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  • Alsace Wine Region - French Wine

    Alsace wine region

    Alsace with its villages, vineyards and towns linig the foothills of the Vosges mountains, is on of the most picturesque wine regions of France. This unique area of mirtheast France, which produces some of the greatest white wines in the country, still prides itself on making handcrafted wines and steers clear of outside investment.

     The region’s continental climate is exceptionally dry. Almost all Alsace wines are white wine and dry wines, whit exception of late harvest wines and some red wine produced from Pinot Noir. The soil is extremly varied, with the best vineyards classified as Grand Cru.

     

    Alsace grapes

    Alsace grapesMostly grapes of Germanic origin are grown here, but the resulting wines are much more expresive and fuller-bodied than those over the border. Often consumed with food, the main grape varieties, which are always mentioned on the label, are Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Tokay-Pinot-Gris, Muscat, Pinot Blanc, and Sylvaner.

    Some of the greatest wines of Alsace are the Vendange Tardives and Selection des Grains Nobles, which can live for over forty years. Outstanding wines include: Riesling Clos Ste., Hune from F.E. Trimbach, Domaine Zind Himbrecht’s Gewürztraminer Rangen Grand Cru, and Hugel’s Riesling Vendage Tardive.

    Alsace has the nost complex geological make-up of all the great wine regions of France. Some of the greatest wines of Alsace are the Vendange Tardives and Selection des Grains Nobles, which can live for over forty years. Outstanding wines include: Riesling Clos Ste., Hune from F.E. Trimbach, Domaine Zind Himbrecht’s Gewürztraminer Rangen Grand Cru, and Hugel’s Riesling Vendage Tardive.

    Alsace has the nost complex geological make-up of all the great wine regions of France.

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  • Alsace Wine Region and Grapes

    Alsace Wine Region

    Alsace Wine RegionAlsace wine region lies in the eastern corner of France, sandwiched between the Rhine in the east and the foothills of the Vosges in the west, with Switzerland to the south and Germany to the north east. This region runs for 90 miles along the border and has been fought over for centuries. Historical links explain why the wine making techniques are similar to those of the Rhine and why local names often appear Germanic. There are about 30,000 acres of vineyards, which in good years produce about 150 million bottles.

    Alsace is unique in France because usually all wines are labeled according to the seven main grape varieties used. Where this is specified the wine is made 100 per cent from that variety.

  • American wine

        Although grapes are grown and wine is made in most American states, only in California and the Pacific northwest are grapes grown in significant quantities. Only wnes from these areas have gainde an international reputation for quality.

     California’s reputation has been built on bold, ripe, fruit-driven wines, which often carry their fair-share of new oak. The state has had its problems, with almost every deadly wine disease rearing its ugly head at some stage, yet it has without doubt, some of the world’s best growing conditions.

     The Pacific Ocean is hugely influential, moderating a hot climate with its cool breezes and fogs. Most of California’s commercial wines come from the warm and fertile Central Valley, but its premium wines tend to be made from fruit grown much closer to the coast. The Napa Valley, sometimes referred to as the Bordeax of California, is situated just north of San Francisco Bay. As an appellation, Napa has a deversity of soil, climate, and topography, which particularly suits Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. A food culture has also evolved here, making it a destionation for the rich and famous. The areas of Sonoma and Carneros, separated from the Napa Valley by the Mayacamus Mountains, are much cooler and are therefore able to specialise in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Warmer districts, such as Dry Creek, are found in northern Sonoma, where some superb Zinfandels are produced, Zinfandel is California’s ‘own grape’. At best it priduces blackberry-flavoured, full-bodied reds, often from old wines. At worst it also makes ‘blush’ of White Zin, a pale relation, bottled with a dash of sweetness.

     The small, but up-and-coming Sierra Foothills area is a great source of Rhône and Italian varietals while south of San Francisco lies the region of Santa Cruz which is home to some top-class wineries.

     Washington State and Oregon, collectively known as the Pacific northwest, like California lie on the western side of the country. Spanning three adjoingh states, this is an area of rolling hills, rivers and valleys. Washington, with approximately 30,000 acres of vineyards, tends to be the warmer of the two regions. Its plantings focus mostly around the eastern side of the Cascade Mountain range.

