Terroir in Spirits

Hello uh very welcome to this special Webinar from wset about the question of Terroir in spirits my name is charlie Mccarthy i’m business development Manager for spirits within wsct across Europe middle east and africa And i’m joined today by a panel of Experts and producers and also some very Interesting video contributions um What is terwar it’s a bit of a burning Question So what is terroir Terwar Is a kind of controversial word and To Guide us through this initial Conversation about terroir i’m going to Invite in uh the wonderful dawn davies Who is head buyer at speciality drinks Uh don is a master of vine and she’s Also one of uh the leading experts in The uk in the world of spirits so she’s Probably very uniquely placed To Discuss with us what this word terroir Means because it kind of is more Associated with wines than with spirits Would that be fair to say don Yes i would say so um I mean i’m probably a terroirist um How you want to take that Um i think it’s a hugely hugely misused Word today um i think it’s become a Trendy term innovation

Um you know things like craft it’s Joining those ranks and it’s a real Shame because actually Terwa is hugely important um And You know if we look at wine it’s the Foundation on which we base wine um you Know it it’s enshrined in law um Increasingly well in europe especially But increasingly all over Um wine making regions you have gis you Have aocs you have docgs you know all of These terms encompass at their heart The concept of terroir And if we look at the concept of and It’s true as truest form for me is it’s The expression of the land and its Surroundings In the glass and and i think one of the Most dramatic ways i can Kind of give an example of it is to look At containers white bones and white Stones wines Same Vineyard pretty much Rose apart The difference in flavor between those Two wines is absolutely phenomenal wow That is the definition of terroir when i Can stick my nose into a glass And say this is chianti grown on this Part of the the region in this part of The region um You know from potentially even down to

The vineyard if you’re looking at say Barolo you know i think and of course Burgundy and i think that concept that Is what the heart of terroir should be About and taiwa was produced the concept Of You know has a huge history i think Charlie you you’ve been reading a bit About it over the weekend but like A deep dive uh into the history and Development of the french concept of Tarwar you can uh get stuck into this Book it is Uh it’s basically tasting french terroir By thomas parker it is proper cultural Dive going back to kind of the 1300s and Through the renaissance and into the Birth of the appalachian origin Regulations and up to modern day The other one that i’ve been reading Which is quite interesting and we might Take a detour into that a bit later is Uh rob arnold’s recent book called the Terroir of whiskey now anybody who knows Me knows that conversation will always Turn to whiskey eventually However Within the context of what we’re looking At today I think we’re going to try to keep it Mostly focused on unaged spirits because At wact we always talk about the four Stages of production And there are going to be elements that

Come exclusively from the raw material They’re going to be flavor and texture Elements that come from how you process Our raw material the fermentation Then during distillation we’re our main Purpose in distillation is to select and Concentrate both the ethanols and the Desirable congeners and then you’ve got Lots of things you can do Post-installation one of which Is wood aging Now i know you’ve got strong views about What aging and terroir don’t Yeah if i do i think You know if you’re talking and you know I’m i’m sure both gentlemen on either Side of me will definitely um when we Talk come to talk about i’m a spirits or Age spirits um we’ll be talking about How actually where you age something Is hugely important to the concept of And i’m going to put this out there in Spirits Not necessarily terroir because you’re Not in most cases and i’m putting in Most cases tasting terroir you are Tasting effects of oak aging your Effects with still your effects of Fermentation you know It is um will definitely With benoit and jesse very much talk About there are exceptions to this rule But when wood overpowers And becomes the dominant flavor

That is when tewa gets lost and when You’re putting new oak onto things when You’re putting a very powerful long Aging process in how much of that that Spirit is still left behind which would Be the original carrier of those those Sense of flavors or sense of place Um so for me i think when we’re talking About spirits is very much more a sense Of place you’re not necessarily tasting The soil and the climate around it you Know it is very much to do with the Culture The history the stills the types of Yeast you’re using you know all of these Are such huge providers of flavor if we You know and i’m sure grandma will talk About it a bit later you know we look at Somewhere like hamden And the use of muck and dunder you know Again that’s part of that place that is Part of hampden But is that terroir you know i think It’s looking maybe it’s spirits in a Very different way to wine why should Spirits replicate wine no exactly why Not own their own unique identity Um and i think that’s a that’s maybe the Challenge i’m throwing out there today Being a bit controversial So just so we can kind of anchor Ourselves for everybody viewing in a Kind of A

Common foundation i’m going to give you The the european union legal definition Of what terroir is and it’s um Products that possess tarwar are those Whose quality or characteristics are Essentially or exclusively due to a Particular geographic environment with Its inherent natural and human factors Okay so we are going to open this up in A little while to add the wonderful Benoit by danelle who is going to talk Us through all things i recall rum and We are then going to be joined by jessie Estes from ocho tequila and he’s going To talk about altenew distillery and About at the Interesting um Example that Blue agave in particular gives us to Compare various different terroirs but Before we do that we are going to have a Quick poll so everybody viewing could You please Participate in the poll and just simply Tell us do you believe that terroir Exists in spirits And as you’re doing that We are then going to Uh watch a video from The fantastic francesca nanina of nanino Grappa And the nina grappa Is i think a really interesting place to Start the conversation around terror so

