From Bordeaux to Marlborough : The Terroir

While Bordeaux and Marlborough exhibit differences in soil composition and terroir, they share important similarities in their soil characteristics. Both regions benefit from alluvial deposits that offer good drainage, heat retention, and nutrient-rich environments conducive to vine health and grape quality. These shared soil attributes contribute to the distinctiveness and high quality of wines produced in Bordeaux and Marlborough, showcasing the influence of terroir on wine expression.
The terroir of Bordeaux is a complex amalgamation of factors that extend beyond soil composition. It includes climate, sunlight exposure, ambient and soil temperatures, elevation, natural drainage, and water availability. The ability of the soil to retain water during dry periods and drain effectively during wet seasons is crucial. Achieving optimal ripeness in the fruit, skins, and seeds results in wines with more sweetness, lower acidity, and a higher pH. These factors contribute to softer tannins, silkier textures, and a fresher, purer fruit expression. Bordeaux's diverse terroirs, ranging from gravelly soils in the Médoc to clay and limestone in Saint-Émilion, support the region's ability to produce a wide variety of high-quality wines.
Marlborough's terroir is characterised by its alluvial soils, which consist of gravel, sand, and silt, providing excellent drainage. The region benefits from a high number of sunshine hours, and the cool nights help to preserve acidity in the grapes. The varied soil types across Marlborough, from the stony, free-draining soils of the Wairau Valley to the clay-rich soils of the Southern Valleys, contribute to the diverse flavour profiles of its wines. These conditions are particularly favourable for Bordeaux varietals, which thrive in well-drained soils that prevent water stress and encourage deep root growth, leading to more complex and robust flavours. Marlborough's terroir ensures a consistent quality of grapes, enhancing the depth and complexity of its Bordeaux-style blends.

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