     Oregon, has only 12,000 acres of vine-yards, which have developed in the cooler Willamette Valley, Burgundian and Alsatian grape varieties, such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Muscat, thrive here. Oregon gained overnight fame in 1979 when David Lett of the Eyrie Vineyard entred the estate’s 1975 Pinot Noir in a blind wine tasting competition, organised by the Burgundian negociant Robert Drouhin. Although Drouhin’s Chambolle-Musigny 1959 came first, the Eyrie vineyard vet meny famous Burgundy wines to come second. Oregon has been linked whit Pinot Noir ever since.

     Over the Columbia River in Eastern Washington, the dry and warm climate of the Columbia Valley is proving to be an excellent area to grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah.

    Most of the vineyards here rely on irriagation, even though generally Washington tends to be quite wet. The Columbia Valley maybe the best-known region, but the Walla Walla Valley is beginning to generate a grate deal of excitement.

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  • Areas and Regions from Slovenia

    Podravje Slovenian Wine

    Wine and grapes SlovenianPodravje (Podravski Vinorodni Region) means the valley of the Drava, which is one of the two important rivers in this region. The climate here in the extreme north-east of Slovenia is continental of a Central European nature. This helps the area to produce fine, fresh, elegant, and aromatic white Slovenian wines. Podravje is also renowned for its delightful sweet wines (Pozna Trgatev, Izbor, Jagodni Izbor, Suhi Jagodni Izbor, and Ledeno Vino). Podravje borders on Hungary and Austria in the north, and Croatia to the east.

  • Belgian Wines and Regions

    Belgium Wine

    Maastricht Muler Thurgau and Riesling Belgium WinesBelgium already had a wine industry about a hundred years or so ago. After a long period of neglect Belgium has seen a significant re-emergence of wine-making in recent years. A wine culture has re-established a place of honor once more in a nation of beer drinkers. Only the cultivation of grapes in the open air is dealt with in this book, not the growing of grapes under glass.

     

    Hageland Appellation Contrôlée

    The Belgians have succeeded in gaining their own appellation d’origine contrôlée (AC) for Hageland, which is an area within the triangle formed by Louvain-Diest-Tienen in the Belgian province of Brabant. Vines were being cultivated here in the twelfth century, and possibly earlier. The area flourished in its heydays during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and there was still an active trade with neighboring Flanders and Holland in the sixteenth century.

  • Burgundy French Wine

    Burgundy grapesThe hallowed ground of Burgundy(French Wine) is home to the greatest Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs in the world. Sadly though, in recent years not all of the French wines made here have met the standards of their predecessor. Having said that, there are some smart up-and-coming young producers around and today Burgundy finds itself on a bit of a roll.

    Burgundy was one if the first French wines regions to be know for its wine outside its boundaries. Favoired by kings and queens, the much sought-after wines of Burgundy werw also a passion for Thomas Jefferson. Situates in central France, Burgundy stretches from Dijon in the north, to just south of Macon in the south, The districts of Chablis, sixty miles to the northwest of Dijon, and Beaujolais, to the south of Macon, are both considered part of the region. Due to the influence of the church and the France law of inheritance, the wineyards of Burgundy are very fragmented.

     

    Did you know?

     The French wines in Sauvignon de St Bris, an Appwllation Contrôlêe in Northern Burgundy, are made from Sauvignon Blanc.

     

     Therefore the ‘nêgociant’ has an important role in the making and selling of the wines. ‘Domaine’ bottled Burgundy is a direct reflection of an individual grower, who often tends the vines, makes thewine, and bottles it.

     

    Burgundy grapes

     Burgundy GrapesChardonnay is the principal white grape suited to the calcareous/limestone soil of Burgundy. White Burgundy combines power and elegance but early maturing wines are also produced, along with the racy, cool climate white French wines of Chablis. The Alogtê grape is also planted, This makes crisp and lively white wines and is the classical base for Kir. Pinot Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc are also planted in small quantities. The major black variety in the region is Pinot Noir, except in Beaujolais where Gamy reigns supreme. In Burgundy, Pinot Noir is capable of producing wines of exceptional class, elegance and ability to age. It’s a difficult customer though and great care is required to grow and vinify this grape. Gamay on the other hand, provides colour, lots of fruit and acidity in Beaujolais and is also used in the Mâconnais.

    The most famous and expresive French wine of Burgundy include the those the Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Domaine Leflaive and Lafon.

    Bourgogne Passetoutgrains is a blend of a minimum of one third Pinot and Gamay.

