bitter and astringent. It can be done by hand, by foot or by mechanical press.


A dry white Italian wine from the Veneto region in northeast Italy, principally around the city of Verona. Throughout the Soave production zone Garganega is the principal grape variety though Trebbiano di Soave and Chardonnay are permitted in varying percentages.


A town and commune in the province of Imperia, Liguria, Italy.


Solera is a process for aging liquids such as wine, beer, vinegar, and brandy, by fractional blending in such a way that the finished product is a mixture of ages, with the average age gradually increasing as the process continues over many years.


A region of north-central France extending over portions of the departments of Loiret, Loir-et-Cher and Cher. Its area is about 5,000 square kilometres.


A trained and knowledgeable wine professional, normally working in fine restaurants, who specializes in all aspects of wine service as well as wine and food pairing.


Sonoma is a historic city in northern California at the heart of the renowned Sonoma Valley winemaking region.


The literal act of sorting through grapes to make sure only healthy ones are making it back to the cellar.


“Under the veil”: As wine begins to evaporate, in contradiction to ordinary wine production, the barrels are not topped off to keep oxygen out. Instead a veil of yeast forms on the surface of the wine, protecting it and contributing to its characteristic, nutty, salty flavor.


Literally translates to "late harvest": a German wine term for a wine from fully ripe grapes, the lightest of the late harvest wines. The wines may be either sweet or dry.


Spergola is a little-known white wine variety used in the wines of the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy.


Spilite is a fine-grained igneous rock, resulting particularly from alteration of oceanic basalt.


Strong distilled liquor such as brandy, whiskey, gin, or rum.

“Spontaneous Fermentation”

Spontaneous or Natural fermentation is the fermentation that naturally occurs when the wild yeast and microorganisms that the grapes bring in with them from the vineyard are encouraged to propagate on their own without an addition of selected yeasts.


A “spoofy” wine is one deemed by totally subjective people such as ourselves to be over-worked, shaped and molded in an imposed, unharmonious style.


Common in fruit trees such as Prunus, spurs are short stems that bear flowers and fruits. The number of spurs on the plant is often directly related to the overall yield of the plant.


Wine can be stabilized through various methods including, pasteurization, cold stabilization and clarification. Stabilization’s goal is to avoid cloudiness, sedimentation and/or the formation of tartrate crystals, unwanted secondary referementations and trapped carbonic gas.

“Stainless Steel”

Stainless steel is used as a vessel for storing, fermenting, and aging wine. Stainless steel vessels are neutral so they impart no flavor or characteristics on a wine. They also are very efficient at controlling fermentation temperature, preventing oxidation, and are easy to clean.


A stave is a narrow length of wood with a slightly bevelled edge to form the sides of barrels, tanks and pipelines, originally handmade by coopers.


A town in the Western Cape province of South Africa, situated about 50 kilometres east of Cape Town, along the banks of the Eerste River at the foot of the Stellenbosch Mountain.


A rather broad term for pottery or other ceramics fired at a relatively high temperature. A modern technical definition is a vitreous or semi-vitreous ceramic made primarily from stoneware clay or non-refractory fire clay. Whether vitrified or not, it is nonporous; it may or may not be glazed.


A breed, stock, or variety of an animal or plant developed by breeding.


The capital city of the Grand Est region, formerly Alsace, in northeastern France. It's also the formal seat of the European Parliament and sits near the German border, with culture and architecture blending German and French influences.

“Straw Wine”

After a careful hand harvest, selected bunches of ripe grapes will be laid out on mats in full sun (originally the mats were made of straw.) This concentrates the juices and produces a rich dessert wine.


Structure refers to the relationship of different components in wine, such as acid, tannin, alcohol and glycerol.


The soil lying immediately under the surface soil. Often the subsoil contains different nutrients and minerals than the topsoil, and are what the roots of older vines feed off of.


An autonomous province in northern Italy, one of the two that make up the autonomous region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. Its capital is the city of Bolzano. Entirely located in the Alps, the province's landscape is dominated by mountains.


The term sulfites is an inclusive term for sulfur dioxide (SO2), a preservative that's widely used in winemaking (and most food industries) for its antioxidant and antibacterial properties. The vast majority winemakers use SO2 to preserve freshness and prevent oxidation. Powdered sulfur is also a common tool to combat fungal illness in the vines and is authorized in organic viticulture.

“Superficial Roots”

The roots of a plant growing closest to the surface.


