I hooked up with my friend Pascaline who is here from France. On a breezy visit she said to me with her characteristic urgency said, "I need to learn about American wine, quick." Then she asked me for a book on the 'terroir' of California. And I realized there are press releases, there are AVA sites but a book on California terroir and how it relates to the state's wine is unfortunately so irrelevant. "Pascaline, how do you address terroir in a their prevalent wine culture (okay, okay, I'm not saying that there are some exceptions--I'm saying prevalent) that denies terroir except when it is a marketing tool? " One could write a book, and maybe it exists, on the characteristics of California terroir, I've even heard Peter Wasserman, Becky of Burgundy's son, hold forth on the differences, but what do I really think? Oh come Alice, tell us what you really think: in a region mostly tecnolizes it's wines to the market, how is it even up for discussion? Poor petite Pascaline, who one day soon, maybe even in November, might be the next meuilluer sommelier du monde, just couldn't comprehend. So, with a half block to spare before we parted ways, she to the Pegu Club for les cocktail and I to Fat Burning Pilates for increased metabolism, I said,” Here is the story: Napa =Fog. Sonoma=slightly cooler so they think they're superior. Anderson and Mendocino, the Loire of California, if they are lucky. Basically look for the highest elevation in California, Paso, could be interesting with the wall of mountains separating vines from beach, peculiar micro-climates and granite....and all around, look for the rare old vines.. Her eyes vibrated. "Old vines? Forty years?" When I told her some eighty years and beyond and look for the old 'goblet' (she didn't know the term, head pruned) she got excited. She had no idea, "So there's hope!" Even though there are hardly any left, I said, "Look, it's not that there isn't some potential in California. It's not that they can't make some really kick ass wines, it's just they don't. They lost their way. Maybe they'll find it once again."