We have three samples of their grappa Myself and dawn are going to have a Little uh comparative taste uh During the video and after the video but For now um our wonderful host jenny is Going to play the video of nanino Grapple Oh and that’s a very strong result on The pole Hello everyone i’m francesca nino i’m The sixth generation of nonino family And i’m really happy to be able to talk With you about the history of grappa and How my grandparents passion for friuli Terwar transformed the spirit from what Was perceived as a simple low quality Product into a disillete today represent Italian excellence all over the world And As in any other story we need to start From the beginning grappa the italian Promise district distill in italy was Born in the 15th century in the Northeast of italy precisely in friuli At the time thomas the skin residual Paul produced of the grape press for Making wine was considered just a Leftover but farmers were smart enough To understand that because pumps contain Sugar it could be fermented and because It could be fermented they could distill It And so they created this Spirit that was

Almost an everyday medicine they use to Drink grappa when they teeth ache to Fight the cold weather to to find the Energy to go work in the field But because the stealing atomic was Illegal they needed to suck all the Pumas and wait for a perfect weather Like a cloudy day or a storm To be able to cover the alcohol steam And not getting cut If we if we add to that the fact that The way of this ceiling was really Rustic because They used to distill using direct fire We can understand why Grappa was considered really a fiery Spirit and it was called the fire water That was able to burn away even hunger But the perception of grappa shifted Completely with my grandparents My grandfather the fourth generation of A family of distillers since 1897 Understood that the quality of grappa Was directly and essentially connected With the quality of promise you choose To distill He saw grappa as A spirit really linked with the rava he Fought as grappa as the soul of the Vineyard and he thought that the master Distiller was able to prove their Ability if they were able to cut through Through distillation the essence of the Grape and transferring it into the glass

It was the very first one to see the Potential of the promise if this is Still fresh And so He decided to distill only fresh bombers And not any promise he decided to Distill only selected pumas from the Best wineries in friuli and to be able To distill fresh he did what i see as a Love declaration to promise he built a Unique distillery in the world Instead of as having six or 12 pastel Like a Grappa Distillery have even today he built a Distilling with 66 artisanal pot still But those pastels were distilling only During the harvest instead of eight Months per year eight weeks per year but During those weeks they were distilling 24 hours per day seven days of the week To really respect the freshness of the Farmers it was a research to maintain The absolute quality in the distillation It was a research that had the aim of Proving to the final consumer the Quality grappa could have And it was a research that lasted for 10 Years It started with looking for traceability Of the raw material my grandparents Started to put on each of their grappa Bottle a sort of identity card they Wrote on the label how many kilograms of

Pumice they distill from which wineries The pumas came from how many liters of Grappa they obtained from those promises And so It finally arrived to the revolutionary Idea trying to distill for the very First time the first single variety Promise grappa It was something that was never done Before because traditionally Thomas being Seen as a leftover was also treated like One and so thomas were all mixed Together with any type of logic and also Because Distiller thought that that The white promises that arrive at the Distillery virgin needed they already Fermented red promises to start their Fermentation process But my grandparents find their way And to prove the idea they decided to Start With a promise from a vineyard that was Really connected with the history the Culture of we live They pick piccolita an indigenous Variety from fury venezuela that suffer Of floral abortion and for this reason The harvests are really small but the Grape it produces are Amazing full of sweetness full of Aromatic characteristic they’re almost Like an actor

My grandmother went the vineyard to Vineyard to pick the best vineyard of Piccolito And the first december 1973 when the First drop Of Came out of the glass belt my Grandmother started shouting benito Benetto we did it because the distillery Was filled with this perfume of Queens akacha honey and fig raisin the Exact same perfume my grandmother smell In the picolit vineyard finally the Connection Grappa teguar was made and it was so Stunning that even the most skeptical Ones Started to look at grappa in a Completely different way This revolution of piccolit’s single Variety Open up For grappa even the foreign market Having now grandpa being able to Represent in the most beautiful iconic Restaurant the italian excellence And i would like to conclude My speech with a quote from the new york Times For encountering decades grappa was Little more than a cheap portable form Of central eating for peasants in the Northern italy Fancier italians and foreigners this

Dated but that was before the ninas of Percotto came to prominence Thank you very much And enjoy grappa cheers Cool so speaking of enjoying grappa Um we have got uh dawn and i’ve got Three grapplers in front of us And dawn i don’t believe i’ve given you The identity of each of them it’s just No Idea the blind tasting i did my mw like A long time ago Bottle number one Is uh picolit which is what francesca Was just talking about there bottle Number two Is fragilino Which is um I believe a red one grape that has quite A lot of strawberry characteristics and Graphic number three is Rebolo sorry rupaula which is Yeah yeah so For me i think what what Before we get into the individual Liquids in front of us i think what They’re doing that’s super interesting Is obviously they’ve got a consistency Of production process Across Everything that they do they take the The uh the pumice they fermented and Stainless steel tax tanks temperature Control uses very interesting steam

Injection copper stills To uh To distill And the fact that they’re using single Grape varieties i think Is a really interesting in into this Idea of terroir and spirits um I’ve got a favorite of these three well I think they’re all amazing i really Like the pick of it though i really like Number one i think it’s it touches a lot Of different areas i think the question To throw back here is yes i stick my Nose in these and i know it’s grappler Yes i stick my nose in it and i can Probably pick out characters from those Grape varieties That i know But can i stick my nose into it and say That that’s picky eat from that vineyard Ah that’s an interesting question no I don’t have enough expertise Tonight and you know if we think about Grappa and how grapplers produce a lot Of grappler producers are buying from All over Brulee or veneto or wherever they’re Producing from so they’re not talking About one tear while they’re talking About multiple terroirs So are we talking about an expression of A particular variety but that’s not Terroir that’s an expression of the Product making