A classification of Italian wine overseen by the Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC). Wines classified as Superiore are wines with at least 0.5 more alcohol by volume than similar unclassified wines, and they are produced using a smaller allowed quantity of grapes that yield a higher quality of sugar and concentrated flavors.

“Sur Lattes”

The storing of bottles stacked on their sides. This is the way that champagnes are stored during the second fermentation and aging in the bottle, before they are put into riddling racks to prepare them for disgorgement.


Wines aged sur lie (French for "on the lees") are kept in contact with the dead yeast cells and are not racked or otherwise filtered. This is mainly done for whites, to enrich them. It is a normal part of making red wine, and so is not noted.

“Surmelin River”

A French river that flows in the departments of Marne and Aisne . It is a tributary of the left bank of the Marne, therefore a sub-tributary of the Seine.


Besides being extremely fun to pronounce, Susumaniello is a rare variety of red grape from the 'heel' of Italy, Puglia.

“Sustainable Viticulture ”

Dubbed lutte raisonnée in French ("reasoned struggle") the loose definition of sustainable agriculture implies that the use of chemical entrants are not banished from the vines but used in a calculated versus systematic or formulaic manner. This could imply, for example not using herbicides unless it was an extremely rainy season.


In ecology and agriculture, sustainability is the property of biological systems to remain diverse and productive indefinitely. In more general terms, sustainability is the endurance of systems and processes.


Commonly called the spotted wing drosophila, a type of vinegar fly. Originally from southeast Asia, it’s is becoming a major pest in America and Europe, because it infests fruit early during the ripening stage, in contrast with other Drosophila species that infest only rotting fruit.


A variety of white wine grape grown primarily in Alsace and Germany, where its official name is Grüner Silvaner. While the Alsatian versions have primarily been considered simpler wines, it was recently (2006) included among the varieties that can be used to produce Alsace Grand Cru wine together with the four 'noble grapes' of Alsace, although only in one vineyard, Zotzenberg.


A dark-skinned grape variety grown throughout the world and used primarily to produce red wine. The style and flavor profile of wines made from Syrah is influenced by the climate where the grapes are grown: we tend to like them from the Northern Rhône.

“Systemic Product”

A type of pesticide or fungicide that is absorbed into its sap or bloodstream to make the entire organism toxic to pests.

“Table Wine”

Most EU countries have a national classification called table wine in the country's official language. These classifications generally represent the lowest level of classification in their country.


A commune in the Drôme department in southeastern France.


Tamarez is a grape variety that is the basis for a white Portuguese wine. It is associated with the Alentejo region, and is used to produce Borba, Redondo, and Moscatel de Setúbal wines, among others. It is often added to wines to increase the yield from other grapes.

“Tank Sample”

A sample of unfinished wine taken directly from the tank or barrel that could be in any stage of fermentation or aging.


A red wine grape, historically grown in South West France in the Madiran AOC. French Tannat is characterized by its firm, tannic structure with raspberry aromas and the ability to age well. They often have a deep dark color with high level of alcohol.


Tannins are naturally occurring compounds that exist inside grape skins, seeds and stems. When they soak in the grape juice just after they’ve been pressed, it gives the wine its characteristic dryness or astringency.


A coastal city in Puglia, Southern Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Taranto and it lies between the Mar Grande (Big Sea) and Mar Piccolo (Little Sea) bodies of water.

“Tartaric Acid”

A white crystalline organic acid that occurs naturally in many plants, most notably in grapes. Tartaric acid is, from a winemaking perspective, the most important in wine due to the prominent role it plays in maintaining the chemical stability, color and taste.


A comune in the Province of Treviso in the Italian region of the Veneto, located about 60 kilometres north of Venice and about 35 km north of Treviso.


A commune in the Province of Alessandria in the Italian region of Piedmont, located about 90 km southeast of Turin and about 25 kn southeast of Alessandria.

“Tasting Note”

A tasting note refers to a wine taster's written testimony about the aroma, taste identification, acidity, structure, texture, and balance of a wine.


Tawny is a style of Port wine. They are usually made from red grapes that are aged in wooden barrels exposing them to gradual oxidation and evaporation. As a result of this oxidation, they mellow to a golden-brown color. The exposure to oxygen imparts "nutty" flavors to the wine.


A French language term meaning to dye or stain,applied to grapes whose flesh and juice is red in colour due to anthocyanin pigments accumulating within the pulp of the grape berry itself. Teinturier grapes are actually quite rare; most red grapes have clear pulp.

