Weed + A Sense of Place: How The Wine World Inspired A Brave New Way To Appreciate Quality Cannabis
Updated: Oct 6, 2020
In the wine world, the word "terroir" means a lot for serious wines. Further, the brands that wear their "appellations" as a badge of honor, can usually articulate the nuances of the terroir unique to their grape’s growing region. Terroir is simply defined as a natural environment where a grape is grown and a wine is produced. Now depending on how that wine is produced, the environment can play a huge role in what the grapes end up tasting like.
To explain further, "appellations" are protected areas used to identify where a grape is grown. So if a certain wine grows in a certain area with a noteworthy terroir, then you’ve got yourself an interesting story and a pretty consistent idea of what to expect in flavor and style from any wines made in that area (appellation). For example, the Rutherford area of Napa Valley is an appellation (protected area) known for a terroir attribute called "Rutherford Dust" which is an element of the soil that, for grapes grown in this region, impart a dusty tannin effect with hints of plump cocoa powder that are a prized characteristic of their wines. Thus, no wine can call itself a Rutherford wine unless it was grown there. Ok we totally geeked out! But you get the idea.
Now imagine this model designed for cannabis. Can't? Well that's exactly what Governor Gavin Newsom did in the state of California today, Sept. 30th, when he signed the SB 67 bill. Imagine, the local terroir of a microregion of Humboldt county that grows a gorgeous strain of OG Kush outdoors with a soil type and mineral composition that yields a very specific sensory experience, look, and smell every time it pops out of the ground. No other OG Kush could claim itself a Humboldt OG Kush unless it is in fact grown there. That's the power of appellation designations and it's been a hot topic in Northern California for years.
So to all my cannabis connoisseurs out there, cheers to fancy dinners and bougie weed consumption that's sure to take this concept to the next level. I'm also excited for the foodies and cannabis culinary artists of the world. They'll be more critical of the strains they choose for their menus and can enhance the guests' dining experience when these insights are shared table-side during service. The question is how much will consumers care initially? And how willing are they to commit to getting schooled on a "sense of place" for the awesome buds they're enjoying?
"Excuse me, do you have Willamette Valley Lemon Haze sun-grown pre-rolls or can I only get central Oregon varieties here? I'm looking for something zesty and citrusy without the woody vibes of say a California Bay Area specific, Gelato."
What a time to be alive...
Tiffany (IG: @ms.motovino) is an author, sales executive, business coach, wine specialist, cannabis business operator, and beverage manufacturer. Not only is she the owner of Motovino, a professional development and wine education platform, but also the founder of SHOKi, a premium beverage and lifestyle brand that makes spirit-free cocktails powered by the soil.