     Throughout Burgundy there are terroirs with chalk, marl, clay, stony ground, and iron in places. The hard winters and hot summers together with the soil ensure individual characters and personality. The grapes here are Pinot Nair, Chardonnay, Aligote, and Gamay. Near St-Bris in the Auxerrois th.ey also grow a little Sauvignon Blanc. Burgundy is a complex patchwork of vineyards, referred to here as climat, villages, clos, and crus. There are also four Burgundy-wide appellations.

     

    APPELLATIONS REGIONALES

    Bourgogne, Bourgogne Aligote (for white wine), Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire, and Bourgogne.Passe­ Tout-Grains can be used for the appropriate grapes from throughout the area. Tbe better Burgundies come from specific Localities (such as Côtes de uHs, Côtes de Beaune).

     

    THE 53 APPELLATIONS COMMUNALES

    These wines bear the name of the parish or community such as Chablis, Nuits-St-Georges, Vosne-Romanee, or Vougeot).

     

    THE 561   PREMIER CRU APPELLATIONS

    In addition to the village or community appellation, these wines are permitted to identify the particular piece of land or climat. These climats are of sufficient quality that their French wines may be termed premier cru. Examples of these are Chablis ler Cru Montmains, Chambolle-Musigny Armoureuses, Puligny-Montrachet Folatieres, Beaune Clos des Mouches, and Beaune Greves.

     

    THE 32 GRAND CRUS

    These climats have became very famous by their constant quality over the centuries. It is sufficient for these wines just to bear the name of the climat. Examples   are   Chablis   Grand   Cru   Vaudesir, Echezeaux, Charmes-Chambertin, Clos de Vougeot, Bonnes   Mares,   Romanee-St-Vivant, Carton, Montrachet.

     

    The different French wine areas

    Burgundy is divided into nine different areas: Chablis,   Auxerrois,   Cotes   de Nuits,   Cotes de Beaune, Cotes Chalonnaise, Miiconnais, Beaujolais­ Villages, Beaujolais, and Coteaux du Lyonnais. In reality the last three fall within Beaujolais, and Auxerrois is subsumed in Chablis.

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  • Franciacorta DOCG - Italian Wine

    Franciacorta DOCG

    The wine region of Franciacorta lies between Brescia and Bergamo, on the banks of Lago d'Iseo. Good wine is made here in a mild but windy climate. The fame of Franciacorta has been established chiefly by its sparkling wines.

     The Franciacorta Cremant is made with Chardonnay and/or Pinot Bianco, Franciacorta rose uses Pinot Nero (minimum 15%) and Chardonnay and/or Pinot Bianco. The best Franciacorta Spumantes are white wines made with Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, and/or Pinot Nero (without skins).

    The wine has a superb colour that is deep golden yellow with a tinge of green and a sparkle of pure gold. The nose is fresh and heady while the taste is juicy, and both fresh and refined. Drinking temperature is 42.8-48.2°F (6-9°C) . Franciacorta also produce a number of pleasant red and white still wines. The reds are made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Barbera, and Nebbiolo. These are well worth discovering. These are sold as either bianco or rosso Terre di Franciacorta DOC.

    LuganaDOC

    Lugana originates from the south of Lake Garda where both still and sparkling wines are made with the Trebbiano grape. A slight saltiness is typical of these wines, derived from the minerals in the soil here. The colour varies from pale greenish yellow when young to golden yellow after a few years maturing. The bouquet is fresh and pleasant, the taste is fresh, smooth, and dry, with good balance between acidity, body, and alcohol. Drink the sparkling wine as an aperitif and the still wine with freshwater fish. Drinking temperature is 46.4- 50°F (8-10°C) .

     

    San Martino della Battaglia DOC

    This area is less well-known but has much in common with Lugana (q.v.) in terms of climate and mineral soil. San Martino della Battaglia is made using Tocai Priulano (note: not Pinot Grigio but Welsch Riesling. The colour is lemon yellow and the nose is very inviting and intensely aromatic, while the taste is filled with flavour, dry, and with a slight bitterness in the finish. Drinking temperature is 10-12°C (50- 53.6°F). There is also a San Martino della Battaglia Liquoroso, which is much darker in colour (golden yellow) , very fruity and seductive.

    The taste is filled with flavour, smooth, and pleasantly sweet. The wine is well balanced with minimum alcohol of 16%. Drinking temperature is 42.0- 50.0°F (6- 10°C) depending on personal preference.

