Wine Searcher

  • Bordeaux Wine - French Wine

     IChateau Premieres Cotes Bordeauxn terms of producing fine wines Bordeaux is the largest and most important region of France for the best French wine. Throughout its long history Bordeaux has had connections with England, and during a 300-year spell from 1152, was under English rule.

      Bordeaux lies on the rivers Garonne and dordogne, which join to become the Gironde, before flowing into the Atlantic. The climate, influenced by the sea and rivers, is mild, slightly humid and summers tend to be long and warm.

     The soil in Bordeaux is generally gravel, clay or sand and limestone. Gravel’s warm and well-draining properties suit Cabernet Sauvignon, and can be found in the Haut-Médoc, while the clay and limestone soil of St Émilion and Pomerol is preferable for Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The Petit Verdot grape adds ‘seasoning’ to the wines of theMédoc and Graves (Left Bank), while Malbec contributes colour and fruitiness in both Left Bank and Right Bank wines, such as those from the Côtes de Bourg. These grape varieties are blended together in varying percentages from château to château, to make Bordeaux red wines.

     FRENCH WINE *** wine Bordeaux

    Bordeaux French Wines

     The white French wines of Bordeaux are made from three main varieties of grape: Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle, with some Colombard and Ugni Blanc being incorporated into the lesser wines. Sémillon’s lemon characteristics and relatively high alcohol content make it a popular choice for both dry ans sweet dessert wies. Lowish in acidity, it’s often blended with the early ripening Sauvignon, which is lively both in aromatics and acidity. Muscadelle adds a certain peachy, musky, and floral quality. Bordeaux also produces Rosé and Claret for the best French wine.

    Premieres Cotes de Boredeaux WineFRENCH WINE *** wine Bordeaux

    Bordeaux’s most famous red wines are the classified first growths, Cru Classé of the Médoc, such as Château Latour, and the Merlot-dominated wines of St Émilion and Pomerol, such as Château Cheval-Blanc and Château Petrus. Outstanding dry whites include Château Carbonnieux, but it is the sweet wines of Sauternes, which are proably better known, such as the first growth of Château d’Yquem.

    Shopping for French wine can be quite a challenge, as there is often an immense range to choose from. Sometimes a little planning will be in your favour. Just knowing the type or style of a French wine you want will make your buying decision that much easier.

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  • Champagne & sparkling wines

       Putting the bubbles into wine can be done in several ways but only sparkling wines made in a certain region of narthern France can be called Champagne.

      The best way to produce sparkling wine is the 'Methode Traditionelle' , practised in Champagne and elsewhere. Base wines high in acidity and fermented to dryness are bottled and a small amount of sugar and yeast is then introduced to create a second fermentation. It is the second fermentation which creates carbon dioxide and thus the bubbles which give the wine its sprakle. As the carbon dioxide is unable to escape into the air it dissolves into the wine. The sediment, or less, left behind by the spent yeast stays in conctact with the wine until dégorgement, and imparts biscuity flavours and complexity.

      'Dégorgement' is the removal of the lees, in order to render the wine clear and bright. A process known as 'rémuge', which invols the twisting and turning of the bottles, slowly shifts the lees to the neck of the bottle. The necks of the bottles are then passed through a solution of freezing brine in order to freeze the first inch or so of wine now containing the lees. When the cap is removed, the pressure in the bottle forces out the ice pellet.

    sparklin wine To finish, the wine lost during 'dégorgement' is replaced by a mixture of wine and cane sugar, called the 'dosage' or 'Liquer d'Expedition'. The amount of sugar added has a bearing on the final style of the wine, for example a small amount of sugar is added for the dryish style of Brut while more is added for the quite sweet and sticky rich.

     A cheaper form of secondary fermentation can take place in closed tanks. Known as 'Cuve close', the wine is bottled under pressure so that it retains carbon dioxide. This method is generally reserved for less expensive fizz.

     Particular grape varieties are sought the world over. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir both have the attributes required to make great champagnes and sparkling wines. Although the best champagne may be a first choice for many as a 'desert island' bottle, there are plenty of fine sparkling wines around.

      Areas of England with chalky soil, combined with the country's cool climate, make it capabile of producing top-quality sparkling wine. Fruity and expressive sparklers come from riper fruit in countries such as Australia, USA, New Zealand and South Africa, while the favoured choice from Spain is Cava, a lighter sparkling wine made from indigenous grape varieties.

     Areas of England with chalky soil, combined with the country's cool climate, make it capabile of producing top-quality sparkling wine. Fruity and expressive sparklers come from riper fruit in countries such as Australia, USA, New Zealand and South Africa, while the favoured choice from Spain is Cava, a lighter sparkling wine made from indigenous grape varieties.

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  • Chardonnay White Grapes

    Today world's most popular white grape, Chardonnay express its varietal character in many forms: from the racy, steely, and nervy wines of Chablis, to the fuller-bodied, buttery rich wine made in the Napa Vally, California.

     Chardonnay grapes could be described as a 'winemaker's dream' because it's easy to work with and produces an amazing range of flavours- lemon, pineapple, peach, apple, honey, butter, bread, hazelnut, vanillia, and biscuit. The butter and creamy texture often associated with Chardonnay grapes is a signifiant sign that malolactic fermentation, which softens the 'green', underripe characteristics, has occurred. Malolactic fermentation will be encouraged in cool-climate wines that may well have excess acidity but is usually avoided in warmer climates, where acidity tends to be low.

