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挑选葡萄酒看产地还是种类?

更新时间:2018-7-15 11:53:39 来源:千亿千亿国际娱乐官网 作者:佚名

Does soil really affect wine's flavour?
挑选葡萄酒看产地还是种类?

“Soil, not grapes, is the latest must-know when choosing a wine,” Bloomberg has proclaimed. Meanwhile, wine writer Alice Feiring has published a book which helps drinkers choose their tipple by “looking at the source: the ground in which it grows”. And there are now restaurants with wine lists organised not by grape, wine style or country of origin, but by vineyard geology.

据彭博新闻社(Bloomberg)宣称,"挑选葡萄酒时,首先要看的是产地,而不是葡萄本身。"葡萄酒作家费蕊(Alice Feiring)也有类似的主张,她撰写了一本书,书中指导饮酒者通过"了解葡萄酒出产地的风土"来选酒。现如今一些餐厅也不再按照葡萄种类、酒的风味或原产地对酒进行分门别类,而是依照葡萄酒酒庄的地质情况来排序。

The idea that a vineyard’s ground is important for wine took hold in the Middle Ages when, legend has it, Burgundian monks tasted the soils to find which would give the best tasting wine. After all, the vines were obviously taking up water from the soil and so with it – presumably – everything else that they needed to grow.

葡萄园土壤是影响酒的关键因素,这一说法自中世纪就有。传说中当时勃艮第的僧侣们通过品尝土壤的味道来判断可能出产美酒的地方。毕竟,葡萄藤从土壤中吸收水分,并且它生长所需的一切也都取决于它。

But, as I discuss in my new book, the enthusiasm for the pre-eminence of geology is something new. Science long ago discovered photosynthesis, and showed that grapevines are made not of soil but, in a way, of sunshine, air and water. Essentially, grapevines use sunlight to extract carbon dioxide from the air and combine it with water from the ground to make all the various carbohydrate compounds that make the vine. Flavour precursors then develop in the ripening grapes and fermentation converts them into the hundreds of aromatic compounds that determine what a wine tastes like.

但正如我在刚出版的新书中所探讨的,关于地质学对葡萄酒具有显著作用这方向的学术兴趣近期才开始涌现。很早之前,科学界就有了光合作用这一发现,这说明葡萄植株的生长并非仅由土壤决定,而是某种程度上取决于日照、空气与水。从本质上说,葡萄藤利用阳光从空气中获取二氧化碳,再跟来自土壤的水结合,以形成各种碳水化合物,从而促进植株生长。葡萄酒口感的初级形态随葡萄的成熟而形成,发酵过程再将它们转化成数百种决定葡萄酒味道、香气与口感的酚类芳香化合物。

On the other hand, none of these kinds of assertions indicate how it is that a particular rock brings something to the wine in your glass – and our present scientific understanding makes it difficult to see how this might happen. The fact is that the claims largely are based on anecdote: the scientific justification is slender.

再者,过往的种种断言中,并没有相关指向表明土壤地质特征如某种特定的石头能给杯中酒造成什么口感上的影响。我们目前的科学认知也无法解释这种影响究竟是如何发生的。实际上传闻大部分是基于轶事传闻,科学证据不足。

That’s not to say the ground isn’t relevant. It governs how roots obtain water, in a pattern that is pivotal to how grapes swell and ripen. We know of 14 elements that are essential for the vine to grow, and almost all of them originate in the ground. Some may make it through to the finished wine, in minuscule amounts that can’t be tasted, though in some cases they can influence how we perceive flavours.

但这并不意味着产地风土毫无关联。毕竟风土决定着葡萄植株的根系获取水分的方式,对葡萄果实生长与成熟至关重要。我们已知影响葡萄植株成长的共有14个关键因素,而几乎所有的因素来自土壤。虽然部分因素可能对成品酒味道的影响微乎其微,不过有时它们会影响品酒者的味觉感知。

But there are other factors at play that are invisible and hence overlooked.

然而,其实还有其他因素也在起作用,只是因为肉眼不可见,所以就被忽视了。

Take for example the land at the Fault Line vineyard at Abacela in Oregon’s Umpqua Valley. It shows marked variations in soil types over small areas. Corresponding changes in the wines were assumed to reflect these geological variations.