And and that’s a very very different Concept I stick my nose in that and i can Recognize people each and i agree i love That people eat it’s fresh it’s vibrant It’s got florals it’s got those the soft Ripe fruits that i would expect in Piggly The fragola maybe less so i’m not Getting that strawberry that i associate With but i think you get a little bit That tannin from the which which is Normal Um i like the ribology actually it’s not It’s very it’s you know it’s very Pleasant It’s got a lot of that kind of almond And fruit and honey Yeah and it’s got you know i think for Me rabola has that again that slightly Sort of herbaceous tone which i i really Am getting coming through this But that’s not terrible i’m just Smelling the grape i could do the same With a chardonnay from california and a Chardonnay from burgundy but they’d be Very different beasts When we’re zeroing in then on the Concept of terroir in your opinion does It have to be a single field or a single Territory i think you have i have to be Able to put my nose in and really hung Down if we go back to the concept of Exactly where it’s from now you can talk

About spirits like that because i think And both the gentleman will 100 percent You know be able to argue this you know If i look at one of my passions in life Clara Yes i do think there’s a sense of place In that but that’s going back to the Sense of place i don’t think you’re Talking in the same way about Terroir as in You know if you go to a specificity Yeah that specificity is maybe what We’re talking let me give you let me Give you an example if you do your ms Your master sommelier not your mw i Think they’re very different your ms is Really really testing your Senses of terroir You have to be able to tell individual Vineyards in burgundy Now that’s terroir Now i can pick up a glass of Say A jamaican rum I’m going back to jamaica it’s an easy One or actually barbados rum from Barbados i can probably tell you if it’s Been asian origin And you know it it definitely ha i know The distillery characters That’s A different that’s a distillery Character that is a sense of place okay Because if you think about let’s say

Molasses You get molasses from all over the world All over the world Not necessarily from once and and Molasses you know it doesn’t really Carry a sense of place the way that Let’s say sugarcane juice does No i mean you could argue that because Of the process that’s Gone behind it you know same with grain You know like yes i can stick my nose And say this is a canadian rye But can i have hello billy But can i say That this is a canadian ride from this Part of canada Unless i’m very familiar with the Distillery and again i’m saying a sense Of place i’m not saying there’s no Concept of tawa take a cognac from Borderies yes i can feel that that is From borders because There is something coming through there But Can i narrow it down To real specifics and i think That’s where wine takes terroir in a Much more focused sense spirit so maybe That’s the way of putting it okay Shot by about 50 no i i know we like we Like controversy in fact i was chatting With our ceo ian harris about this and He is a fantastic fan of the bordering Tarwar and so this is this is an ongoing

Conversation if anybody was going why Were we both just saying billy billy Abbott uh from uh the whiskey exchange Just come called us both blasphemers Talking about molasses in that way if You do have any comments please do add Them in the chat below if you have any Questions put them into the q a section We won’t be able to address them live Immediately but we will address them at The end of the session we’ll have a Little q a session for me i think this Is an interesting conversation because We’re separating out how um when we look At Qualifying and judging the quality of Spirits using the systematic approach to Tasting at level two and at level three One of the criterion is we look at the Balance of aromatics the balance of the Texture the length intensity complexity But we also look at a separate concept Which is expressiveness And for me each of these three graphics That we have here is fantastically Expressive of the grape fantastically Expressive of the way that that grape is Then fermented and distilled And rested and bottled And the place very much you can you can Kind of tell the nina nino does have a Particular style that you can really Pick out for me that’s these are all Extraordinarily expressive but does that

Mean they have terroir that is the Interesting question We’re going to open this out to benoit Benoit by daniel is One of He’s an authority on rum agriculture From agriculture for those who don’t Know is very much like molasses based on Except rather than sending the sugar Cane juice off to be Made into sugar and have a byproduct Called molasses You are fermenting the sugarcane juice Straight away so you’ve got a few areas Here that are particularly interesting It’s going to be made in martinique it’s Going to be made in guadeloupe there’s Different aspects to the island there’s Different varieties of sugarcane and There’s different microbial activities That can happen in the various different Distilleries Benoit Does Exist in agricultural Uh definitely definitely i mean just Like in wine since uh agricultural is Almost only done in produced in french Islands or french territories They basically copied the concept on From the winemakers or Cognac makers and yes they have Let’s just take the example of Martinique which is the most well-known

Agriculture producer in the world right Now um we have eight different or Ten different distilleries on the island And they all have Their very own micro climates and Terroirs all around the distillery Which makes it very interesting because Um Each distillery is going to have a Different taste at the end i mean the Produ the products from the districts Are going to have a different taste even If it comes from the same island And on the other hand The local aoc So the appellation region control a Which exists in martinique for rum Is going to bring back together all These different tastes to one signature Taste which is The signature taste from aoc rum from Martinique So Yeah Terroir definitely exists in agriculture And if you had to kind of Pick two expressions of agricultural and Say These are Similarly made but they have a different Variety of sugarcane or they have a Different aspect to the land um do you Think you could very confidently say Field a field b

Um I Probably could Make the difference from one distillery To another maybe not The different fields inside of one Distillery because i don’t know all the Taste of all the different fields of Course uh but on the same island i could Probably differentiate all the different Distilleries here and It’s there for you is there a Kind of Broad difference between the guadalupe Style and the martinique style or they Just share so many things in common They have some stuff in common but there Are also very big differences Maybe less in um The fact that both are using mostly Using sugarcane juice of course but on The other hand the know-how and the Process how they produce rum uh is first Of all different then also the soils are Different between guadalupe and Martinique since only in martinique only In guadalupe you have so many different Soils so That can definitely not be the same uh In martinique and in a loop And they are not necessarily using the Same sugarcane varieties in the end to Produce rum so yeah they’re completely Different okay i know i’ve got um

