Different sites bring different qualities when they are cultivated in the same way, meaning you can see that certain vineyards bring forth higher quality wines than others every year. This observation was made by the Cistercian monks in Burgundy as early as the 14th century. As a consequence, the word â€œterroirâ€ was coined and the first â€œcrusâ€ defined.
You could define good sites using certain known parameters, but in the end itâ€™s a complex interplay of all factors â€“ otherwise known as the terroir â€“ that makes a site and the wines grown there special.
By terroir we mean the coming together of all conditions, which have influence over the vine and therefore also the grapes in their development. These include climate, soil, hillside gradient, sun radiation, temperature, day-night temperature fluctuations, rainfall and distribution of rainfall, soil composition, water permeability, hours of sunlight and the winemakerâ€™s philosophy.
When creating a site classification, the terroir of the individual site is at the forefront.