The best way to experience terroir for yourself is to taste several different wines from different growing areas made from the same grapes and in similar styles. A perfect case in point is California Pinot Noir from Sonoma. There are two kinds of California Pinots: fruit-forward, ripe, American-style wines, and earthy, restrained wines more akin to French Burgundies. The former far outweigh the latter.
Flowers Pinot Noirs fall into the Burgundian camp. Most Sonoma County Pinots are fruit-laden; the best have balanced tannins, the worst are overripe. Flowers takes advantage of its position in the Sonoma Coast AVA -- coolest growing area in the county -- to produce crisp, smoky wines with beautiful red-fruit flavors that don't overwhelm the palate.
Taste them tonight at Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, where $45 gets you two-ounce pours of four recent Pinot releases, plus one of their equally beautiful Chardonnays. Then go taste a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir: You'll be able to talk terroir with the best of them.