     Chardonnay White Grapes Chardonnay grapes reaches its greatest heights in Burgungy's Cote D'Or, where the best wines, such as Meursault or Montrachet, gain sublime richness and complexity from the all-important limestone soil.

     This grape's rise to stardom has been dramatic, considering that in South Australia, no Chardonnay was planted until the early 1970s. There is a danger though, that the full-bodied, buttery, fruity Chardonnay with an oak flavour will become so popular that it may become difficult to convince consumers that a fresh, lively, oak-free version not only show the true characteristics of the grape variety, but is an alternative to the 'international style.'

      The Chardonnay grapes is grown in Burgungy, Champagne and the south of France, Australia, New Zealand, California, South America and South Africa.

     

    Sauvignon Blanc Grapes

    Sauvignon Blanc Grapeswhite-grapes

    This is an aromatic grape, which ripens early and is mostly grown in cool-climate vineyards.   Its range extends from featherweight tangy, dry white wines like Sauvignon de Touraine, to the ripe, almost tropical-like fruitiness obtained in California, where the less common addition of oak is often adopted and labelled 'Fume Blanc'. Sauvignon Blanc thrives on chalk or gravel soil.

    Riesling Grapes

    Riesling Grapeswhite-grapes

    The Riesling grape is seen by many as the most versatile variety of white grape in the world. It is without doubt a class act with a number of strengths, not least its ability to outperform Chardonnay in the longevity stakes.

    Semillon Grapes

    Semillon Grapeswhite-grapes

    Arguably one fo the most underrated verieties of grapes, Sémillon, Bordeaux's most widely planted white grape, makes delicious dry and sweet wines. With an almost honeyed texture, Sémillon is often partnered by Sauvignon Blanc to lift the acidity, although Australian winemakers also blend Sémillon Trebbiano.

    Chenin Blanc Grapes

    Chenin Blanc Grapeswhite-grapes

    An extremely versatile variety of grapes, Chenin Blanc is capable of making dry and crisp white wines that are great as an aperitif, through to medium, unctuous and sweet styles. Due to the keeen and vibrant acidity often found in Chenin Blanc grape, they make brilliant food wines and can stay in good shape for many years after the vitange.

    Other white grapes

    Other white grapeswhite-grapes

     This distinctive grape variety is known by its friends simply as Gewürtz but sometimes also as Traminer. It provides interese aromas, reminiscent of lychee, rose petals and spice.

     

    Shopping for wine can be quite a challenge, as there is often an immense range to choose from. Sometimes a little planning will be in your favour. Just knowing the type or style of a wine you want will make your buying decision that much easier. {jcomments on}

  • Chenin Blanc White Grapes

      An extremely versatile variety of grapes, Chenin Blanc is capable of making dry and crisp white wines that are great as an aperitif, through to medium, unctuous and sweet styles.

    Due to the keeen and vibrant acidity often found in Chenin Blanc grape, they make brilliant food wines and can stay in good shape for many years after the vitange. The grape seems to thrive best in marginal climates, such as the Loire Valley. and on chalky soils. Along the Luire Valley, in Vouvray, Montlouis, Anjou, Bonnezeaux, Quarts de Chaume, and Coteaux du Layon, Chenin can be hugely complex and of great character. The most amazing quality of Chenin Blanc wines is their longenity. Curiously, they become sweeter rather than drier with age. These are wines that can really benefit from bottle amutration and consequently make really good presents for christening of naming cereminies! The best Chenin Blancs are some of the wine world's most undervalued treasures.

    chenin blanc Less exciting wines are produced elsewhere. In South Africa for exemple, Chenin Blancs, known locally as Steen, often lack in complexity unless they are made from low-yielding bush vines, or the winemaking is in the capable hands of a conscientious producer. Old vine Chenin can take on another dimension when barrel fermentated or aged in oak.

      Chenin Blanc wines are made in the Loire, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and California. The sweet wines are found in the Loire and South Africa.

     

    Chardonnay Grapes

    Chardonnay Grapeswhite-grapes

    Today world's most popular white grape, Chadonnay express its varietal character in many forms: from the racy, steely, and nervy wines of Chablis, to the fuller-bodied, buttery rich wine made in the Napa Vally, California. 

    Sauvignon Blanc Grapes

    Sauvignon Blanc Grapeswhite-grapes 

    This is an aromatic grape, which ripens early and is mostly grown in cool-climate vineyards.   Its range extends from featherweight tangy, dry white wines like Sauvignon de Touraine, to the ripe, almost tropical-like fruitiness obtained in California, where the less common addition of oak is often adopted and labelled 'Fume Blanc'. Sauvignon Blanc thrives on chalk or gravel soil.

    Riesling Grapes

    Riesling Grapeswhite-grapes 

    The Riesling grape is seen by many as the most versatile variety of white grape in the world. It is without doubt a class act with a number of strengths, not least its ability to outperform Chardonnay in the longevity stakes.

    Semillon Grapes

    Semillon Grapeswhite-grapes

    Arguably one fo the most underrated verieties of grapes, Sémillon, Bordeaux's most widely planted white grape, makes delicious dry and sweet wines. With an almost honeyed texture, Sémillon is often partnered by Sauvignon Blanc to lift the acidity, although Australian winemakers also blend Sémillon Trebbiano.