     

    Vini Mantovani

    Garda DOC wines are also made to the south of the lake, which falls within the province of Mantua (Mantova). These wines vary little from the other Garda wines. Single varietal wines include Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Nero, Chardonnay, Tocai, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Pranc, and Merlot. Good frizzante wines are also produced here, usually with Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, and Riesling. Colli Morenici Mantovani del Garda DOC is worth a special mention. This wine from the south of Lake Garda originates from the most favourably placed hills (Colli) above Mantua.

    This wine is slightly better than the other Lake Garda wines. The basic grapes are Pinot Bianco and Garganega for the whites (bianco) and Rondinella, Rossanella, Negrara, Sangiovese, and Merlot for the roses and reds (rosato and rosso) . The vineyards of Lambrusco Mantovano DOC are south of Mantua. This wine contains quite high levels of carbonic acid created by fermentation. At least four different varieties of Lambrusco type grapes may be used in this wine, which can be supplemented with Ancellotta, Portana, or Uva d'Oro.

     

     The wine is ruby red in colour and tastes fresh and juicy. Both dry and sweet versions are available. Drinking temperature is 50-53.6°F (10-12°C). There is also a lighter rosato version of this wine.

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  • Friuli Aquileila DOC

     

    FRIULI AQUILEIA DOC ITALIAN WINES

    Aquilelia Italian wineThis is the southernmost Friuli wine area. The vineyards stretch from the Adriatic coast to the border with Isonzo. Very worthy white Italian wines are made here from Pinot Bianco, Tocai Friulano, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Riesling Renano, Traminer, Sauvignon Blanc, and Verduzzo Friulano; fresh and fruity Rosato wines from Merlot, the Cabernets, and Refosco, plus excellent reds from Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso is the most exciting and authentic of the wines (see also Collio and Isonzo).

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  • Garda DOC Italian Wines

     

    GARDA DOC

    Pinot-bianco-lombardy-wineWine from Veneto bears the denomination of Garda Orientale DOC, that from Lombardy just carries Garda DOC. This Italian wine must be made from not less than 85% ofthe grapes indicated on the label. These are the well-known Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Riesling Italico, Riesling Renano, and Sauvignon Blanc. These are all excellent Italian wines. Drinking temperature for this Italian wine 46.4- 50.0°F (8-10°C) for Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Bianco, and Rieslings and 50-53.6°F (10-12°C) for Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio wines.

  • Generic Burgundy - French Wine

    Generic Burgundy

    Before we continue   our   journey south let us consider a few of the generic wines of Burgundy.

    BOURGOGNE

    White Bourgogn e AC (Chardonnay) is an aromatic, fresh white wine. Drink it at about 51.8°F (11°C)and preferably within two years of the harvest.

    Red BourgogneAC (Pinot Noir) is ruby red and has a nose of red fruit and wood land fruit (raspberry, blackcuriant, blackberry, and redcurrant). It is a lithe, generous, and friendly wine. Drink at about 60.8°F /16°C within five years of the harvest.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    BOURGOGNE PASSE-TOUT-GRAIN

    The red French wine is made with a minimum of one third Pinot Noir to which Gamay grapes are added. The better wines though contain more Pinot Noir. It is a light, cheerful , and generous wine that should be drunk when young. For completeness, there is also a rosé variant.

    BOURGOGNE GRAND ORDINAIRE

    This appellation is rarely seen these days because it sounds too 'ordinary' for a Burgundy yet very acceptable whites, reds, and roses are to be found at a very reasonable price in this category.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

     

    BOUR GOGNE ALIGOTE

    This French white wine is very popular in Burgundy and much further afield. This very fresh wine is often strongly acidic and has a bouquet of green apple, lemon, and may blossom with the occasional hint of flint.{jcomments on}

  • 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.

