When it comes to wine making, why are the Burgundians so attached to the concept of 'terroir' - the soil, climate, and in fact, the entire wine-growing environment? For us, the noble art of 'assemblage' is almost impossible. From a practical standpoint, the consequences of such regulations are immense. We cannot simply make do with what nature offers us - each 'terroir' must make an effort to find its own optimum solutions and discover how to reach its greatest potential.
The old cliché about the wine grower who "lets nature do all the work" is only an illusion. Wine growing is a sophisticated and mature tradition, and the balance with the environment is always precarious.
Like a patient and loving father, a wine grower must make every effort to develop each of the wine-growing areas in his charge. He must help them blossom, develop their talents, correct their faults, and guide them. The appellations where nature is allowed to have its own way are few and far between and may only really exist in a few very old vineyards.
A wonderful revelation awaits the wine grower when he approaches the wine making process in this way: it is that a vineyard, whether mature or leafless with age, still needs the guidance of an experienced hand to achieve its full potential.