    Other white grapes

    Other white grapeswhite-grapes

     This distinctive grape variety is known by its friends simply as Gewürtz but sometimes also as Traminer. It provides interese aromas, reminiscent of lychee, rose petals and spice.

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  • Chilean Wine and History

    Chilian WinesChile produces much less wine than Argentina, but has had greater success on the export markets. Known of its fruits and appealing wines, made from a wide range of grape varieties, Chile has the knack of producing wine style that consumers are very happy to drink.

     The foundations of today’s Chilian wine industry were laid down in the 1850s. Many South Americans were great travellers and wealthy landowners made the long journey to visit the vineyards of Europe.

    They retured with healty vines from regions like Bordeaux, which explains the presence of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carménere, a grape variety that was, eventually, to give Chilian winemakers a real point of difference. It wasn’t until the 1990s that Carménere eas identified by the French ampelographer Jean Michel Bourisiquot. Up until this time Carménere had been commonly mistaken for Merlot. Chilian Carménere has abundant blackbarry-like fruit, chocolate, and coffee flavours.

  • Classification for Bordeaux Wines

    Bordeaux Wines Classification

    Bordeaux Wine MedocAmong all Bordeaux classifications existing, it is the 1855 classification that’s meant when someone refers to Classification. It had been commissioned by Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce that was needed by the government of Second Empire for presenting selection of their wines at 1855 Exposition Universelle in Paris. Because of their own requirements, Bordeaux Stock Exchange brokers traditionally categorized most popular Bordeaux properties based on the prices they fetched, hence they had been charged by the Chamber of Commerce for submitting the entire list of the classified red Bordeaux wines along with great white wines.

  • Corsica - French Wine

    Two faces

    The grapes used for the first eight AC wines listed are the traditional varieties of Niellucciu, Sciacarello and Vermentinu, whilst Vermentinu, Nielluccio, Sciaccarello and Grenache are used for the generic Vins de Corse AC. The Vins de Pays wines are dominated by Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay.

    Corsica is divided in two areas in terms of its terroir. In the north (Bastia, Calvi, Corte, and Aleria) have complex soils of clay and chalk around Bastia (Patrimonio AC) and blue shale on the east coast, while the south (Porto, Ajaccio, Sartene, Bonifacio en Porto-Vecchio) consist entirely of igneous rock and granite. This dividing line is only a guide of course since there are countless mini-terroirs and micro climates to discover on the island.

     

    Grape varieties for a good French wine

    The three 'native' varieties of grape on Corsica are not actually entirely native. The names may be different but in reality two of the three are wellknownfrom elsewhere.

     

    VERMENTINU

    The white Vermentinu grape, also known as Corsican Malvoisie, is a typical Mediterranean grape which is also cultivated in Italy, Spain, and Portugal, where it produces white wines of quality. This French wine are very floral, usually strong in alcohol, full-bodied, and with abundant taste but definite aftertaste of bitter almond and apple. In common with the Italian practice this grape is also often added to red grapes to make a fine rose, but also to enhance the flavour of red wine.

     

    NIELLUCCIU

    This is a world-famous grape that is better-known under the name of 'Jupiter's Blood' or Tuscan Sangiovese. This French wine from this Niellucciu can be recognised by its nose of red fruit, violets, herbs, and sometimes apricot. When it is older it develops characteristic flavours of game, fur, and liquorice. The taste is worldly, fatty, and lithe. Niellucciu is particularly used to produce Patrimonio wines.

     

    SCIACCARELLO

    Sciaccarello is also known locally as Sciaccarellu, which has a meaning akin to 'crackling'. These French vines thrive extremely well on granite soil, such as around Ajaccio. Sciaccarello wines are very refined and recognisable above all by the characteristic pepper taste and aroma.

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  • French Wine Jura

    The area wine Jura

    The department of Jura lies in eastern France, in Franche-Comté between the Burgundian Côte d'Or and Switzerland.

     

    The five grape varieties from France

    Only five varieties of grape are penuitted Ior the prod uction of AOC (guarantee of origin) wines. Chardonnay, imported in the fourteenth century from neighbouring Burgundy, represents about 45% of the vines planted. This is an easily cultivated grape that usually ripens fully without difficulty around mid-September, containing plenty of sugars and therefore potentially a high level of alcohol, that produces very floral, fruity, and generous French wines.

    TFrench wine maphe Savagnin (15% of the total) is highly regarded locally. This is a native vine and this local variant of the Traminer produces the finest wines to come from the Jura, the famous vins jaunes. This late­ ripening grape is often harvested as late as the end of October.

    The Pinot Nair was also brought from Burgundy, but in the fifteenth century for French wine. These grapes ripen quickly and are full of flavour but are virtually never used on their own but in combination with the Poulsard to impart more colour and body. Trousseau (5%) is also a native variety which thrives well on warm sandy soil in the northern part of the Jura. This vine blossoms fairly late and produces very colourful and concentrated juice. Trousseau wines(French wine) reach an unprecedented level of maturity after being laid down in a cool cellar for ten years. Unfortunately this wine is extremely rare and little known. If you get the chance to taste it you should certainly do so. 

    Finally, the Poulsard (20%), a native vine with grapes that impart a fine pale red colour to their wine that contains many fruity and unusual aromas. Poulsard is used to make light red wines but also for roses such as the famous Pupillin Rosé.

