Literally translated terrior means earth or soil. Terrior is French term for the sum of every environmental force affecting a given vineyard site; the soil type, the orientation of the vineyard to the sun, the elevation of the vineyard, rainfall, wind velocity, frequency of fog, average high and low temperatures. No single word in English exists for this concept.

The terrior imparts the characteristics, tastes and flavors to a wine by the environment in which it is produced. This would explain the phenomena that a Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc, for example, from different parts of the world let alone different vineyards in the same country can taste very different!