“Temperature Control”

Temperature control in the winery involves manipulating temperature to slow down or accelerate winemaking processes. Since wine is easily influenced by temperature, this technique is frequently employed for processes such as fermentation, cold settling, aging, and storage.


A red grape variety widely grown to make full-bodied red wines in its native Spain. Its name is the diminutive of the Spanish temprano, a reference to the fact that it ripens several weeks earlier than most Spanish red grapes. It goes by Aragonez and Tinta Roriz in Portugal.


The largest and most populated of the eight Canary Islands. It is also the most populated island of Spain, with a land area of 2,034.38 square kilometres and 917,841 inhabitants at the start of 2019, 43 percent of the total population of the Canary Islands.


A dark-skinned red grape variety typical to Slovenia, Croatia, and northeastern Italy. It is a member of the Refosco family of grape varieties, which also includes Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso.


This grape is so obscure that it yields no internet search results. As far as we know, Tre Dame is the only wine to use this grape.


A deeply colored red wine grape grown mostly in the Trentino region of northern Italy. This variety produces deeply pigmented red wines with an intensely fruity character, a style that has become something of an icon for Trentino's wine industry.

“Terra Rossa”

Italian for "red soil", it is a well-drained, reddish, clay soil typical of the Mediterranean region. The reddish color of terra rossa is the result of the preferential formation of hematite over goethite.


Making or forming sloping land (ie. a hill) into a number of level flat areas resembling a series of steps. Terraced vineyards allow farmers to more easily cultivate hilly land.

“Terrasses du Larzac ”

An Appellation d'origine contrôlée within the Côteaux du Languedoc in Southern France created in 2005 for red wines made from Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre grapes, with the acceptable additions of Cinsaut and Carignan, and grown in some of the highest vineyards of the Côteaux du Languedoc on the slopes of the Cevennes.


A national federation which groups together associations of winegrowers from several French regions whose objective it is to set up an integrated form of production which is mid-way between organic agriculture and conventional agriculture.

“Terre Siciliane”

The region-wide IGT title for the island of Sicily. The name Terre Siciliane translates literally as 'Sicilian lands'. In keeping with the stylistic freedom of the IGT category, Terre Siciliane IGT wines can be made in virtually any style: red, white or rosé, still or sparkling, dry or sweet. In 2017 rules were passed stipulating that all wines made from either the white grape variety Grillo or Nero d'Avola had to be classified as Sicilia DOC.


Terret is an ancient Vitis vinifera vine that mutated over the course of thousands of years into grape varieties of several colors. Originating in the Languedoc, the descendents of Terret now include the red wine variety Terret noir, the white Terret blanc and the light-skinned Terret gris.


A french term that denotes the unique characteristics that the geography, geology and climate of a place bestow to a wine.


Heating grapes up before pressing with the goal of extracting color, texture, and flavor while saving time and space compared to traditional methods. This method can leave the grapes, and the resulting wine tasting “cooked”.


Tillage is the agricultural preparation of soil by mechanical agitation of various types, such as digging, stirring, and overturning.


A white Italian wine grape variety grown primarily in the Piedmont wine region of northwest Italy.


A tinaja is a specific style of amphora made in Spain.

“Tinta Barroca”

A Portuguese red wine grape that is grown primarily in the Douro region with some plantings in South Africa. In Portugal, it is a common blending grape in Port wine while in South Africa it is normally made into a varietal.

“Tinta Miuda”

A Portuguese red grape that is grown primarily in the Oeste and Ribatejo regions.

“Tocai Friulano/Sauvignon Vert”

A white wine grape of the species vitis vinifera. It is widely planted in Chile where it was historically mistaken for Sauvignon blanc, but it’s most famous expression is undoubtedly in Friuli. There it is known and Friulano.


The name of the wines from the Tokaj wine region in Hungary or the adjoining Tokaj wine region in Slovakia. This region is noted for its sweet wines made from grapes affected by noble rot, a style of wine which has a long history in this region.


A French term for a craftsman who makes barrels.


The title given to white wines from the communes located 10 miles east of Chablis in northern Burgundy. Bourgogne Tonnerre wine is made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes.


Topsoil is the upper, outermost layer of soil, usually the top 2 to 8 inches. It has the highest concentration of organic matter and microorganisms and is where most of the Earth's biological soil activity occurs.


The first winemaking area in Umbria to obtain the DOC mark in 1968. In 1990, Vino Torgiano was also certified as DOCG. The town is a member of the Strada dei Vini del Cantico. Other well known products from Torgiano are olive oil, terracotta, lace and embroidery.