    Read more about French wine

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  • Geneva Wine and Region

    Geneva Swiss Wine

    Geneva Wine FestGeneva is the third largest wine-producing canton of Switzerland after Valais and Vaud. The landscape around Geneva is much more gentle and less hilly than the other two main wine regions. The vineyards can therefore be larger and mechanisation is possible. This has no effect on quality but certainly on the price of the wine. The growers in the Geneva region have also been busy rationalising the processes and searching for the most suitable grape varieties for quality Swiss wines. The area is fairly flat with just the odd undulation but it is encircled by mountains which protect the vineyards against too much precipitation. The proximity of Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) also protects the vineyards against night frost during the growing and blossoming periods. Here too the underlying geology is fairly diverse.

  • Italian wine

        Italy has a million grape growers, hundreds of grape varieties, and an amazing number of wine regions and styles.

      Argyably, the country provides greater diversity than any other wine-producing nation. Native grape varieties are still Italy’s strength, but some notable success has also been achieved with international grape varieties, such as Chabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Chardonnay.

     Italian wines tend to be best appreciated with food, This is a nation where regional food and wines are wnjoyed togetherm a natural evolution that has developed over centuries. Cultivation of the vine was introduced by both the Greeks and Italy ‘Oenotria’, land of the wine. Although Italy’s wine laws have come in for some criticism, they broadly follow the French model, with Denominazione Origine Controllata e Garantita being reserved for a few ‘top’ wines, which are subject to strict rules of control. Denominazione di Origine Controllata introduced in 1963, guarantees that the wine has been produced in the named vineyard area.

    Italy wine map Methods of production are also specified. The newst category is Indicazione Geographica Tipica, which mirrors the French Vin de Pays. The removal of restrictions had led to winemakers making the most of blending opportunities and at best, making truly exciting and innovative wines. Vino da Tavola or table wine represents not only the simplest wines, but also super-premium and expresive wine made from non-indigenous grape varieties, such as Sassicaia, a pioneering Cabernet produced in Tuscany, which was promoted to a special sub-zone status in the Bolgheri in 1994.

     Italy’s climate tends to be more consistent than northern France’s but there is quite a variation from north to south. The best grape varieties, in terms of the quality of the wines produced, are Nebbiolo which reaches its greatest heights in Barolo and Barbaresco, both of which are Denominazione Origine Controllata e Garantitas and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. This trio make up some of Tuscany’s most impressive wines.

    Best whites

     Veneto, home to Valpoliclla and Soave, is found in the north.

    Some of Italy’s best white wines are produced in Trentino and Friuli, in what is often referrend to as the varietal northeast. The south has made great stides in improving its wines, and evidence of success can be seen in wines such as Salice Salentino from Apulia.{jcomments on}

  • Klein Karoo Wine Region - South Africa

       Finally the largest wine region of South Africa is Klein Karoo, which is also the most easterly area. It is very hot in summer here and irrigation is essential. Klein Karoo is famous for its sweet fortified wine but also for the surprisingly fresh and fruity Steen (Chenin Blanc).

    CAPE RIESLlNG/KAAPSE RIESLING

    In spite of the name this is not Riesling as we know it in Europe but a different grape, the Crouchen Blanc, of which the origins are unclear. It is often used to make very acceptable table wines but also produces some good firm wines with interesting vegetal aromas such as straw and grass. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

    COLOMBARDAfrican Chardonnay

    This grape variety hails originally from the French south-west, origins of most of the Huguenots. Its yields fresh and fruity wines that are excellent as an aperitif or to served with grilled fish. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

    STEEN (CHENIN BLANC)

    These grapes originate from the Loire. The grape is particularly used for its fine acidity. In South Africa though it delivers surprisingly mellow wines that are almost sweet as well as dry as chalk examples that are fresh and fruity. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

    SAUVIGNON BLANC

    Also known on occasion as Pume Blanc as in the United States. South African Sauvignon Blanc wines are very herbal with definite notes of grass, with peppery undertones. The taste is fresh, dry, aromatic, and beautifully rounded. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

    CHARDONNAY

    This Burgundian grape also thrives in South Africa. The special cuvees in particular, that are aged in oak barrels, are extremely exciting. Chardonnay is fruity, rich, and rounded with a robust taste. Drinking temperature is 50-53.6°F (10- 12°C).

    PINOTAGE

    This grape is the true South African speciality. It was formed from a cross based on old root stock with Pinot Noir, and Cinsault (known locally as Hermitage) about which little is known. The variety was created by Prof. Abraham Perold in 1925 and it combines the reliability of Cinsault in terms of volume and quality, even in poor years, with the finesse of Pinot Noir.

    Most of the wines are drunk still too young but there are certain top quality Pinotage wines such as Kanonskop which aged well (five to ten years).

     Pinotage smells and tastes of dark ripe fruit with hints of spices. Some of the best Pinotage wines contain quite substantial tannin when they are young. A local speciality is 'Beesvleis Pinotage', which is a beef stew cooked in Pinotage. Drinking temperature is 60.8°F (16°C).

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  • Making wine

       Many of the world's vest producers believe that great wine is first created in the vineyard.