If you do happen to have an agricultural Room to hand please yeah sure us um i’ve Got sure lemon from martinique here i’m Guessing you have to pass i have some Depos and not uh any depos because which Is very interesting when we’re talking About terroir here for example i got a Bottle from the uh Papaou and papao is actually uh made With sugarcane from only one plot Okay We are taking one specific field with One specific sugarcane type and we are Making one reference in our range in a Very limited edition of course since the The field is not Uh endless And um yeah so this is they they exactly Show you which sugarcane type has been Used so b69 in this case which is blue Sugarcane and the plot is called papao Which gives his name to um to the Bottling at the end of of production and Each year they do this product again and Again and even from one year to another You see the difference just like in why Since harvest and climate and uh weather Hasn’t been the same in 2019 2020 2021 Et cetera amazing so dawn throwing back To you um i don’t know if you have the Popcorn in front of you i i don’t think Either i wish i didn’t [Laughter] Um but to bring it back to that concept

Of specificity then in terror do you Believe that you know this is this is a Viable concept i think if you’re looking At terroir the less you play around with That base Initial Product that you’re trying to make Something from Then the more likely you will have a Sense of place coming through it so a Hundred percent i agree with denmark you Know the one thing that the Agriculturals have done and uh you know Is Really take that sense of taiwan put it At their heart so you know so many of The laws are regarding the sugar cane And how it’s grown and where it’s going And you know that Then Bringing through into distillation and Especially if you’re talking about using Yeast from the surrounding area or using A yeast that allows that expression to Come through because a lot of Standardized yeasts are literally just Killing off kerala That’s where you’ll get an expression of Place through the liquid so yes i 100 Agree with With benoit the fact that you can have It but you cannot muck around with that Liquid in order to get to that final Product because yes

Distillation is a The concentration of whatever comes Before but if you’ve mucked around with What came before You won’t get that As much because other factors will come In and And detract from it is what i would say I i don’t know benoit jesse if you agree I completely agree i mean yeah Yeah i i think this brings in two Interesting aspects one of which jesse’s Going to definitely be able to speak in A little while um but one of them is You have the land Is the ambient yeast In the distillery part of terroir or is It not because if you look at something Like you know A jamaican style room or even Uh can uh sorry But agricultural there’s going to be a Certain amount of microbial Interaction and fermentation that is Absolutely native to that geographical Location Water what do we feel about that Where is your distillery would be my Question because if your distillery is Surrounding the land that the product is Coming from then yes that is very much a Part of terroir If your distillery or winery or whatever Is 500 miles away let’s take messiah you

Know if we look at messiah in lebanon They ship the grapes from the becker Valley To Um The beirut If then wild yeast act on it Okay Maybe they’ve some have traveled in that Little kind of truck but then what’s in The winery is that the same terroirs as The becca valley I think for me that’s maybe where you Can look at east is the biggest flavor Provider in the world i freaking love East but benoit mean i don’t know what You think about that Um actually i agree since In martinique some of these theories Even put it further they Uh managed to [Music] Create let’s say create or find out Their own yeast on their distillery uh Let’s take naison for example which have Their distillery all the fields from They saw around the distillery and they Managed to Find out that they had to to to Isolate the yeasts Which are only Uh Available on that distillery And and and to use them to produce their

Own actually so even the yeast Production Uh Happens On that estate And that makes it more than unique Actually since and the sugarcane so the Raw material the soil the the climate The microclimate uh the weather and the Yeasts are specific from that one place In the world and cannot be copied Anywhere else I think that it’s And each category has a different Relationship between all these various Different elements jesse was on the Level three spirits course with me about Two years ago And um We Did a bit of a deep dive into uh baijiu And shochu and Shoju And There’s a really interesting case in um There’s a stronger roman distillery in In china About distillery where They created An extension to the distillery it’s just About a mile down the road Um but because of the native microbial Biome that it built up in their clay Fermentation pits

They could not reproduce the type of Fermentation flavor profile that they Had and they ended up just saying okay We have this new distillery but it’s a Different identity you can’t do what This whole distillery does and we just Can’t pretend that it is we can’t call It the same thing um Jesse we are uh going to throw it to you In a second um we’re going to watch a Little video that you’ve kind of Provided us from la i’ll tell you a Distillery the distillery Where ocho is made from thank you for Being so patient and sitting there the Whole time and listening no no worries Uh pratalon um Could i just Talk to you about fermentation though Because i think in um In tequila it’s an area that people kind Of gloss over a little bit Well so you know and i’m with ocho i Really want to stick with don’s original Definition of terroir which is the one That i share right so i think when we Talk about Terroir of yeast and and microbiomes and And and fermentation To me that’s a different kind of terroir You could talk about terroir of water Things like that where the distillery is Located i understand what what people Are saying but again

That’s not my More narrow view of terroir that dawn Takes which is really about the raw Material itself in in our cases blue Agave rights so the fields behind me uh Were harvested in 2013 and i’ll talk More about what what why tequila ochoa i Think really um Is Very much a terroir driven spirit Um but first of all thank you guys for All your comments and questions i’ve Been i’ve been enjoying uh seeing people From all over the world In this uh in this chat which is very Very cool Um so i think i have 10 people to uh to Convince the terroir does exist in Spirits there’s ten people i think Felicia is probably one of them Um lisa’s a really interesting guy and He’s got great is uh he’s a fantastic Educator if anybody in oslo or nowhere Or anywhere the nordics is looking for a Spirits educator get in touch with Felicia cesto senso really good guy but Before we do that uh jenny who is the Master of all things behind the scenes Is going to share a little video with us From the tiny distillery and then we’re Going to come back and we’re going to Talk about why specifically tequila Provides a really interesting template To explore the concept of terroir

