​​Terroir Guru 

​In vino veritas et felicitas

​​We began 2016 in a very auspicious way: with media coverage of our website!

The veteran New Jersey food and culture writer Teresa Politano spoke with us and published an article on Jan. 8.

Article below, thanks!

Madison man aims to educate wine consumers

By: Teresa Politano 


Fred Pieretti considers this the golden age for the American wine consumer.

We've gone through our phases — the white zinfandels, the merlots, the cheeky wines of Australia. Now, with a little bit of effort, we can arm ourselves with a lot of knowledge. And reap real rewards.

Thus, Terroir Guru (terroirguru.com) — his website dedicated to educating the wine consumer.

Pieretti, who lives in Madison and is working his way through the rigorous levels of wine expertise as outlined by the Court of Master Sommeliers, launched the site in 2015. His grand hope is to eventually quit his day job in corporate communications so he can work full time as a wine educator. Meanwhile, he's content to build his audience as he goes, one set of tasting notes at a time.

Guru, he warns, is a self-applied term and a little presumptuous. Pieretti doesn't take himself so seriously. And the wines he recommends are usually less than $20 a bottle.

It's a price point that matters. "It's what I like to talk about. Otherwise, you're preaching to the 1 percent," he says.

Terroir is the real point of the website. The notion, as wine goes, that geography is destiny. That wines that have been manipulated (with tannins added, or by blending grapes or vintages) are not as distinct or as pleasurable as a wine that celebrates the earth from which it came. The best wines, Pieretti argues, are those made in the vineyards. Not the wineries.

One of Pieretti's latests pleasures is a 2014 white wine from Vouvray, France, produced with chenin blanc grapes by Vigneau Chevreau.

Vouvray wines have been famous for centuries, particularly the wines from Marmoutier Abbey. But the abbey was disestablished in 1799 and the vineyards neglected for two centuries. In 1995, the Vigneau-Chevreau family began replanting the abbey vineyard. The Vouvray ethic has always been a minimalist one, to allow the grape itself to shine. In addition, the Vigneau Chevreau operation is organic.

This bottle, in particular, says Pieretti, earns its superlatives. "Best dry white wine under $20 anywhere."

His friends and family are also wine experts, including the owners of Papapietro Perry Winery in California, an acclaimed producer of Russian River Valley pinor noir. Their origin story — how they began their winery in a garage — was the first told on Terroir Guru.

Pieretti also invites contributors, and hopes to build the site into an interactive (noncommercial) discussion. For folks who agree with him or not. "A frank and friendly discussion of all things wine."