举例来说,位于美国俄勒冈州的安普夸山谷(Umpqua Valley)阿坝塞拉酒庄(Abacela)有着"断层线"葡萄园,地形多样。在这里,小小区域的土壤类型也大不同。而据说地理条件不同造就了同一葡萄园内截然不同的葡萄酒风味。

However, in 2011, the owners started to collect data from 23 sites, every 15 minutes for five years. The results showed marked spatial variations in the intensity of solar radiation and that temperatures during the ripening period varied by nearly 5°C – all within this single vineyard. Differences in the soil weren’t high on the list of factors that influenced grape ripening.

2011年,酒庄老板在葡萄园内设23个点,每隔15分钟采集一次数据。持续五年采集的数据结果显示,同一葡萄园内的日照强度存在显著的区域差异,葡萄成熟期时园内不同地区温度差异将近5摄氏度。在影响葡萄成熟的各项因素排名中,土壤差异并未列于高位。

Meanwhile, there recently has been excitement in scientific circles about the possible importance of microbiology in the vineyard because new technologies have revealed distinct fungal and bacterial communities at different sites. It’s not clear what effect this has on wine taste. But the kingdom of fungi includes organisms like the mould Botrytis that is responsible for the famous noble rot infection (which turns grapes into partial raisins) of sweet wines like Sauternes. And there are yeasts too – both those that guide alcoholic fermentation and those like Brettanomyces which can affect the flavour of wine. But again, perhaps because all this is effectively invisible and it’s all technical stuff, such things are avoided in most wine writings.

与此同时,近期有新技术揭示出地点不同,栖居的真菌和细菌群落也存有差异,因此科学界对于微生物对葡萄酒潜在影响的相关课题也兴趣高涨。微生物对葡萄酒风味所起的作用尚不清楚。但真菌界既包括像葡萄孢菌类,比如会使葡萄变得干瘪,甜度变高的贵霉菌(Botrytis ),像是苏特恩甜葡萄酒中的甜味即由此而来;也有酵母菌类,它们在葡萄发酵过程中将糖分转化为乙醇,例如一种名为布鲁氏酒香酵母(Brettanomyces)的酵母菌会极大影响葡萄酒的味道。同样地,或许因为这些都是肉眼看不见的,且都是生物技术层面的东西,我们在大多数葡萄酒有关的文字作品中看不到这些。

Vineyard soil, on the other hand, is right there, palpable and familiar. But the truth is that most vineyards are routinely gouged, fertilised and irrigated. With this amount of artificial manipulation, is this new preoccupation with the natural geology justified?

另外,葡萄园的土壤就在那里,一方土地,可触可摸,再寻常不过。但事实上,绝大多数葡萄园会定期松土、施肥和灌溉。经由这些人为操控后,目前自然地质学对葡萄酒作用的研究是否站得住脚呢?

Of course, science may be missing something, and perhaps with continuing research we will learn of some new phenomenon. But with our present scientific understanding of grapevine physiology, it doesn’t seem enough just to make grand assertions without offering some basis. Saying, for instance, that an Austrian Reisling wine has “complexity because of the slaty para-gneiss, amphibolite and mica soils” may sound impressive – but surely some indication is needed on how this works?

当然,科学也许会遗漏一些东西。或许随着研究的不断深入,我们将发现一些新现象。但就我们目前对葡萄植株生理学的科学认知,没有充分的事实证据就武断地下结论是不可行的。例如,倘若说奥地利出产的一款雷司令(Reisling)白葡萄酒口味"复合,是因为葡萄出产于富含石板麻岩、闪岩和云母等几种矿石的土地上",听起来是挺唬人的,但个中原理还是需要更科学的阐释。

It is, however, likely that such pronouncements will continue, maybe even expand. People like the idea of a direct link between the wine in their glass and a particular vineyard soil, especially if it’s clothed with fine-sounding terms. It sounds romantic, it makes readable journalism – and it’s good for marketing. Apparently, that trumps the science.

不过,相似言论未来可能仍会出现,甚至更多。人们总喜欢把杯中酒和特定葡萄园的土壤做关联,对昂贵的佳酿就更是如此。这种联系听起来浪漫十足,大家都喜闻乐见——对营销推广也益处多多。这些显然胜过科学的吸引力。

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