So jenny if you can if you can leave the Sound off there’s some nice music on Here but unfortunately you’re going to Be stuck with my voice instead so i’m Just going to kind of explain what we’re Seeing on the video So if you can leave The video Audio off and my audio on So obviously it starts in the field here We have A typical Highland field You can see those little ejuelos were Planted fairly recently The field on the left is obviously being Laid fallow Those are slightly older plants and Again that’s a nice shot of two Different fields right with the road Separating them which which we Will touch on what i mean by different Fields This is the harvest So obviously everything done by hand by The fimadores very Skilled work very very hard work And one of the things that we do with Kilojoules only harvest the ripest Plants from each field so i’ll talk About that a bit more as well this is Driving into la albania The home of tequila ocho This distillery has been there since

1937 founded by The master distiller carlos camarena’s Grandfather Going over to what we call the patio Where we where we bring all the agaves You can see some brown spots on there we Call that pinto or pintada so that’s a Concentration of sugar On the outside of the pinas loading them Into the oven We use traditional stone brick ovens so Cooked above ground using steam 85 Degrees celsius For about 72 hours After cooking we obviously have to mill The agave so we use a molino a roller Mill You can see it’s A very fibrous plant so it’s splitting The juice and separating the juice from The fibers that you see the juice the Aguamiel And the juice is fermented without the Fibers that is uh Our sister brands When we were filming this so this is not Ocho’s fermentation here but we use pine Vats pinewood vats and then double pot Distillation Finishing in one of those little 350 Liter fully copper pot stills and of Course we’re not going to really be Talking about aging today But dawn was talking about um

You know Light aging in or in order to really Highlight uh the raw material which is Exactly what we do for tequila if you Look at the anejo and reposado there This is the north american packaging by The way It is very very light in color so that’s A quick two and a half or three minute Tour of l’altena hopefully you guys Enjoyed And i think an important point here to Make is that the production process Stays exactly the same batch batch right We use natural airborne yeast so yeast Will change over time it is one of the Variables in our production process That is not exactly a control variable Right water we use our own spring right Which is on the distillery itself Um so the water will change a little bit Over time But in general the production process Stays exactly the same so Just to explain what we do with tequila Ocho It very much came from A wine inspiration i’m just going to Share a little map with you here Can everyone see A little map where my face used to be Um So it actually burgundy’s been mentioned A number of times in the chat my father

For 30 i think about 30 years Starting in the mid-80s uh would go to The uh on primal tastings every year in Burgundy right so he he was really Fascinated Almost to the point of obsession with This concept of Terroir in the wine world which as dawn Said has been understood for for really Hundreds of years in spirits not so much So when he had the opportunity to create A brand of tequila with carlos camarena Which would later become tequila ocho One of the first things he said was Carlos could we create the first Quote unquote single vineyard tequila Right single field tequila And thirty we’re gonna be harvesting our 30th field uh now basically soon in the Next few days or weeks Um And what we find and you have two Samples here Let me Put myself back on video here you have Two samples hopefully dawn there The first well i don’t know what order They’re in but the first one for me is 2016 Grande okay this was a very very small Field it was The yield was so small it was about 16 000 liters that we actually didn’t

Release it outside of mexico i think we Sent About 50 cases to france just for fun But this was a very very small Harvest that never made it That will be your sample number two of The tequila so it’ll be sorry sample Number two you’ll be your last tequila The first tequila is the current uh el Pedregal Um before we get into this in too much Detail i think it’s something Interesting for some of the viewers to Understand And actually as dawn as don is nosing Those and so to me i have the two Samples in front of me i haven’t even Tasted them yet i mean i have tasted Them but not today not this morning Um I don’t i don’t even need to i don’t Even need to taste them the nose on the Two are markedly different so again this Is what i put forward to you guys if Terroir does not exist in spirits And this this is not a rhetorical Question please answer me in the chat if Terroir does not exist in spirits where Does that difference come from that that Market difference that we find just on The nose and remember these are 30 Different fields with 30 different Flavor profiles basically and and Something that um as some people anybody

Who’s done a little material level three Wsct will know this already but not Everybody knows this in the audience Potentially The blue agave weber blue agave plant That is used Across mexico is essentially The same plants propagated numerous Times it’s not they’re it’s not as if It’s like oh it’s it it’s another Expression of that variety it is the Same plant it’s propagated it’s not Reproduced sexually so they take Offshoots and they propagate them so It’s extraordinarily uh genetically Non-diverse it is like lots of twins of The same plant everywhere which is why Agave In particular blue agave in particular Provides us with this really interesting Consistency Of process so it is the same plants Depending on what field it was grown in It might grow differently depending what The character was it takes A in the case of ocho a minimum of eight Years to mature So what was the weather like over that Eight years then in the fermentation you You’re fermenting with well use but in The same distillery and the distillation Process is consistent and we’re not Bringing viral aging into the Conversation yet so i think tequila in

Particular To talk about the difference between Lowland and highland tequila is a Well-established concept but what we’re Really looking at here with ocho is the Difference of fields of field in year to Year So sorry to interrupt jessie but i just Wanted to no no that’s that’s really Helpful charlie and and yeah so if we Look at blue agave as a plant exactly Like you said it’s been deemed a Monoculture right so every plant is Virtually genetically identical All the hundreds of millions plants in The ground being grown for use in Tequila production which is Quite strange to think about so again it Just adds to that Effect of when we look at these Differences We’re talking about those are Differences in soil composition right Altitude orientation towards the sun all Of our fields are within the highlands Los altos so that is one specific region Of production for tequila and yet the Terroir is quite different you know um i Don’t know how well you can see the map Behind me or if i can point over here So Uh potential is up here near jesus maria Where the altitude is even higher than Most parts of the highlands we’re