  • Grave del Friuli DOC

    GRAVE DEL FRIULI DOC ITALIAN WINES

    grave del friuli docThere are many different varietal Italian wines here from a specific grape and a few generic wines. These are made along the banks of the Tagliamento river in the province of Udine. Wines like the Colli Orientali Friulani (see that entry) are also to be found here. The white wines are made from Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Riesling Renano, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Tocai Friulano, Traminer Aromático, and Verduzzo Friulano. The last four of these are usually the better wines. The Spumante versions of these wines are also of excellent quality. The Rosato is fresh, fruity, and unforced (and also available as a Frizzante). The red Italian wine is made from either or both of the two Cabernets, Merlot, Pinot Nero, and Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso.{jcomments on}

  • Isonzo/Isonzo del Friuli DOC

     

    ISONZO/ISONZO DEL FRIULI DOC

    Isonzo white and rose wineHere too we can talk about exceptional white wines and excellent reds. The wine growing area is on the banks of the Isonzo river close to Gorizia. The vineyards extend as far as the border with Slovenia. The difference in taste between the previous Collio wines and these from Isonzo is not very great and the wines are similar. The area produces a generic Bianco from Tocai Friulano, Malvasia Istriana, Pinot Bianco, and Chardonnay.

    These whites can be dry to slightly sweet but are always remarkably fresh and often are slightly tannic. The other white Italian wines are made using Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Tocai Friulano, Verduzzo Friulano, Traminer Aromatico, Riesling Renano, Riesling Italico, plus of course Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.

  • Luxembourg Wines and Regions

    Luxembourg Wine

    Grand Premier Luxembourg WinePoets and writers have waxed lyrical about the unspoiled beauty of the Luxembourgeois Moselle since the times of the ancient Roman empire, as evidenced by the delightful verse of Ausonius about the ‘Mosella’. Julius Caesar’s words in praise of the magnificent landscape and superb wines of the Luxembourgeois Moselle may have been less poetic but were equally important.

    Yet the valley of the ‘Mouse’ (as it is known locally) forms only a small part of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. There is much more to see in the relatively small European country that is wedged between France, Germany, and Belgium. The country has a character all of its own and three cultures have been melded together to form the true ‘Letzeburger’.

     

  • More Swiss wines

    PAIEN SWISS WINE

    Paien Swiss WineThe Swiss wines made from Paien or Heida, as it is also known (meaning heaths), are quite unusual. Grapes grow on this very ancient native variety at altitudes of more than 1,000 metres (3,280 feet). In the Jura and Savoie in Prance it is known as Savagnin, Traminer in Alsace and certain German vineyards, and Tramini in Italy. This Swiss wine is fresh and quite dry with recognisable fresh nose of green apples. Drinking temperature is 8- 10C (46.4-50°F).

     

    RÈZE SWISS WINE

    The rare Rèze grape is still used piecemeal in Anniviers to make wine. This Yin des Glaciers ('glacier' wine) is remarkably tart and green if drunk young. Allow it to age though and it develops a quite unusual but exciting nose. Drinking temperature for Rèze Swiss wine is 6- 9°C (42 .8-48.2°F) .

  • Neuchâtel Region

    Neuchâtel Swiss WINE Region

    Neuchatel Swiss WineThe Swiss wine region of Neuchâtel is situated on the north-west shore of the Lac de Neuchâtel and is separated from France by the Jura. The climate is fairly mild, sunny, and dry. The presence of the lake keeps winters mild but autumns can be misty which can be harmful for the grape harvest. The underlying ground here at the foot of the Jura mountains is mainly chalk rock with other rock outcrops, loam, and loess.

  • New Zealand

    New Zealand WinesWith new wineries coming on stream at an amazing rate, New Zealand seems to raise the standard year on year.  Dramatic improvments have been made with red wines, with Pinot Noir all the rage. The total area under vine in New Zealand has more than doubled since 1990, and its wine industry is one of the most forward-thinking in the world.

    New Zealand wine is exciting because of the number of wines being produced from slightly less predictable grape varieties. Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Riesling perform well while beyond Pinot Noir, it may be suprising to find Syrah, Zinfandek and even Pinotage producing the goods and joining Cabernet Saugvinon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot.

     New Zealand’s wine-producing regions strech from Auckland on the North Island to Central Otago, the country’s most southerly wine region on South Island. The country benefits from a temperate, maritime climate and a wide range of wine style are produced. On the North Island some of New Zealand’s top Cabernet-based reds are made in the Auchlakd/Henderson area. Waiheke Island, a short ferry journey from Auckland, enjoys a warm microclimate, which helps it ot produce rich Bordeaux blends. In Northland, a number of boutiqui wineries are making hight-class Cabernet-based reds and Chardonnay. Gisborne is Chardonnay country but also produces some promising Gewürztraminer.

