“Vintners that are cultivating their grapes with biodynamical methods disagree. They are on the top of those who take efforts to refine the terroir by improving the cultivation methods of the 20th century”, Raymond Paccot from the Domain La Colombe, Switzerland, heats up the discussion. So, the concept of biodynamic vintners was, too, the dominating topic at the AIV conference, where they discussed the question: “Is a noble wine a valid concept?”
“Many vineyards suffer from the application of herbicides and of water-soluble fertilizers”, Raymond Paccot states. “We are stamped by a time where it was possible to replace cultural knowledge by simple products and techniques.” – And Paul Draper from the Ridge Vineyards company, California, agrees: “The vintners are only allowed to use a minimum of sulfur dioxide. Add too much of it, and you will get a wine which is not able to represent the terroir and the vineyard.” If it were up to Mr. Drager, the term “fine wine” should be replaced by “place of the wines”.
The AIC, which is known for its wholehearted and as well heated debates, only lead a short argue about the question if it is Spain or France that owns the largest limestone areas. The rest of the discussion remained peaceful. Three quarters of the participants pleaded for the idea to call the concept of a “fine wine” a valid concept, but only few people were able to define the term. José Vouillamoz, a Swiss wine expert, for instance, said that in his opinion, there is no strict definition for a “fine” sort of grape.
“A fine drop is a concurrence of the terroir and the skills of the vintner. When there is a lack of one of the, the wine cannot be ennobled”, Brono Prats, vintner and ex-owner of the château Cos d’Estournel, summarized. Victor de le Serne, a journalist and owner of vineyard in Spain, agreed in a lecture: “In the Rioja region, one of Spain’s best wine growing areas, the predominance of blends influenced by the style of many Spanish estates extinguished the terroir (red.yoopress)