On a recent trip to San Francisco I had the occasion to finally visit Terroir Wine Bar. I first learned about Terroir months ago from reading Vinography and have had this one on my list to visit for a while. Terroir’s focuses on providing ‘natural’ wines (biodynamic wines included as I noticed several prominent biodynamic wines available for sale).


‘Terroir is a wine merchant with a definite point of view: we believe that wine is at its best when it is produced according to traditional methods and reflects sense of place. Almost every wine we offer is made by hand, from organic grapes, and without the use of adjuncts, additives or chemicals.’

– Terroir Newsletter


Below are my ramblings as I scribbled them during my visit. This is unedited.    

Taxi – corner of Folsom and Langton. 

First impression – sparse but has real character!

Interesting piece of art work just to the right of the front door… a black and white mugshot photo of Alder Yarrow of Vinography. I can only assume that this is a result of his review of Terroir.

“Can’t we all just get along?” ~ Ancient Proverb from Los Angeles


Cold, exposed brick walls, accented and supported by old wood beams. Reminds me of a cross between an English farm house and industrial building.


Circa 1990 slide projector rotated photos of some unknown woman on the wall opposite of the bar. I asked about the woman. One of the owners (whose name escapes me right now) told me he picked up the slides at a thrift shop. In a way that I can not clearly articulate, this is a fitting touch.

Loft upstairs with a couch and couple tables. Great touch – very inviting. Would be a great place to hang out and drink wine and ramble about nothing. I wish I hadn’t made the trek alone.


Should have brought camera.

2004 Domaine de Trevallon Cab – Syrah blend.


Great wine. Should have bought a full bottle. Had 3 glasses. Bad deal for me.


Used a ‘real’ cork screw to extract the cork – traditional!

Salami and cheese board. A couple of gerkins, french bread, mustard, butter (the French really like butter).

Not airey and massive like Bin36 in Chicago… Quaint like Terroir. Not hard wood and sterile like Sonoma Wine Bar in Virginia Beach… intimate like Terroir.


5 reds by the glass and 5 whites by the glass on the chalkboard.


They use Opinel France knives.


In French on one of the other chalkboards (no clue what this means):

Ici on est pas a aroite ni a gauche. On aime les vins comme ca la LCR le CNT.


Very traditional – even from the cork screw.


This has more ‘real’ character than 95% of the wine bars I’ve been in.

Playing old vinyl records a real record player.

Terroir – sincere energy here, wholesome, real. Will be back.


If you ever make your way to San Francisco and appreciate true experiences, consider visiting Terroir Natural Wine Merchant.

(Useless factoid of the day… Microsoft Word auto spellchecker does not like the word Terroir.)