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Tasting Dirt in a Wine Bottle – The extremes of terroir

For every good idea I have, I get at least three ridiculously bad ideas.  And some of those bad ideas make it far beyond the planning stages.

So, last week, I was joking about the rhetoric we terroir-lovers tend to use.  We get very wrapped up in the importance of a wine reflecting a sense of place and we can often minimize the efforts of the winemaker.  We say that winemakers should only act in order to produce good fruit that reflects the place where they’re growing the fruit.  Anyway, we can get a little carried away with the rhetoric.  So in the spirit of making fun of myself, I bottled some vineyard dirt and put it up  for sale on the website.

The idea, unfortunately didn’t stop there. Once I had a bottle of dirt, it was pretty much unavoidable: I had to do a dirt tasting.

Tasting notes: dry, abrasive attack; strong minerality; dead leaves; low alcohol; significant sediment; muddy finish

So, without further ado, Ryan O’Connell from O’Vineyards tastes some dirt and makes fun of himself.

If we can learn anything from this ridiculous exercise, it’s that the perfect wine is not 100% vin de terroir or 100% vin d’effort but some clever middle path between these two extremes.

Buy now :)

Couleur bouteille

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  1. Video: Tasting Terroir from the Languedoc from Sour Grapes the Irish wine blog. Wine in Ireland. Says:

    [...] lazy embed from Ryan O’Connell of O’Vineyards. I’m assuming they’re calling him “Le Fou Américain” over in the [...]

  2. ryan Says:

    are their case discounts? Can I buy in bulk to bottle my own label? :)

  3. Tweets that mention O’Vineyards Winemaker Blog » Blog Archive » Tasting Dirt in a Wine Bottle – The extremes of terroir — Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Oliver Styles, Ryan O'Vineyards and Louise Hurren, Ryan O'Vineyards. Ryan O'Vineyards said: Dirt-tasting, winemaker bottles terroir literally. I was bound to get gimmicky eventually. ;D [...]

  4. mroconnell Says:

    Yes, sir. :) And if you pick the bottles up in person they’re actually dirt cheap. The bulk of cost is shipping as dirt is surprisingly heavy.

  5. Lar Veale Says:

    Actually, you could be onto something.

    Not sure if you’ve seen the Cantina Montepuliciano “twig” on the bottle. You could attach some genuine terroir dirt in a bag (if you can get through Agricultural border rules).

    Even better, some dried garrigue plants in a bag which your customers can sniff while they sip.


  6. mroconnell Says:

    That is a great idea for domestic sales or even just the press packets. Thanks, Lar!

  7. ryan Says:

    Little baggies of dried plants are probably not the way to have your visitors traveling back home! :)

  8. mroconnell Says:

    Maybe if they’re from Amsterdam.

  9. O'Vineyards Winemaker Blog » Blog Archive » What do Winemakers Blog About? – How to Choose Your Blog Content Says:

    [...] the tail of posting the “winemaker drinks dirt” video, I’ve been having lots of conversations about how I choose my content.  Between [...]

  10. O'Vineyards Winemaker Blog » Blog Archive » Wine-Themed Porn Debut Says:

    [...] recently noticed that the youtube video of me drinking dirt had been featured on a tumblr account called Women & Wine.  Innocently enough, I went to the [...]

  11. O'Vineyards Winemaker Blog » Blog Archive » Véraison – Grapes turning purple Says:

    [...] veraison, when the grapes change color from green to purple, and the weather. Can we go back to irreverence, drinking and nudity? Tags: cabernet sauvignon, change color, changing color, green, purple, [...]

  12. Born Digital Wine Awards – Guidelines and Voting Criteria | O'Vineyards Carcassonne Wine Blog Says:

    [...] down my body of work to choose a submission. These criteria actually narrow it down for me to the dirt tasting and the fruit thief. Which are some of the most visited articles posted on this site in 2010 [...]

  13. Angie Says:

    You’re nuts! We had such a wonderful time visiting O’Vineyards and your family. Glad you didn’t have a dirt tasting for us.

  14. Michel Remondat explains Vitisphere Editorial | O'Vineyards Carcassonne Wine Blog Says:

    [...] you’re a normal person who is just looking for a fun wine blog to read, run away from this crazy dirt-drinking wino.  Or maybe think about pretending to be a wine [...]

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