Wine lovers know about terroir. Primarily it's the soil of the particular region that contributes to the characteristics of the grapes grown there, but it's also the general topography and the weather conditions that create the unique qualities of the crops--so says Wikipedia.
I was familiar with the concept of terroir in relation to wine, but I heard the word over and over yesterday at the maison de chasseurs. The wine was local, the armagnac was local. The prunes, the deer that was in the sausage, the succulent pieces of boar that were on our plates all were local. "Terroir," said the man across the table from me every time he put something on my plate or filled my glass.
So I looked it up. "It can be loosely translated as a 'sense of place'," Wikepedia says.
Writers know about sense of place. Every story happens in a particular place at a particular time, and we take pains to evoke that time and place, searching for the exact words that will bring the setting and the story to life.
And so it is. The stories that come out of my time here in Auvillar were born in this place. Terroir.