    New Zealand Wine Map Hawke’s Bay is a region with a range of soils, including the Gimblett gravels, a 2,000- acre area of deep, stony soil. Full, rich Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot blends are made in good vitanges. The Chardonnay are some of New Zealand’s most powerful and Sauvignon Blanc tends to be more rounded than the Marlborough style, from South Island. On the southeastern tip of North Island, the tiny region of Martinborough, also known as Wairarapa, excels in fine Pinot Noir.

     On the South Island, Marlborough, the largest region in the New Zealand, has seen extensive expasion since the mid 1970s. The maritime climate and stony soils are perfect for Sauvignon Blanc, which has become synonymous with Marlborough. Distinctive Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and sparkling wines are also made in this hugely fashionable region.

      Very slighty cooler than Marlborough, Nelson has been successful with aromatic whites while Canterbury, in the Waipara sub-region, is particularly promising. In the small, cool, scenic, mountainous region of Central Otago, Pinot Noir is the star, rivalling the best of Martinborough. Riesling and Pinot Gris also perform well here.

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  • North-West for American Wine

       The North-West region is better known as Washington State and Oregon. The Columbia and Snake rivers are vital for the wine industry.

    The are lies to the south-east to the south-east of Seattle, on both sides of Portland. Wine-making in this region is a fairly recent phenomenon.

     There wew trials in the nineteenth century with native and hybrid grapes but the first Vitis viniferavarieties were not introducec until the end of that century. Wine-growing started to become larger in scale during the twentieth century thanks to a major irrigation project. The final real breakthrough for areas such as Oregon occurred in the 1970s, when serious-minded growers planted leading European varieties. Oregon’s Pinot Noir is now known worldwide thanks to investment by several leading French companies like Drouhin of Beaune.

    AMERICAN WINE *** WINE SHOP

    The climate in the north-west of the United States is moderate in Oregon but almost desert-like in Washington State where the dependence on irrigation is total.

    The winters are also colder and drier in Washington State than Oregon. The soil varies widely, from loam in Oregon to layers of volcanic origin in Washington. The chice of grape variety is therefore extremely important.

    Various varieties are grown in the two large AVAs of Washington State (Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley, and Walla Walla Valley), and West Pacific (inclunding Oregon, Willamette Valley, and Umpqua Valley). Pinot Noir with Chenin Blanc, Semillon, and Sauvignon Blanc, while Oregon also produces reasonable to good Pinot Gris.

    AMERICAN WINE *** WINE SHOP

    It goes without saying that there is much chaff among the corn in both area and results vary from years to years through changing weather, especially in Oregon. But by choosing fron the better wines you will find that are truly some great ones.

    Oregon Pinot Noir

    Some Pinot Noir wines from Oregon can hold their own against the best French wine. They are superb in colour, have seductive bouquets to red and black fruits such as blachberry, blackcurrant, redcurrant, and cherry, and touches of herbs and spices, including sweetwood, and a complex and harmonious texture.

    They are also elegant with a refined taste. There may also be suggestions of truffle, exotic, woods, and a good balance between acidity, alcohol, fruit, and tannin, with a prolonged aftertaste.

    AMERICAN WINE *** WINE SHOP

     These wines can be kept for at least five to ten years when they develop a nose of plum, fungi, humus, leather, and herbs. Drinking temperature is 53.6-57.2°F (14-16°C) when young and 57.2-60.8°F (14-16°C) when is mature.

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  • Ostschweiz Wines

    Ostschweiz winesThe greatest risk for Swiss wine growers in Ostschweiz is prolonged winter frost or deadly night frosts in spring during blossoming. Over the centuries the creative Swiss have come up with all manner of ways of protecting their vines against the cold. In addition to the widely used spraying and heating methods, the local growers have developed their own method. The vines are covered with straw or even with what resembles an eiderdown. The soil in Ostschweiz varies from west to east. In the western part, close to the Jura mountains, chalk is more prevalent; in the centre it is mainly calciferous sandstone, while in the east glacial scree and shale dominate. Because autumns are quite cold in Ostschweiz, only early ripening varieties of grapes thrive.

  • Other red grapes

    GAMAY GRAPES

     Gamay is the Beaujolais grape, know for its light, soft, and easy-drinking qualities, Light in tannin and full of cherry and strawberry flavour, it peaks in the Beaujolais Crus, such as Morgon and Fleurie. In the Loire, where it is used to make red and rose wines, Gamay accounts for about fifteen percent of all French plantings.