Talking about 215 Or even up to 2 200 meters in those Areas Which is right near the distillery it’s About a kilometer away from our Distillery Um it’s about 250 meters above sea level That field so again we’re we’re talking About Differences within one region right one One specific region of the d.o of Tequila um What what I mean for you on i mean these are Vastly different than the nose dawn um I mean jesse what are your main Characteristics of each of these that You’re picking up Because one of them Here Yeah there’s this kind of You know pedregal to me is more of that Fruit lead almost like stewed fruits Almost kind of that fresh peach on there It’s really pleasant And yeah potato grande has some of those Earthier notes but still very rich Jesse is one of these more on clay soil Than it is on Is is one more clay heavy does that mean Los altos as a whole is pretty clay rich Soil as you i’m sure know don Both of these fields will have a high

Clay content Um depending on where so if we go to the South Of I’m trying to get out of the way of the Map anyway if if you see in the south Here of the map There’s three fields off kind of by Themselves That has a very very different terroir For The the highlands we’re dropping by Around 500 meters down to those So still quite high up 16 1700 meters Above sea level But Not so much of that high clay content There But in general most of the fields yeah Now i’m like sorry everyone Can you tell i mean have you got enough Experience now with all these vineyards To have done them multiple times so you Can put your nose in and say That is that vineyard or vineyard no So because of the time it takes this is You know this experience In a sense it’s an experiment right this This experiment is quite Time consuming because we harvest one Field and it actually takes a lot more Than eight years until we’re going to Harvest that field again because we do Crop rotation because the field rests

And gets the late follow and so you’ve Probably never had one repeat yet We’ve had one repeat which is Which was 2007 harvest one of our first Harvests and 2018 was was the second Harvest But again we we want to do more of this To be able to really start to look at Those yeah similarities uh between you Know over a decade Uh of different harvests in the same Field There’s a lot of interesting comments Coming in on the side about the Difference between provenance and terwar Which i think is Absolutely valid uh i just want to draw Everyone’s attention if i can to come by Uh Connoisseur a better known oh well Better known as conus but actually his Name here is lee connor which is his Real name he he does talk very much About the difference between The idea of the philosophical concept Of terroir which is kind of rooted in Romanticism and nativism and the skill Of the producer and these are not Metricable You cannot find them on a Spectrochromatograph However then if you’re looking at Proving terroir and looking at lab You know kind of analysis or sensory

Analysis to say This is specifically this i’m going to Come back to this book again I’m going to throw a little uh I’m going to throw a little grenade into The middle of the conversation um A lot of what’s been spoken about in Terre hauer and aids person at the Moment is driven by waterford whiskey And uh I Think that they’ve gone an Extraordinarily long way to proving That terroir exists in barley distillate Because they have single fields and they Have the varietals at the variety of Each Barley noted and the year The question then becomes as soon as Wood comes into play How much is Happening and also then there’s a Different question is is your would if If you talked about it as a grand Experiment jesse for a while let me Unpin you from my screen so that Everybody isn’t uh Uh not that we don’t want to look at Your beautiful face rick large but it’s It’s a democracy here so we want to uh Make sure everyone has the same uh Um space on the screen um Do you then need if you are bringing Wood in the provenance of the wood

The previous contents of the wood The species of the wood the forest that The wood was grown in And the consistency of that wood program Across all of your distillates If you then want to bring that into the Question of terror does that need to be Absolutely Charted because if you’re using a Terminology like say van du naturel That covers a lot And that covers a lot of flavor Contribution um so I desperately want to go to waterford Desperately want to taste every single Distillate that they’ve made and i would Love then to taste those distillates That have been aged in exactly the same Barrel program And it’s early days in that experiment And i know that there’s interesting Terroir experiments happening around Serial Distance let’s say let’s be honest i’m Talking about whiskey There are interesting experiments Happening in america around this in in Ireland in scotland i i’m a big fan of The um The uh isla barley releases that came From brooklyn i think they’re really Interesting and delicious i’m just gonna Drop that bomb and let whoever wants to Pick up the baton on that run with it

I might i might have a little bit sliver Oak okay I’m saying they’re going to camera Um I did a very very interesting tasting One time um with a gentleman called Claudia who who ages his champagnes in In oak from a forest called the argonne Forest uh which is just about outside of Champaign And he gave me three wines blind three Van claires so the vanclear is the the Still wine before it goes through the Second fermentation Um he said tell me what the difference Was i knows them you know i think i’m a Good taster apparently not Um i was like okay this is stainless Steel fermented this is cement tank Fermented and this is barrel aged Ferment Not a chance they were all Wood They were all from the argonne forest They were from different parts of the Forest and that was dominance Absolutely it was insane it was as Different as the two tequilas that Jesse’s just given me to taste and you Know it You look at the the limousine the tonsei You look at using amberana in kashaf Wood plays a huge role But wood can kill tawa because as soon

As you put new wood onto anything That becomes the dominant flavor Not the flavor of the thing coming Through unless the Distillate or the wine whatever is got Enough character in within itself To hold that flavor still and to grow With it Now I’m not going to talk about waterfood Because i have very strong views um but I will talk about oak and how it can Overpower and and i think if you look at Benoit jesse you can both probably talk About this a lot more than i can when it Comes to spirits because you know you’re Looking at two very very powerful Flavors within and i and i do think in Both tequila in the right Amount Um i’m not a great fan of big anejos That just tastes like i’m chewing on a Piece of cardboard And same with with Rums that have been overpowered with oak But i do still think that both in the Right Use and in the right way using x you Know less sort of intent well Second fill third fill whatever Could potentially have it but still have To retain The character the spirit has to come Through and in a certain whiskey that i

