GIs are signs which represent regional products. These products matter to consumers, producers and policy makers. However the law in this area – the overlapping international legal regimes regulating the use and misuse of such signs – is a mess. Not just a little untidy but spectacularly controversial and fundamentally contested. To give you a taster: There is no consensus on the appropriate subject matter definition, scope of protection, form of protection or even the very basis for protection. This ambiguity leaves a number of unsettled controversies in its wake. Should only Greek producers be allowed to make Feta? Do the French “own” Champagne? To what extent do we protect GIs from developing countries – regional specialities consisting of coffees and crafts, toys and textiles? How do we draw boundaries around production regions for such craft products? Given the variety of forms of protection in this area, what institutional configurations work best? Then there’s the overarching enquiry: How are we to decide these questions? What are the epistemic frameworks – the background benchmarks for separating true from false claims – that operate in this area? The book project, of which this chapter forms a part, addresses these questions. It is organised around the following axis of enquiry: How did Geographical Indications (GIs) emerge as a distinct category within international Intellectual Property law? Why did different sub-species of GIs follow discrete trajectories? Finally, are there compelling normative arguments to sustain this ontologically distinct status? In revisiting the history of French wine regulation, this chapter investigates a key piece of the puzzle. The argument that GIs are a distinct category of signs which deserve special treatment rests upon the link between such regional products and their place of geographical origin. This is encapsulated by the notion of terroir. This link is clarified and institutionally expressed in the context of the French wine industry, during the period under consideration. It continues to influence present day trade negotiations, arouses passions and informs legal categories. Yet terroir has several iterations, which have in turn changed over time. This chapter considers whether terroir has been sufficiently re-invented so as to remain useful and relevant. In the process, it is worth asking whether the story of wine should become the story for all GIs.