Vineyards refer to the special qualities of their soil with the French term, terroir, meaning unique place, or territory. It is the soil that imparts a characteristic flavor and chemical profile. In France, the terroir determines the value of the wine. That's why no one else, even with the same grapes and process, can use the name "Champagne" for sparkling white wine - because Champagne is a place, whose terroir is protected.
Well, New Day Farm is hereby appropriating this term for our single source maple syrup. Every day the sap we gather from our woods is different. What's more, it differs from our neighbors' sap on the other side of the mountain, or across the valley 3 miles away. Our southeast-sloping forest, with its rocky streams and particular arrangement of oaks, firs, poplars, birches combine to make our stand of sugar maples unique.
In our own woods, results are different every day. Shifts in moisture, temperature, barometric pressure, and winds combine with mineral and biological activity, to make the earth forces different every day. And no doubt, our trees must also feel different. The snow stays on the ground a long time. Maybe that makes a difference. We aren't sure. But our sap, and the syrup we make from it, comes out differently every day.
Here Collin is holding up two samples - one will be marked Grade A amber, the other Grade A dark. Both are delicious, and both came from the exact same process - no extra boiling, nothing added, nothing removed. Just nature's terroir playing with color and flavor. No wonder the critters in the forest are always after our sweet sap!
Both samples are also loaded with antioxidants and essential minerals, specifically: calcium, riboflavin, potassium, magnesium, zinc and manganese. Where do these come from?
The answer lies in the mystery of the tree roots making contact deep within the forest floor with all sort of trace minerals, fungi, and buzzing underground biological activity. No doubt the stray deer, bear or bird poop adds to the equation. And the streams. We just don't know, and I for one am content to enjoy the mystery - and the delicious, complex flavor the mystery imparts. Terroir = single source = yummy!
Wassail! Visit us at www.newdayfarmvt.com