A city and an important business and cultural center in northern Italy. It is the capital of the Piedmont region, and was the first capital city of Italy from 1861 to 1865.


Also known as Moscatel Amarillo, this white grape is indigenous to Central and South America. It is a hybrid of Mission (originally reported as Criolla Chica) and Muscat of Alexandria.

“Torres Vedras”

A municipality and DOC in the Portuguese district of Lisbon, approximately 40 kilometres north of the capital.


A sub-zone of the Valle d'Aosta in the Alps of northwestern Italy. It covers the steep slopes of the Dora Baltea river valley between Arvier and the city of Aosta itself. Torrette DOC wines are produced predominantly from the Petit Rouge grape variety.

“Toscana IGT”

The most famous – and the most commonly used – of Italy's IGT titles. The geographical region it indicates is, in short, Tuscany. Toscana IGT wines can be made in any village in any of Tuscany's 10 provinces (Arezzo, Firenze, Grosseto, Livorno, Lucca, Massa Carrara, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato and Siena).


The capital of France’s southern Occitanie region.


A large sector of the Loire Valley. During the political reorganization of French territory in 1790, it was divided between the departments of Indre-et-Loire, Loir-et-Cher and Indre. Touraine is also the name of an AOC that falls within the Indre-et-Loire and Loir-et-Cher.

“Touriga Francesa ”

One of the major grape varieties used to produce port wine. Touriga Francesa is lighter and more perfumed than Touriga Nacional, adding finesse to the wine.

“Touriga Nacional”

A red grape native to Portugal. It is known for its small bunches, low yields and high quality. It is very common in Port blends but used in many dry table wines as well.


Tournon-sur-Rhône is located on the right bank of the Rhône River, in the Ardèche department , opposite Tain-l'Hermitage, in the Northern Rhône region of southern France.


A city located in the Loire Valley in France. It is the administrative center of the Indre-et-Loire department and the largest city in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France.

“Training System”

The use of vine training systems in viticulture is aimed primarily to assist in canopy management with finding the balance in enough foliage to facilitate photosynthesis without excessive shading that could impede grape ripening or promote grape diseases


A white Portuguese grape variety grown primarily in the Vinho Verde region of Portugal and the Galician regions of Ribeiro and Rías Baixas in Spain where the variety is known as Treixadura. The grape is primarily a blending variety that adds body and light lemony aromatics to wines. It is most commonly blended with Loureiro and Alvarinho in Rías Baixas while in Ribeiro it is often blended with Torrontés and Lado.


In 2000, prominent French ampelographer Pierre Galet revealed that White Traminer was in fact the same variety as Savagnin Blanc!


A classical name for a strong northern wind. The exact form of the name and precise direction varies from country to country. It is similar to the mistral in its causes and effects, but it follows a different corridor.


A city and commune on the west coast of Sicily in Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Trapani.

“Trebbia River”

A river predominantly of Liguria and Emilia Romagna in northern Italy. It is one of the four main right-bank tributaries of the river Po.

“Trebbiano Spoletino”

A Trebbiano strain grown only in Umbria, specifically in and around the town of Spoleto (which gained DOC status in 2011) and Montefalco.

“Trebbiano/Ugni Blanc”

A white-wine grape originally from Italy. The variety has spread northwards from the Italian peninsula into various parts of Europe, most notably France, where it has become the quintessential ingredient in both Cognac and Armagnac.


A grape vine training system that involves training the grape vines to grow on a structure of wires held above the ground by wooden stakes or poles.


An autonomous province of Italy, in the country's far north, on the border of Austria.


A river or stream flowing into a larger river or lake.


A southwestern German city in the Mosel wine region, near the Luxembourg border.


The capital city of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region in northeast Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of Italian territory lying between the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south and east of the city. It is also located near Croatia.


Tinta Amarela or Trincadeira is a red wine grape that is commonly used in Port wine production. The grape is noted for its dark coloring. Its use in the Douro region has been increasing in recent years. The vine is susceptible to rot and performs better in dry, hot climates


“Dry” in German.


Trockenbeerenauslese is the highest in sugar content in the Prädikatswein category of the Austrian and German wine classifications. Trockenbeerenauslese wines, often called "TBA" for short, are made from individually selected grapes affected by noble rot, i.e. "botrytized" grapes.

“Tronconic Vat”

A large vat in the shape of a truncated cone. The shape permits for a large top that can be left open or shut. These are usually made of wood but sometimes are made in concrete.

“Trophy Wine”

Rare wines sought out and collected by enthusiasts, often at an inflated price.