Will remain nameless about it does not Come through end of okay well There’s there’s another variable which We’re going to throw in here and it’s Something that alessandro fabro who’s Commenting In putting in the comments here he’s Studying a phd On the idea on the concept of agronomic Practices and how that affects terroir And maybe that’s Right at the other end of the process We’re going like right back Um With maybe something for benoit within Um within roma agricola are there Different ergonomic practices for the Various different Cane fields and farms or distilleries or Is all just plant the cane and let it go And let it grow and be what it’s going To be No there are different practices Actually uh i think the latest Practices there some One distillery is using for example is Uh making their sugarcane plants grow in A greenhouse first Before planting them Uh when they’re about 30 centimeters High into the soil And this what it has been proven over This they’re working on this uh about Six years now and it has been proven

That it makes a huge difference as well Um they tend to produce more sugar you Have less Uh Sugarcane parts rottening in the field Uh when you plant them since um Well usually back then they used to Plant actually only by putting some Sugarcane pieces into the soil and see What happens okay so you maybe had like One one piece every ten pieces that’s That grew in this case Um You are sure that everything you you are Planting Is going to become a grown sugarcane Part um And so you’re also giving more space in The soil to breathe and and and bring Back more new nutrients to the to to the Plant and everything so this is going to Make a huge difference as well um and Basically it gives you the ability to Produce more And produce better Wasting less On The same surface Okay martinique nowadays has the problem That it’s an island you cannot grow an Island and they have reached the maximum Of capacity they can grow on the island Um In regard of the surface so now it’s

About how can we produce more and better With the same surface and that was one Solution that has been proposed uh by The past six years ago okay so you’re Essentially taking a completely new Approach to the agricultural aspect of Crop Yeah and it’s really interesting The the conversation is expanding out Far beyond the scope of what i even Thought was going to be possible which Is wonderful there’s some excellent Comments coming through Got approximately 10 minutes left seven Minutes but we’ll we might end up Stretching it a bit because i think it’s It’s worthwhile i’m gonna throw to the q And a’s Uh cesaro demis asks can we ask the Others what they think about the human Factor in terror um now obviously we Just spoke about part of that with the Agronomic practices um I’ve always wondered about this human Factor because I suppose we want to reframe the Question a little bit because It’s important that we state at the Outset that terroir isn’t the aim the Aim is to make delicious spirits the aim Of the distiller is to make wonderful Delicious spirits if terroir happens to Be expressed along the way That’s a fantastic aspect but that’s

Almost never the goal except maybe in Ocho’s case but maybe it can be both Goals at the same time So we’re not talking about quality We’re not really talking about Provenance we’re not even talking about Success we’re talking about is is this Something that happens with this Definition of the human contribution is That just a fuzzy get out of jail free Card or is that a specific thing there’s Shaking heads going i think i think it’s It’s a specific thing Um since as dawn said uh in the Beginning of of this uh Panel um Culture comes in place and I recall around nowadays Is Coming from the culture i mean 200 years Ago in martinique they were producing Rum out of molasses like anywhere else And at some point for different reasons Humans decided to make it differently And stop producing sugar and molasses by The same way and started producing uh Rum out of sugarcane juice so this has Been the beginning of a new way to Produce rum and also The beginning of the expression of Terroir at the very very beginning and This was actually built by humans it was A human idea to make that at that point I’ll start your own use the phrase

I think cassie had something and then I’ll oh [Music] Yeah i mean i think i think it breaks Down in in lots of different ways that Human human component of terroir you Know in a very Practical way i think of it as if you’re If your distillery or your fields are Located near You know a factory of some kind that’s Polluting the air or polluting the soil That’s a very direct Human element that’s going to affect Terroir right Then there’s what we would call the hand Of the maker what what ron cooper from Delegate calls the hand of the maker um And what what i’ve also heard referred To in in mexico is sasson Um so kind of the the effect Uh the the effect that the producer has On their product i call it kind of the Thumbprint or the the dna almost so Carlos camarena has a style That when you taste ocho tapatio You know you you get that style so That’s i guess it’s not terroir but that Is his influence on on those On those tequilas where if someone Followed his recipe and produced Tequila the same way it wouldn’t have That thumbprint on it so that’s kind of My my view on the human element

Sorry dawn oh yeah i think it’s hugely Important you know i i think if we look At kind of Dave brooms just writing a book at the Moment or is just finished called sense Of place and we’ve talked a lot about This idea of the human element and You know it has a massive effect and if You think about how that then transfers Through generations there’s always Shifts In styles and patterns and and things so Even though you should have in the heart Of it let’s take glenlivet as an example Blend limit for me the heart of it is Red apples That red apple is shown through no Matter who’s the distiller Because that’s something about glendivit But there has been shifts in how glenn Living takes you know and not just Through who’s distilling it but as the Years have changed fashion’s changed Cultures changed marketeers influence Available words there’s Drift in the strain there’s lots of Influences yeah yeah you know the human Is essentially that is as benoit said That’s who created terroir Was created by someone saying this Tastes like this here and we need to Protect that And you know and i think that’s where Spirits have to get much more more