     Indeed, it is difficult to argue with the suggestion that using top-quality ingredients helps when transforming grapes into red wine or good wine. White wine can be made from both white and black grapes. Crushing breaks the skins, after which de-staking takes place. Gentle pressing is favoured and skins are removed. Fermentation traditionally happends in oak barrels, although today, when minimal change is required, most white wines will ferment in stainless steel vats, Maturation in oak barrels can add another dimension and flavour profile to a good wine.

    FRENCH WINE *** CLUB WINE

    Red wine must be made from black grapes. This time the juice is fermented on the skins for better colour extraction. The juice, which runs freely after fermentation, is of the highest quality. The remaining pomace, or skins, are further crushed to release any more juice, which is generally used in blending for the best red wine.

     Maturation can be controlled on oak barrels. The filtration of red wine may be minimal, if at all. Most fruity wines made to be consumed young will have little further maturation or development in the bottle. Some of the world's great classics however, can evolve slowly, to reach a plateau of maturity and amazing levels of complexity.

    FRENCH WINE *** CLUB WINE 

    Using oak

    Oak wine Oak barrels are used by a winemaker to impart complementary flavours and aromas to a wine. Barrels are toasted at various levels from light to medium to heavy, and will be selected to suit o particular grape variety or style of wine. Barrels are a convenient container in which to store a wine, as the subtle exchanges with oxygen, moisture ans alcohol help the wine to evolpe from the youthul 'green' to more complex and mature flavours.

     Many different types of oak are used in the winemaking process, with white oak being the most common. French, Hungarian, and North American oak are the best-known species used, with each one having slightly different attribures. Just as vines and grapes are distinctly individual when groun under differnet conditions or areas, so are oak trees.

    FRENCH WINE *** CLUB WINE

       Very few wineries have their own cooperage, preferring to rely more often on purchasing barrels that have been carefully milled, cured, and toasted. It is an expresive business to be made by the barrel supplier.

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  • Merlot Grapes

     A member of the Bordeaux family, Merlot, in constrast to Cabernet Sauvignon, is soft, fruity, fleshy, and less tannic. It's the principal grape variety in the wines of St Emilion and Pomerol, and is often blended with Cabernet Franc. These Bordeaux wines are much more accessible when young, but they invariably age quickly, creating a supple, smooth, and velvety texture. Merlot is the most planted grape variety in Boredeaux.

     Its characteristics tend to lean towards plum, blachberry, fruitcake, and currantly tones, In cooler climates, such as northern Italy, grass notes are evident, Due to its softness and moderate tannins, Merlot, which has a natural affinity with oak, is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon.

    merlot grape A grape which thrives on clay and limestone-based soils, it is all the range in California and Chile, where rich, even chocolaty Merlots are mede. The dense Merlots of California can be extremely good and again can provide perfect blending material for Cabernet, as seen in the Mondavi-Rothschild icon wine, Opus One. The relatively cool climate of New Zealand enables Merlot, in good vintages, to obtain excellent balance between fruit and acidity. In contrast, Australia's warmer vineyards are not necessarily ideal, as acidity cand sometimes be found wanting, making 'cooler' Coonawarra and Western Australia more favourable locations.

     Bordeaux (Sr Emilion and Pomerol), Australia, Chile, Southern France, New Zealand, South Africa, California, and Washington State.

     

    Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes

    cabernet sauvignon Grapeswhite-grapes

    One of the word's most popular black grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon's deep colour, blackcurrant aroma and flavour is the backbone of many is the backbone of many full-bodid red wines.

     

    Pinot Noir Grapes

    pinot noir Grapes white-grapes 

    A difficult 'customer' described by one well-known winemaker as a 'moving target of a grape variety', on top form Pinot Noir can make the most complex and hedonistic of red wines.   Pinot Noir has fewer colouring pigments than other dark-skinned varieties, so it can appear to be lighter or more aged, when compared to wines such and almost inky on occasions.

    Syrah Grapes

    Syrah Grapeswhite-grapes

    The Hill of Hermitage and vineyards steeply overlooking the Rhône provide the home of Syrah and one of the most famous place names associated with this great grape variety. Hermitage, Cornas and Côte Rôtie are full-bodied red wines, while Crozes Hermitage and St Jopeph are generally a touch lighter. Syrah is a hardy grape, growing well in poor soil, such as the

    Other Red Grapes

    other red Grapeswhite-grapes

    An extremely versatile variety of grapes, Chenin Blanc is capable of making dry and crisp white wines that are great as an aperitif, through to medium, unctuous and sweet styles. Due to the keeen and vibrant acidity often found in Chenin Blanc grape, they make brilliant food wines and can stay in good shape for many years after the vitange.

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  • More about fortified wine

    What it is fortified wine?

    Fortified WineA fortified wine is a kind of wine that has added distilled beverage, generally brandy. A fortified wine can be differentiated from spirits that are made using wine. The spirits in that are produced by distillation method while the fortified wine is just wine that has spirit included to it. Several different kinds of fortified wines have been made till date including Sherry, Commandaria wine, Marsala, Madeira, Port, and aromatized wine Vermouth.

    Fortified wines are wines that are “fortified” with addition of alcohol that is added to during fermentation to base wine, increasing the average alcohol amount to about 17 to 20%. The fortified wines are made in either sweet or dry style (with middle-ground of medium-dry or medium-sweet covered in generally all kinds of fortified wine categories). Among the most common varieties of fortified wines include Marsala, Madeira, Sherry, and Port.