An old variety of red grape originating in eastern France. It is grown in small amounts in many parts of Western Europe. The most noted examples of the grapes come from the Jura, the largest plantations are today found in Portugal, where most famously it is used in port wine.


A local limestone of the Loire Valley of France. It is characterized as a chalky or sandy, fine-grained limestone, white to yellowish-cream in appearance, and micaceous (containing some white flakes of mica, or muscovite.)


Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by large numbers of individual particles that are generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to smoke in air.


A region in central Italy. Its capital, Florence, is home to some of the world’s most recognizable Renaissance art and architecture, including Michelangelo’s "David" statue, Botticelli’s works in the Uffizi Gallery and the Duomo basilica.


Typicity refers to the degree to which a wine reflects its varietal or place of origin and thus demonstrates the signature characteristics of the grape and/or region from which it was produced.

“Tyrrhenian Sea”

The Tyrrhenian Sea is part of the Mediterranean Sea off the western coast of Italy.


Umbria is a central Italian region bordering Tuscany, Lazio and Le Marche. Often called the country's green heart, it is the only Italian region having neither a coastline nor a border with other countries.

“Un Vin, etc...”

After making a wine in new oak, a French wine maker would say the barrel is "of one wine" (d'un vin) the following vintage and "of two wines" (de deux vins) the year after that. This designation will be made for the first five vintages or so of a wine before simply being referred to as old barrels.


The United States Department of Agriculture is the U.S. federal executive department responsible for developing and executing federal laws related to farming, agriculture, forestry, and food.

“Uva Rara”

A red Italian wine grape variety that is grown in the Piedmont and Lombardy wine regions of northern Italy.

“Vaccarèse/Brun Argenté”

A red grape that is grown primarily in the Rhône Valley in France. It is a permitted grape in the blend of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, where the name Vaccarèse is used.

“Vaison-la-Romaine ”

Vaison-la-Romaine is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.

“Val de Drôme”

Val de Drôme is a commune in the department of Calvados, northwestern France.


Valaire is a tiny commune of the Loir-et-Cher department in central France. It is home to L’Herbe Rouge, where we host our annual tastings in the days leading up to the Loire Valley winter fairs.


The Valais is a large canton in the south of Switzerland.


A town in the province of Treviso in the Veneto. Valdobbiadene is a wine growing area famous for Proscecco.

“Vallée De Cousse”

A valley of the Vouvray appellation.

“Vallée de la Marne”

A sub-region of the Champagne wine region. Its soils are more variable than in other Champagne subregions, and it contains only two Grands Crus villages. Pinot Noir is the main grape variety planted in the Marne.


A commune in the Loire-Atlantique department in western France. The town is located in the Muscadet region.


A viticultural zone of the province of Verona, Italy. The hilly agricultural and marble-quarrying region of small holdings north of the Adige is famous for wine production. Valpolicella ranks just after Chianti in total Italian Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) wine production.


A specific grape variety or species.


A large vessel used to hold liquids. This could refer to stainless steel, fiberglass or concrete.


A department in Southeastern France, located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. It is named after the famous spring, the Fontaine de Vaucluse; the name Vaucluse itself derives from the Latin Vallis Clausa as the valley ends in a cliff face from which emanates a spring whose origin is so far in and so deep that it remains to be defined.


The Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter (VDP) is a German organization which promotes the country’s top wines and estates. It unites 197 of Germany’s finest wineries under one banner; offering customers guarantees on quality and yield.


“Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure”. The VDQS category was eliminated altogether in 2011. Existing VDQS areas had until then to either qualify for full AOC status or to become Vin de pays.


A wine region in north-eastern Italy. Venice and Verona are the two most famous cities in the region.

“Venezia Giulia IGT”

One of several IGT titles used in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northeastern Italy. It covers a large area of land between the Italian Alps and the Adriatic Sea, catering to a wide range of wine styles made from both local and international grape varieties.


The capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region. It is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads, just canals lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces.


In viticulture, veraison is the onset of ripening. The term is originally French, but has been adopted into English use. The official definition of veraison is "change of color of the grape berries". Veraison represents the transition from berry growth to berry ripening, and many changes in berry development occur at veraison.

“Verbone Valley”

The Verbone is a short torrent of the Province of Imperia, in the Liguria region of Italy. The Val verbone is the region that surrounds it.


A near-extinct wine grape from the Tarn administrative department (home of Gaillac) in southern France. It was once commonly used in the area to make refreshing white wines with crisp acidity, but has not been in widespread use since the phylloxera epidemic of the 19th Century.