Strong especially as we know the world Of rum um it’s a little bit maverick Occasionally And there’s others you know we’ve seen The problems with japan now um So you know it’s protecting that sense Of place is maybe what we should be Talking about how do you protect those Cultures those histories those flavors That come from something and will Terroir be able to help in that Conversation and i i think that’s maybe A way of looking at it yeah so terroir Is rather done as a marketing term more As a positive influence on how we Treat and respect the practices and Cultures of the of the producers um we Did within um all of our wct courses From level one to three in spirits we All again we talk about the four stages Of production and what we’re talking About here really is A lot of these are choices that are Going to be made at a micro level every Day in producing the spirit how long am I going to let the firmament run how am I going to control the temperature what Point i’m going to keep the cut So It’s almost impossible to remove these From What what actually is in the glass what Is in the glass is always going to be Absolutely influenced by the people who

Make the decisions because guess what Your Your your agave isn’t going to jump into A glass he needs to get there by the Hand of man as uh jesse said or the hand Of woman as is uh very often the case in Ocho these days um Just i’m aware that we’re getting close To the time i’d like everybody we had a Poll at the start so everybody is Watching if you wouldn’t mind we’re Going to launch that same poll again and I want to see has there been any shift In the idea of does terroir exist in Spirits And one one comment that i’ll make too Just to echo what dawn has said If i were to rephrase the question and Say Do most Are are most spirits that claim to be Terror driven actually terror driven i Would say no you know 99 of the time i Agree that it’s The buzzword of the day whether you use The word terroir or it’s single origin Or it’s single estate in in our case i See so many spirits that say single State it doesn’t mean anything in most Cases it’s like Dawn said it’s like uh craft or Artisanal or small batch was 10 years Ago Um

Oh it’s a very similar split in the First time there’s a couple of more no’s In there some people have [Laughter] It’s not so much does it exist is can it Be expressed and expressed well and is When we talk about terroir Is what we’re talking about always what The marketing team is talking about Death to all marketeers that’s what i Think I’m very bill hicks all of a sudden Well not always we always knew you were Um I think we’ve come to a really nice Moment to wrap it up i think that’s I really appreciate the contributions From everybody here I’ll be honest i’m just a conduit for This you guys know all and girls know a Lot more about this than i do um i just Gonna throw to each of you dawn If you Had a favorite spirit that you’d say This expresses terroir can you name one Or two that come to come to mind without Being uh without i’m brand neutral so I’m gonna i i’m a clarion girl through And through you know i don’t go there But but also i think do you think just Looking at these two watches i mean i’ve Always been a massive fan of ocho and I’m very very excited to see these in in 50 years time if i’m still alive

And see Are there Recognizable differences between it you Know i think agricultural is one of the Most amazing spirits in the world i Think we’re very blessed to have some Incredible spirits like cognac and And ones that really do speak of terroir So i can’t pick a favorite i mean i was Pixel but um no i can’t pick a favorite Because it you know it again we’re part Of choir it’s what we feel like drinking On what time what day and with it yeah That’s part of it as well even if and I’m sure you’ve noticed i’ve been Splitting along the way which is part of Best practice we do all after work later In the day um uh benoit um obviously he Showed us a great example there of a Single field varietal for for you Um When What does terwar mean in terms of just In the world of spirits do you feel that It has a place or do you feel that we Have to be very specific about it In my point of view terroir is A signature A signature could be of a country of a Region And even of a brand or a distillery and It’s Basically everything that Brings together this signature and makes

It unique What is unique about this distillery or This place or this region I mean if it’s a signage of a region Like martinique uh you have the aoc that Brings together all these theories and Tries to make them agree On at some point that Rums from our country have to taste like This And there’s a chart um But inside of this chart each distillery Has its specifications so that’s a sub Signature could maybe could be called a Soft terroir if you want uh but it’s Definitely to me everything that makes Your product unique Uh in comparing it with some others and That as much as in process As um In culture As know-how but also in taste and i Think the most important part of this is The taste absolutely as well and what’s In the glass jesse just to Throw to you very last moment i think Something that’s really come out of this Conversation that’s got me thinking in a Lot of ways and uh thank you all for for For opening up the various different Branches of this conversation is The role that terroir can have in Protecting A culture in terms of the production

Styles and the choices and the heritage Of that culture obviously within tequila And within the gabby spirits we know That that culture is under broad attack From a lot of different Places at the moment and it’s got a huge Susceptibility underlining it with the Which the uh project the mercy lag or The back project and the pollination Project is trying to address for you Where do you see terwar playing a role In the future of that culture within the Con within the context of tequila Yeah i mean tequila you mentioned agave Spirits because mezcal is a is a big big Question and a big big debate and it’s It’s a bit of a mess now because there’s A lot of growing pains as to how how do You protect That without excluding people that have Been producing mezcal for Uh you know generations and hundreds of Years in their family in some cases so Um I think it’s i think well mezcal and Tequila are different so sticking with Tequila um no i think i think That the crt have done a good job with Creating the current denomination of Origin And um You know there’s there’s an agave Shortage but everyone Uh

There’s a lot of space you know it’s not Like that the islands that uh that uh Was mentioning That they’re running out of space we Still have space so i don’t think that’s The issue And the bat friendly project that you Mentioned is A very long-term project as well that we Aim to naturally reintroduce genetic Diversity into the blue agave species Using bats why because the plant flowers At night being nocturnal the the blue Agave and bats being nocturnal feed on On those that pollen at night so That’s a whole other topic uh but yeah i Don’t know i i’m i’m kind of struggling To to respond to your question of how Terroir fits into that but uh Well you know what we don’t have to have All the answers today this is the Conversation that’s just gonna run and Run and run and maybe we might come back For a different take on it at a Different time but for now i just want To say thank you very much jessie este Has been well by danelle and don davies It’s been a pleasure thank you very much To everybody who’s participated the chat Section has been going nuts Um the cue the questions have been very Interesting it has all been super Interesting thank you so much for your Participation and

Solancha Cheers thanks for having us thank you Thank you the thank yous are coming in