Only a river separates Spanish and Portuguese Albariño vineyards, but the wines they make are radically different
While it may be true that terroir determines the true character of a wine, culture and history count, too. Consider the white grape Albariño ("ahl-bar-EEN-yoh"). Grown in Spain and in Portugal (where it is known as Alvarinho; "ahl-vah-REE-nyoh"), it produces wildly different wines as a result of divergent national customs, and it provides a case study on the influence of tradition on taste.
For the full article, check out the new issue of Wine Spectator, on newsstands December 15, 2002.