A white Italian grape variety that originated in Tuscany but is today mainly grown in the Lombardy wine region of northern Italy. Verdea can be used to make a wide variety of wines, ranging from the late harvested Vin Santo to dry sparkling wines.


A white wine grape grown throughout Portugal, though most associated with the island of Madeira, and also gives its name to one of the four main types of Madeira wine. At the turn of the 20th century it was the most widely planted white grape in Madeira.


A white Italian wine grape variety grown primarily in the Marche region of central Italy. The name Verdicchio derives from verde and refers to the slight green/yellow hue that wines made from the grape can have.

“Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi”

A DOC appellation in the Marche. The wines must be 85% Verdicchio and grown in the provinces of Macerata and Ancona.


A commune in the Cher department in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France.


An archaic Italian white grape variety, native to the northeastern Veneto region. Verdiso is traditionally used as a blending grape in prosecco.


A white Italian wine grape grown predominantly in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northeast Italy. It is also found in significant plantings in the Piave DOC of the Veneto region, though some of these plantings may be of the separate Verduzzo Trevigiano variety.

“Verduzzo Trevigiano”

A white Venetian grape variety that is grown in the Eastern Veneto wine area.


A light-skinned wine grape variety, primarily found in Italian wine. It is widely planted in Sardinia, in Liguria primarily under the name Pigato, to some extent in Corsica, in Piedmont under the name Favorita, and in increasing amounts in Southern France.


In France, a small hamlet in the Beaujolais where Georges and Kewin Descombes live. In the USA, where Ben & Jerry’s is from.


Vermouth is an aromatized, fortified wine flavored with various botanicals (roots, barks, flowers, seeds, herbs, and spices.)


A Tuscan white grape most commonly associated the DOCG wine Vernaccia di San Gimignano. While many other Vernaccias appear in one form or another throughout Italy, none are related to this indigenous strain.


A city in northern Italy’s Veneto region, with a medieval old town built between the meandering Adige River. It’s famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s "Romeo and Juliet."


An very rare red grape native to Romagna that used to soften Sangiovese blends.


A wine tasting where different vintages of the same wine from the same vineyard are tasted sequentially.


A red Italian grape variety that is planted in Piedmont around Gattinara and Ghemme. Ampelographers believe that the grape is most likely indigenous to this area of Piedmont and recent DNA profiling identified a parent-offspring relationship with Nebbiolo.


A hollow container used to hold liquid.


A city in northeastern Italy. Vicenza is approximately 60 km (37 mi) west of Venice and 200 km (120 mi) east of Milan.

“Vien de Nus”

A red Italian grape variety that is grown primarily in the Valle d'Aosta. It is particularly associated with the town of Nus where it is the primary grape in the Nus Rosso wine of the region. Outside of this region, the grape is rarely found elsewhere and is nearly extinct.

“Vienne River”

One of the most important rivers in south-western France. It is a significant left tributary of the lower Loire. It supports numerous hydro-electric dams, and it is the main river of the northern part of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. Two French departments are named after the Vienne: Haute-Vienne in the Limousin region and Vienne both in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.


A concept so baffling no word exists for it in English: a vigneron is both a vine-grower AND a winemaker at the SAME TIME.

“Vigneti delle Dolomiti”

An IGT of the Trentino-Alto Adige region in the far northern reaches of alpine Italy. Its geographical area also spills over into Veneto (specifically the Belluno province), but the vast majority of Vigneti delle Dolomiti wines are from Trentino-Alto Adige. The German-language form of the title is Weinberg Dolomiten.

“Vila Nova de Gaia”

A city and a municipality in Portugal. It is located south of the city of Porto on the other side of the Douro River. It is also well known for its cellars (locally known as "caves") where the world-famous port wine is stored and aged.


Villié-Morgon is a commune in the Rhône department in eastern France. It’s the main village at the center of the Morgon Cru in Beaujolais.

“Vin Clair”

Still wines that have finished alcoholic fermentation and will be blended, and rebottled for secondary fermentation, to create a sparkling wine. These tend to be picked at a lower ripeness in anticipation of the second fermentation.

“Vin de France”

Designation for table wine from France that has been in use since 2010, when it started to replace the former Vin de Table category. Vins de France may indicate grape variety and vintage on the label, but are not labeled by region or appellation.

“Vin de Pays”

A French term meaning "country wine." Vins de Pays are a step in the French wine classification that is above the table wine (Vin de table) classification, but below Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) and formerly below VDQS classifications.