  • Other white grapes

    GEWÜRZTRAMINER GRAPES

    Gewurztraminer White grapes This distinctive grape variety is known by its friends simply as Gewürtz but sometimes also as Traminer. It provides interese aromas, reminiscent of lychee, rose petals and spice.

    Gewürtraminer often smells sweet, but may produce an element fi suprise, by tasting dry. It tends to grow best in cooler climates where there  is a decent levet of acidity in the soil. Alsace Gewürztraminers are the most successful, with wines from other territories tending to be bland in comparison.

     Gewürztramineris found in Alsace, Germany, Northern Italy, Eastern Europe, and the USA.

     

    MUSCADET - MELON DE BOURGOGNE GRAPES

    Muscat grapesThis grape makes the seafood simple par excellence. Offering hints of apple and gooseberry, the wine becomes dry, savoury and tangy, particlarly when aged in contact with the lees - the yeast deposit left after fermantation. Attempts to age Muscadet in oak are not guaranteed to meet with success as the grape's structure and body tend to preclude assimilation with the wood.

     The Muscadet grape thrives in the Loire Valley.

     

    MUSCAT GRAPES

     All members of the large Muscat family share a floral, grapey, and aromatic charanter. Depending on when it's picked, Muscat is capable of making dry to sweet wines, from the very lightest to the biggest 'stickies', such as the Liqueur Muscats of Australia. The tast of sweet Muscats is redolent of raisins and  oranges. These wines may be fortified with grape brandy during the fermentation process in order to preserve sweetness. The Muscat is often blended with other varieties of grape in order to increase complexity and flavour. It is used in the well-known Italian wine Asti Spumante.

     Muscat is grown throughout Europe anda also in Australia.

     

    TREBBIANO - UGNI BLANC GRAPES

    Trebbiano Pinot Noir Grapes  The most widely planted white grape in Italy, the soil and warm climate help to create wines with highsh acidity. Indeed, because of its high acidity it is sometimes belnded with red wines. Trebbianos tend to be medium bedied and with zesty fruit character, Trebbiano is usually fermented is stainless steel vats and may be matured in oak in orded to add some complexity to the flavour.

    Italy and France, where the grape is used in the blend for Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne. It also makes excellent distilling material for both Cognac and Armagnac.

     

    VIOGNIER GRAPES

     Very aromatic, Viognier's hallmark notes are of apricot, peach, and honey. Lush and flesh, the dry wines produced by the Viognier grape are so aromatic that they can seem sweet on the palate. Viognier is a difficult grape to grow successfully. Indeed, modern winemaking techniques are being developed to encourage a consistency in the taste. In France it tends to do best on the small hillsides outside Lyons.

     Viognier takes centr stage in Condrieu (Northern Rhône) and is also doing well in Southern France, Chile, Australia, and California.

     

    MARSANNE GRAPES

    From the Rhône Valley, France's Marsanne makes full-bodied, fat and weighty wines, with flavours of peach and toast, and can even taste nutty when mature. Marsanne may be blended with Roussanne.

     

    Pinot Blanc GrapesPINOT BLANC - Pinot Bianco GRAPES

     Pinot Blanc invariably makes dry, apple-scented and flavoured white wines, with a touch of honey and a whiff of spice in Alsace. Very adaptable with food, Pinot Blanc is also star material for sparkling wine.

     Pinot Blanc is another grape to originate in the Alsace region of France and also in North America.

     

     

    Chardonnay Grapes

    Chardonnay Grapeswhite-grapes

    Today world's most popular white grape, Chadonnay express its varietal character in many forms: from the racy, steely, and nervy wines of Chablis, to the fuller-bodied, buttery rich wine made in the Napa Vally, California. 

    Sauvignon Blanc Grapes

    Sauvignon Blanc Grapeswhite-grapes 

    This is an aromatic grape, which ripens early and is mostly grown in cool-climate vineyards.   Its range extends from featherweight tangy, dry white wines like Sauvignon de Touraine, to the ripe, almost tropical-like fruitiness obtained in California, where the less common addition of oak is often adopted and labelled 'Fume Blanc'. Sauvignon Blanc thrives on chalk or gravel soil.

    Riesling Grapes

    Riesling Grapeswhite-grapes 

    The Riesling grape is seen by many as the most versatile variety of white grape in the world. It is without doubt a class act with a number of strengths, not least its ability to outperform Chardonnay in the longevity stakes.

    Semillon Grapes

    Semillon Grapeswhite-grapes

    Arguably one fo the most underrated verieties of grapes, Sémillon, Bordeaux's most widely planted white grape, makes delicious dry and sweet wines. With an almost honeyed texture, Sémillon is often partnered by Sauvignon Blanc to lift the acidity, although Australian winemakers also blend Sémillon Trebbiano.

    Chenin Blanc Grapes

    Chenin Blanc Grapeswhite-grapes

    An extremely versatile variety of grapes, Chenin Blanc is capable of making dry and crisp white wines that are great as an aperitif, through to medium, unctuous and sweet styles. Due to the keeen and vibrant acidity often found in Chenin Blanc grape, they make brilliant food wines and can stay in good shape for many years after the vitange.

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  • Red Grapes

    red grape Red or 'black' grapes produce different levels of colour and body, the colour coming from the grape skin. Creating a light-bodied red wine depends on the amount of structure obtained from extract and tannins that the wine takes on.

