In the classical conception, this "somewhere-ness" is about the special, unique quality imparted by the earth and the environment that transcends the winemaker's personal style or quality aesthetic. A particular group of vineyards or block of vines, belonging to a specific appellation and sharing the same type of soil, weather conditions, grapes and wine making savoir.

The philosophy of terroir is fundamentally about evolution, regions evolve to understand what varieties and wine styles work best in their environment, principally some varieties and styles will never succeed in areas based on the climatic limitations of the region, full bodied reds are impossible to make in cold wet regions, and fine delicate wines are impossible to produce in warm, dry regions.