Appellation is a French word that simply means name or title. The word is used to legally indicate a geographical location. It is used to identify where the grapes for a wine were grown. Other types of food often have appellations as well.

Vintage is the process of picking grapes and creating a finished product. A vintage wine is one made from grapes that were all, or primarily, grown and harvested in a single specified year.

Terroir is the wine’s expression of the place from where it came. When winemakers speak about terroir, they’re talking about a variety of things that influence the vine, including the type of soil it’s growing in, the slope and elevation of the vineyard, as well as the climate and weather.

Noble grape is a term used to describe the international variety of grapes that are recognisable for the quality wine they produce. Historically speaking, there were only six varieties of noble grape. The white noble grapes were Sauvignon blanc, Riesling, and Chardonnay. The red noble grapes were Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (and some argue a seventh; Syrah). Nowadays, as there is more experimentation with grapes, the list grows. There may now be up to 18 varieties of noble grape.

First growth‘ or ‘second growth‘ relates to wines from Bordeaux. This is a ranking system developed in 1855: wine estates of the region were ranked in order of quality from ‘first growth‘ to ‘fifth growth‘.

Cru is a vineyard or group of vineyards. It especially refers to one of recognised quality. The French term translates as ‘growth’. It is the past participle of the verb “croitre” (to grow).