      These 'flavourings' provide depth and longevity. Medium-bodied wines will have taste that may be a direct result of the grape variety or varieties used in the blend, the climatic conditions or even, in some cases, the vintange.
     Thick-skinned grape varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, are capable of making full-bodied, dense, and long-lived wines. Winemaking also plays a part, as colour and extract can be controlled as part of the process to make wines that are well balanced and harmonious.

     Light-bodied red wines include Beaujolais Primeur, medium-bodied red wines include Chinon and Barossa Vally Shiraz is among the most popular of the full-bodied red wines.

     

    Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes

    cabernet sauvignon Grapeswhite-grapes

    One of the word's most popular black grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon's deep colour, blackcurrant aroma and flavour is the backbone of many is the backbone of many full-bodid red wines.

    Merlot Grapes

    Merlot Grapes white-grapes 

     A member of the Bordeaux family, Merlot, in constrast to Cabernet Sauvignon, is soft, fruity, fleshy, and less tannic. It's the principal grape variety in the wines of St Emilion and Pomerol, and is often blended with Cabernet Franc.

    Pinot Noir Grapes

    pinot noir Grapes white-grapes 

    A difficult 'customer' described by one well-known winemaker as a 'moving target of a grape variety', on top form Pinot Noir can make the most complex and hedonistic of red wines.   Pinot Noir has fewer colouring pigments than other dark-skinned varieties, so it can appear to be lighter or more aged, when compared to wines such and almost inky on occasions.

    Syrah Grapes

    Syrah Grapeswhite-grapes

    The Hill of Hermitage and vineyards steeply overlooking the Rhône provide the home of Syrah and one of the most famous place names associated with this great grape variety. Hermitage, Cornas and Côte Rôtie are full-bodied red wines, while Crozes Hermitage and St Jopeph are generally a touch lighter. Syrah is a hardy grape, growing well in poor soil, such as the

    Other Red Grapes

    other red Grapeswhite-grapes

    An extremely versatile variety of grapes, Chenin Blanc is capable of making dry and crisp white wines that are great as an aperitif, through to medium, unctuous and sweet styles. Due to the keeen and vibrant acidity often found in Chenin Blanc grape, they make brilliant food wines and can stay in good shape for many years after the vitange.

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  • Sauvignon Blanc White Grapes

     This is an aromatic grape, which ripens early and is mostly grown in cool-climate vineyards.

      Its range extends from featherweight tangy, dry white wines like Sauvignon de Touraine, to the ripe, almost tropical-like fruitiness obtained in California, where the less common addition of oak is often adopted and labelled 'Fume Blanc'. Sauvignon Blanc thrives on chalk or gravel soil.

    Sauvignon Blanc Grapes In France, Savignon Blanc finds its greatest expression at the eastern end of the Liore Valley, at Sancerre and Pouilly Fume, but this is matched in New Zealand, particularly in the Marlborough district. The New Zealand style -all the rage today- offers a stunning combination of zesty fruit and rich melon undertones which burst into action as soon as the cork is drawn, or indeed the cap os loosened.

     In Bordeaux, a few chateaux, such as La Mission Haut-Brion and Domaine de Chavalier, lavish attention on Sauvignon, carefully blending it with Semillon and ageing the blend on oak. These rich, lanolin-textured wines are allowed to age for decades, but most Sauvignon Blanc are consumed as young wines. Sauvignon Blanc can plau an extremely important supporting role to Semillon, in both dry and sweet wines. This is particularly the case in Bordeaux, as Semillon, naturally low in acidity, gains a fresh and youthful attribute from its presence.

    The Sauvignon Blanc grape is grown in the Loire and St Bris in France, New Zealand, USA, Western and South Australia, South Africa and Chile. 

     

    Chardonnay Grapes

     

    Chardonnay Grapeswhite-grapes

     

    Today world's most popular white grape, Chadonnay express its varietal character in many forms: from the racy, steely, and nervy wines of Chablis, to the fuller-bodied, buttery rich wine made in the Napa Vally, California. 

     

     

    Riesling Grapes

     

    Riesling Grapeswhite-grapes

     

    The Riesling grape is seen by many as the most versatile variety of white grape in the world. It is without doubt a class act with a number of strengths, not least its ability to outperform Chardonnay in the longevity stakes.

     

    Semillon Grapes

     

    Semillon Grapeswhite-grapes

     

    Arguably one fo the most underrated verieties of grapes, Sémillon, Bordeaux's most widely planted white grape, makes delicious dry and sweet wines. With an almost honeyed texture, Sémillon is often partnered by Sauvignon Blanc to lift the acidity, although Australian winemakers also blend Sémillon Trebbiano.

     

    Chenin Blanc Grapes

     

    Chenin Blanc Grapeswhite-grapes

     

    An extremely versatile variety of grapes, Chenin Blanc is capable of making dry and crisp white wines that are great as an aperitif, through to medium, unctuous and sweet styles. Due to the keeen and vibrant acidity often found in Chenin Blanc grape, they make brilliant food wines and can stay in good shape for many years after the vitange.

     

    Other white grapes

     

    Other white grapeswhite-grapes

     

     This distinctive grape variety is known by its friends simply as Gewürtz but sometimes also as Traminer. It provides interese aromas, reminiscent of lychee, rose petals and spice.

