The team collected grapes and wine from the two vineyards over three years: 2010, 2011 and 2012. The chemists analyzed their samples, separating the chemicals in the wines and measuring the masses of the molecules they gathered. They found statistically significant differences between the products they analyzed. Some of the differences were associated with the year the grapes were grown—meaning that in some ways, all the 2010 grapes and wines were alike to each other, even if they were made in different vineyards, and so on with the 2011 wines and the 2012 wines. But other differences really were associated with the different vineyards, regardless of vintage.
Which wine chemicals are affected by terroir? That's a question for another study, the wine-analyzing team members write in a paper they published about their work in the journal PLOS ONE. Their techniques gave them guesses about which chemicals matter, but they'll need to do more analyses to name the chemicals for sure. Why identify a wine's terroir with chemistry? The team doesn't answer that, but we've seen a few useful alcohol analyses here and there, including an analysis of some beer found in an early-1800s shipwreck. However, it seems experts identified the wines found in the same shipwreck not by their chemistry, but by the appearance of their bottles and corks
Source: popsci.com By Francie Diep