    Gamay is usually fermented thrigh a process called maceration, where fermentation takes place below a protective layer of carbon dioxide.  Gamay is grown almost wxcusively in France, principaly in Burgundy and the Loire Valley.

     

    CABERNT FRANC GRAPES

     Within the trio of Bordeaux varieties, alongside Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Cabernet Franc is often responsible for lending an aromatic quality and positive acidity to a blend. Known for its raspberry-like aroms, it is, after Pinot Noir, the best grape of the Loire, and is used to make wines such as Chinon. Back in Bordeaux, you will find Cabernet Franc's level of importance elevated in St Emilion, no more so than in the fabulous Château Cheval Blanc. As with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc grows best in warmer climates but hot climates will have a negative effect on the flavour. The grape is sufficiently robust for the fermentation temperature not to be critical.

     Apart from Bordeaux and the Loire, Cabernet Franc is grown in Italy, the USAm Australia, and eastern Europe.

     

    GRANACHE/GARNACHA GRAPES

    The strawberry-scented and peppery tones, which often dominate a Côtes du Rhône or Châteauneuf-du-Pape, are the well-known characteristics of Grenace. At best, Grenache can reval concentration and great power from old, low-yielding vines. The Grenache thirives in the exceptionally not climates of Spain and the south France. It blends well with Shiraz and is used with Tempranillo for Riojas. In Spain, where it is known as Garnacha, it is renowned for provideing the colour and flavour in the fruity Rosados.

     As well as being plantes in Spain and France the Graneche is also found in Australia and USA.

     

    MALBEC GRAPES

     The hallmark characteristics of Malbec wines are deep colour and flavours full of black fruit. The grape originates from southwest France, in the Appellation of Cahors, where the wines were once known as 'Black Wines'. Expect to find Malbec in blends too, such as in Côtes de Bourg, Bordeaux, In recent years Malbec grapes hane thrived in irrigated, sandy soils in the warm climate of Argentina. Good crops combinated with advaces in winemaking techniques have produced some excellent, full-flavoured wines.

     Malbec is grown in France, Italy, Spain, South America, and the USA.

     

    NEBBIOLO GRAPES

    The two greatest names and expressions of the magical Nebbiolo grape, Barolo and Barberesco, grow in the hills of Piedmont, Italy. Often requiring age, these are rich and savouy wines, with aromas of tar and roses. Nebbiolo is fernented in temperature-controlled stainless steel vessels. Generally, it reqyires a long ageing period in wood in order to soften but trends are towards shorter periodsm in maceration and more bottle ageing.

     Apart from Piedmont, Nebbiolo is grown in California, South America, and the USA.

     

    PINOTAGE GRAPES

     Pinotage, the earthy, spicy, deeply coloured grape of South Africa, has aromas of plum skin and a generous, well-structured palate. The grape is actually a hybrid of the Pinot Noir and Cinsault grapes and was created by a professor at Stellenboch University in the 1920s.

     Although most associated with South Africam attempts have been made to grow the grape in New Zealand, Chile, and Australia.

     

    SANGIOVESE GRAPES

     Sangiovese, the great Italian grape, makes the concentrated red wines of Tuscany. It is the main consitituent of Chiantis, the best of which are rich, plummy, cherry-scented wines, highish in acidity, and with tannins which soften towards cedary elegance with age. The lighter wines, such as the Sangiovese de Romagna, are ideal for everyday drinking, They are best drunk while young and fresh.

     Apart from Italy, the Sangiovese has also impressed in California, Australia and Argentina.

     

    TEMPRANILLO GRAPES

     Spain's best red grape, Tempranillo is the backborn of Rioja and the wines of Ribera del Duero. Wines range in flavour from strawberry and vanilla lightness to full-bodied cherry-dominated depth, Tempranillo is also used in the production of port.

     The Tempranillo varietu is also grown in Portugal, where it is called Tinta Roriz, and Argentina.

     

    ZINFANDEL GRAPES

     Rarely senn outside of California, Zinfandel can vary enormously in style, from the bland, slightly pink 'White Zins'. to old vine, oak-aged, richy fruity, elegant wines, which finish with an note of tangy acidity.

    Part of the explanation for the variety of Zinfandel wines lies in the fact that the very latest technology is used in production. This technology ensures that the grapes rises to the challenge of adaptability.

    Grown in California, predominantly.

     

    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...

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