     

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  • Savoie - French Wine

    Savoie

    The vineyards of Savoie only amount to about 2,000 hectares but these are spread across a large area. From Lake Geneva in the north, the wine country spreads itself out to the foot of the Alps in the east and the as far south as the valley of the Isere, south of Chambery, about 100 km (62 miles) south of Lake Geneva. It is a shame that wine from Savoie is not better known. The predominant white wine is fresh and full of flavour. The scattered vineyards and hilly terrain make both wine-growing and making difficult so that these wines are not cheap. Savoie French wines are subtle, elegant, and characteristic of their terroir like no other wine.

     

    The region Savoie

    The vineyards of Savoie resemble a long ribbon of small areas in a half moon facing south-east. The climate is continental in nature but is moderated by the large lakes and rivers. To the west the vineyards are protected from the rain-bearing westerly winds by the Jura mountains and other hills. The high level of annual sun hours (1,600 per annum) are an important factor. The vineyards are sited between 300 and 400 metres (984--1,312 feet) above sea level. The soil is a mixture of chalk, marl, and debris from Alpine glaciers.

     

    Wine-making

    The most important appellation is Vin de Savoie (still, sparkling, and slightly sparkling). There are 18 Crus which are permitted to use their name on the label.

    The Roussette de Savoie appellation (which uses solely the local Altesse grape) has an additional 4 Crus. Savoie is a wine region well-worth making a detour to visit, if only to discover the four unique native grape varieties: the white Jacquere, Altesse or Roussette, Gringet and red Mondeuse. In addition to these native grapes, Aligote, Chasselas, Chardonnay and Molette are grown for white wines and Gamay, Persan, Joubertin and Pinot Noir for the red and rose French wines.

    VINS DE SAVOIE BLANC

    ABYMES

    APREMONT

    CHIGNIN

    JONGIEUX

    CHAUTAGNE

    CRUET

    MONTMELIAN

    ST-JOIRE-PRIEURE

    These French white wines are all made from the Jacquere grape. These are fresh, very aromatic wines. The colour varies from barely yellow to pale yellow depending on the terroir and from light and comforting with floral undertones such as honey-suckle that lightly prick the tongue to fully-flavoured and fruity. Chill this wine to 8°C (46.4°F). and drink when still young.

    MARIN

    MARIGNAN

    RIPAILLE

    CREPY

    The Chasselas grape (known from the best Swiss wines) typifies the white French wine. The colour is pale yellow and the nose reminds of ripe fruit, sometimes even of dried fruit. There is a full and fresh taste.

    Certain French wines such as Crepy in particular prick the tongue. Locally they say of a good Crepy: 'Le Crepy crepite,' or in other words it crackles.

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  • Suisse Romande Region

    SUISSE Romande REGION AND Switzerland Wine

    Vineyards Suisse Romande RegionThe Francophone wine regions are situated in the south-east of the country, and this is where most of the country’s wines are grown and made. Although Berne, Fribourg, Neuchatel, and Vaud play a role that certainly is not to be underestimated, it is principally Valais that is responsible for the best quality and greatest volume. Suisse Romande is virtually synonymous with white Swiss wine from the Chasselas grape which fails to achieve such quality and diversity of taste and styles anywhere else in the world.

  • The French vineyards of Aveyron

    ENTRAYGUES ET LE FEL VDQS

    This minuscule area in the heart of the valley of the Lot, between Rouergue and Auvergne, is one of the most picturesque wine-growing areas of France. The French vineyards are situated on steep hills surrounding the town of Entraygues and the village of Le Fel, and total about 20 hectares. Around Entraygues the soil consists of broken granite, while it is brown shale at Le Fel. Both soil types ensure good drainage and temperature regulation by means of the stony ground in this cold wine-growing area. This French wines from Entraygues, Le Fel, and nearby Marcillac were once famous and highly regarded in France. It took until the 1960s before this area started to re-establish itself following the phylloxera epidemic and the emptying of the French countryside.

    The white French wine is made using the old Chenin grape, which produces a fresh wine full of aromas of flowers, citrus fruit, and box. It is a full-bodied wine to be drunk at 10°C (50°F).

    The rose French wine is fresh and somewhat acidic. Drink it at 12°C (53 .6°F).

    The red French wine in common with the rose is aromatic and fresh-tasting. It possesses a fuller, more rounded taste though. This French wine from the Fer Servadou grape (Mansoi) and Cabernet Franc appears to have been made for the regional dishes of the Auvergne and Aveyron, where Montignac appears to remain unheard of. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 16°C (60.8 °F).

     

    MARCILLAC

    This area around the town of Rodez was one of the classic French wines prior to the phylloxera epidemic. The 135 hectares of vineyards are typically on soil of red clay at the foot of high chalk plateaux.

    The dominant grape for this AC, which was recognised in 1990, is the Mansoi (the local name for the Fer Servadou). The individual character of both Marcillac rose and red wines, which is somewhere between rustic and modern fruitiness, is imparted by the combination of the Mansoi grape and the soil.

    The better Marcillacs are true discoveries for those who like some bite to their wine. The terroir can be tasted in the French wine which has aromas of raspberry, blackcurrant, bilberry, and blackberry, together with vegetal notes of green pepper (paprika) and green chillies.

    There are often also suggestions of cocoa which ensure an extremely complex finish. Spicy and rounded tannin strengthens the individualistic nature of this French wine which is best drunk at 16°C(60.8°F).

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