“Vin de Savoie”

An AOC for red and white wines in the Savoie wine region of France is located in the foothills of the Alps. The wines are mostly white and made from Chasselas, Jacquère, Altesse (also known as Roussette), Verdesse, Chardonnay and Roussanne, although there are also reds made from Mondeuse, Gamay Pinot Noir as well as rosés and some sparkling wines.

“Vin de Soif”

“Wine of Thirst”: an easy drinking, thirst quenching wine, usually low in alcohol, juicy and high in acidity. See also “glou-glou”

“Vin Doux”

Vins doux naturels are lightly fortified wines typically made from white Muscat grapes or red Grenache grapes in the south of France.

“Vin Jaune”

French for "yellow wine". Produced exclusively in the Jura and made from the Savagnin grape, it acquires its characteristic yellow color and nutty flavors as it ages for the requisite time of six years and three months under a natural veil of yeasts. At release, 38% of the original wine has evaporated.

“Vin Santo”

“Holy wine"is a style of Italian dessert wine. The wines may also be described as straw wines since they are often produced by drying the freshly harvested grapes on straw mats in a warm and well ventilated area of the house.

“Vin Tendre”

“Tender Wine” or “soft wine” meant to be drunk young. Vin Tendre connotes sweetness.


A wine trade exposition, originating in Bordeaux, there are now annual incarnations in Hong Kong, New York, and Tokyo as well.

“Vineyard Designation”

A vineyard designated wine is a wine produced from the product of a single vineyard with that vineyard's name appearing on the wine label.

“Vinho Verde”

A Portuguese DOC located in Minho, a region in the very northwest corner of the country. Whites, rosé and reds are produced here and intentionally made in a style to drink young. The name of the region roughly translates to "young wine" and wines are bottles three to six months after they were picked.

“Vini di Vigniaoli”

A wine trade expo that takes place annually in Parma, Italy.

“Vini Veri”

A now defunct group of winemakers started to promote principals and ethics in vineyard management and winemaking that preserved nature, tradition and terroir. Also the name of a natural wine fair that takes place annually in Perugia, Italy.


The conversion of grape juice or other vegetable extract into wine by fermentation. Fun fact: computers don't accept this as a real word and auto-correct it to vilify or vilification.


An international wine competition and exposition that is held annually in April in the Italian wine region of Verona in northeastern Italy.


An association of winemakers from around the world, with a goal to promote and spread knowledge related to natural, terroir driven winemaking.


“Wine” in Italian and Spanish.

“Vino Bianco/Vino Rosso”

The designation for a white, pink, sparking or red Italian wine with no classification (IGP, DOC, DOCG...)

“Vino Nobile di Montepulciano”

A red wine with a DOCG status produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montepulciano, Italy. The wine is made primarily from the Sangiovese grape varietal, blended with Canaiolo Nero and small amounts of other local varieties such as Mammolo.


Resembling, associated with, or fond of wine.


The vintage is the year that the grapes for a particular wine were harvested.

“Vintage dependant”

A pragmatic approach to S02 where the goal is not to add any to the wine. However, a small amount may be added if the winemaker deems the wine compromised without it.

“Vintage Port”

Vintage port is made entirely from the grapes of a declared vintage year. They may be aged in barrels or stainless steel for a maximum of two and a half years before bottling, and generally require another 10 to 40 years of aging in the bottle before reaching what is considered a proper drinking age. They are not oxidized and keep a ruby color.


A white grape variety. It is the only permitted grape for the French wine Condrieu in the Rhône Valley. Everyone’s favorite grape.


A white Portuguese wine grape variety that is grown primarily in northern Portugal where it attains high acidity levels. It is primarily found in the Trás-os-Montes and Douro DOCs. It is used primarily as a blending grape where it adds structures and flavor to both still and fortified Port wines.


An AOC for white wine in the Mâconnais subregion of Burgundy. Located in the communes of Clessé, Laizé, Montbellet and Viré. Viré-Clessé has Chardonnay as the only allowed grape variety.


A white Portuguese wine grape variety that is grown primarily in Western Portugal. Sometimes known under the synonym Malvasia Corado, the variety tends to produce rather neutral flavor wine with low acidity unless the grape is grown in vineyards of high altitude.


The cultivation of grapevines for winemaking.


An Italian and Slovenenian wine grape predominantly planted in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region and the Karst Plateau in the Slovenian Littoral. The grape produces a dry white wine.


