Wine Science: Deconstructing ‘Terroir’ in the Lab

18:01 minutes

Wine aficionados often speak of a wine’s terroir, perhaps mentioning the flinty soil the grapes were grown in, or the fog that bathes the vineyard by night. But how much of that environmental influence actually makes it into the bottle? Chemist Gavin Sacks investigates those claims in his lab, and says much talk of terroir may just be clever marketing.

Segment Guests

Gavin Sacks

Gavin Sacks is an associate professor in food science at the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Heard on the Air

Watch SciFri’s videos on the science of wine: Wine Flavor, Wine Psychology, and Tricks of the Trade.

Meet the Producer

About Christopher Intagliata

Christopher Intagliata was Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.

Explore More