A town and commune in the province of Ragusa, Sicily, Italy. It’s where Arianna Occhipinti lives!


A natural wine focused section of the Vinitaly wine trade expo in Verona, Italy.

“Volatile Acidity”

A measure of the wine's volatile (or gaseous) acids. The two primary volatile acids in wine are acetic acid, which can cause a wine to smell of vinegar, and ethyl acetate which can cause a wine to smell like nail polish remover.


Soil formed from rock material that has been ejected into the air and cooled before settling to the earth or lava-based soil, the product of lava flows from a volcano. Ninety percent of lava-based soil is composed of basalt.

“Volcanic Ash”

Volcanic ash consists of fragments of rock, minerals, and volcanic glass, created during volcanic eruptions and measuring less than 2 mm in diameter. Volcanic ash's primary use is that of a soil enricher. Once the minerals in ash are washed into the soil by rain or other natural processes, it mixes with the soil to create an andisol layer. This layer is highly rich in nutrients and is very good for agriculture.


Wine is produced in the commune of Volnay in Côte de Beaune of Burgundy, and in some vineyards in the commune of Meursault. The Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) Volnay is only used for red wine with Pinot noir as the main grape variety.


The Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) Vosne-Romanée may only be used for red wine with Pinot Noir as the main grape. There are a total of 15 Premier Cru vineyards in the two communes, as well as six Grand Cru vineyards in Vosne-Romanée.


A French region of the Loire Valley located in the Touraine, just east of the city of Tours. The Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) is dedicated almost exclusively to Chenin Blanc, though the obscure and minor grape Orbois is permitted but rarely used.


Wine sold in bulk.


The Vulture, also known as the Vulture-Melfese or Vulture-Alto Bradano is a geographical and historical region in the northern part of the province of Potenza, in the Basilicata region of Italy.


“Winery” in German.

“White Port”

A port made from white grapes. Ordinary white ports make an excellent basis for a cocktail while those of greater age are best served chilled on their own. Sweet white port and tonic water is a commonly consumed drink in the Porto region.


Whole-cluster fermentation simply refers to the practice of not destemming grapes. Whole bunches, stems and all, go directly into a fermentation vat. Whole clusters are used traditionally in carbonic and semi-carbonic macerations.

“Wine Label”

Wine Labels offer information about the wine including the producer’s name, the cuvée name, the place of origin, the vintage, the grape varietals used to make the wine, alcohol content....


Wooden vessels have been used for centuries to ferment, age, and store wine. Wooden barrels let a wine “breathe” while aging. Some wood, most notably oak, can impart distinct flavors on to a wine.

“Wood Chips”

Some winemakers age their wines with wood chips to give them an extra oaky flavor. None of the ones we work with.

“Wood Press”

The earliest known mechanical grape press is the screw press (aka basket press). Grapes are loaded in the top, then a wooden plate is lowered down over the grapes and a ratchet is used to slowly apply pressure to the grapes.


An herb used as an ingredient in the absinthe spirit as well as some other alcoholic beverages.


The Wine & Spirit Education Trust, often referred to as WSET, is a British organization which arranges courses and exams in the field of wine and spirits. Founded in 1969, it is headquartered in London.


The catalan word for pickaxe.

“Xarel lo ”

A white grape variety of Spanish origin specially grown in Catalonia. With Macabeu and Parellada, is one of the three traditional varieties used to make the sparkling wine Cava. Spanish plantations stood at 8,043 hectares in 2008, Xarel·lo wine can be strongly flavored, and is more aromatic than the other two Cava grape varieties.


Eukaryotic, single-celled microorganisms classified as members of the fungus kingdom. Yeast is essentially what turns grape juice into wine. In the absence of oxygen, yeast converts the sugars of wine grapes into alcohol and carbon dioxide through the process of fermentation.


The full amount of an agricultural or industrial product.

“Young Vines”

Younger vines are generally thought to create lower quality wine when compared to old vines. Old grape vines, have root systems that go much deeper than those of young vines, which allows them to access layers of minerals that are not present in the upper layers of soil.


A white grape that is a member of the Muscat family of Vitis vinifera. It is considered an "ancient vine", and wine experts believe it is one of the oldest genetically unmodified vines still in existence. The grape originated in North Africa.


A red wine grape variety developed in 1922 at the Federal Institute for Viticulture and Pomology at Klosterneuburg, Austria, by Fritz Zweigelt. It was a crossing of St. Laurent and Blaufränkisch. It is now the most widely grown red grape variety in Austria.