• Ampurdán-Costa Brava Spanish Wine

    Ampurdán-Costa Brava Region

    Castillo de Perelada Cava Spanish WineThis is the most northerly DO of Catalonia, situated at the foot of the Pyrenees, bordering directly with France. The Catalans call this Emporda-Costa Brava. The area is delineated to the north and west by the Pyrenees and to the east and south east by the Mediterranean. Emporda-Costa Brava once produced sweet, syrupy and heavily oxidised wine such as Penedes. Because of dwindling demand for such wines a major changeover started about 25 years ago. Today Ampurdan-Costa Brava produces excellent, modern, light, and above all fresh wines, which are eagerly bought by the holiday-makers that visit the beaches of Costa Brava, but are also increasingly finding their way to wine lovers abroad. The area has held DO status since 1975.

  • Australia Wines

       When it comes to technical know-how, the Australians are streets ahead of the pack. Wine was being commercially produced here as long ago as 1850 but in modern times Australia has become one of the most successful wine-producing countries in the world.

     At the top end of the market, an emphasis is being placed like Orange and Wrattonbully. Mny of the new sites are in cooler areas, where the grapes provide better levels of natural acidity and aromatics. Australia built its reputation on wines showing ripe fruit flavours, often accompanied by noticeable use of oak, and in today’s commercial middle ground, there’s an enormous amount of wine being made to a standardised recipe, all backed up by full-throttle maketing.

    The main wine-producing regions are hear the cities of Perth in Western Australia, Adelaide in South Australia, Melborne in Victoria, and Sydney in New South Wales. The climate rends to be hot, so irrigation is often necessary. The vast size of the country means that the states provide different growing conditions. Some of Australia’s most elegant wines are made in the relatively cool climate of Western Australia. White wines from the Chardonnay, Semillon, Riesling, and Verdelho grapes have been successsuful, along ‘Bordeaux Blends’ from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

    South Australia includes the premium regions of the Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, and Adelaide Hills. Barossa Shiraz is world-famous for its inky, concentrated style, whilst Coonawarra, with its coole climate and Terra Rossa soil, provides ideal conditions for some af Australia’s outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The Adelaide Hills vineyards, situated at 450 metres above sea level, are proving to be a prome area for Riesling, Pinot Noir and bottle-fermented sparkling wines.

    A great range of wines is produced in Victoria, including the unique liqueur Muscats. The Yarra Valley benefits from one the coolest climates in Australia, resulting in fine Pinot Noirs, Rieslings, Chardonnays, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Australia’s ultimate cool climate location however, is Tasmania. The island is home to some of the very best Pinot Noirs.


    Hunter Valley

    In New South Wales, the lower and upper Hunter Valley, locared norh of Sydnay, has established itself as an area of ‘classic’ wines such as Semillon and Shiraz. Both of these can develop with bottle age.

    The area of Orange is rapidly becoming known for its excellent cool climate wines while the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area, which produces mostly commercial blends but with a smattering of extremly good botrytised wines, makes ten per cent of all Australian wine.

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  • Beaujolais Wine - French Wine


    Although Beaujolais is officially within Burgundy, it is usually treated as an independent French wine area. We do this because Beaujolais wine has its own identity which is further strengthened by the considerable publicity that surrounds this individually-minded Burgundian brother.

     The most famous   Beaujolais is the new wine or Nouveau, which is introduced each year with much ado. There is much more though to discover in the Beaujolais, with at least twelve different appellations.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    The area

    Beaujolais starts about 6 miles (10 kilometres ) south of Macon, in the department of Rhône. It is a relatively small area about 37 miles by 71/z miles (60 km long by 12 km) wide that spreads itself across a ridge of hills that border the valley of the Saône. The area is subdivided into two sub-regions: in the north Haut-Beaujolais where the best wines are made, the 10 crus, and Beaujolais Villages. The   soil   is predominantly granite and quartz fragments on a bed of slate.

    The southern part or Bas-Beaujolais has soil that is a mixture of clay and chalk. The everyday white, rose, and red Beaujolais are produced from these vineyards.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    The vineyards

    Only about 2% of the vineyards are planted with Chardonnay. The extremely rare white Beaujolais is made from these grapes. The remainder of the vineyards   are   planted with the Gamay grape. Some   rose   but   mainly reds are made from Gamay.

    The preparation of Beaujolais

    In recent decades the growers of Beaujolais have realised that improvement and above all greater environmental awareness in the protect­ ion   of their   vineyards, combined   with   better equipment and hygiene in the wine cellar improves the quality of the wine. Consequently far less sulphate fertiliser is now used and wine-makers control temperature far better duringvinification.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    This protects the characteristics of   the   soil,   climate, and grape far better. Unfortunately there are still growers in Bea u jolais who want to make a profit as quickly and as cheaply as possible - a scandal  for those hard -working growers who seek to improve the quality of their wine.

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  • 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.

  • Bohemia Czech Wine

    Bohemia Czech Wine

    Bohemia Pinotage WineThe Czech Republic is split into Bohemia and Moravia. Wine-growing in Bohemia covers a relatively small area. There are about 650 hectares of vines that are mainly planted alongside the Elbe river. These are the remnants of vineyards planted by Emperor Rudolf II (1552-1612).

    There are six areas of wine-growing within Bohemia but the area around Prague (Praha) and Caslav are little more than symbolic with less than 10 hectares of vineyards. Bohemia hardly enjoys a good climate for wine-growing with an average annual temperature of a mere 8°C (46.4°F) and an average of only 14.5°C (58°F) during the growth period. There are only 1,600-1,800 hours of sunshine per annum, and precipitation is 500-550 mm per annum. The soil is mainly chalk-bearing but also incorporates weathered basalt.

  • German Saxony (Sachsen) Wine

    Saxony (Sachsen)

    This is one of the 'new' wine regions of Germany in the former East Germany. Together with the other 'new' region of Saale/ Unstruut they form the most northerly of the German wine areas.

    Sachsen is the furthest east along the banks of the Elbe, on either side of Dresden.

    It is a very small area with several scattered vineyards sited between Pillnitz and Diesbar Seusslitz, with the towns of Meissen and Radebeul at its centre. The soil of these vineyards is extremely varied (including sand, porphyry, and loam) . Müller-Thurgau, Weissburgunder, and Traminer produce dry and fruity wines here with a refreshing degree of acidity. The rare local wines are light and mellow and the Elbtal-Sekt is of very acceptable quality.

    Saalel Unstrut

    This small area to the south of Halle is the most northerly wine area of Germany and with the United  Kingdom, the most northerly of Europe. The severe continental climate forces the growers to harvest their grapes as early and quickly as possible. Pew sweet wines are therefore likely to be encountered, certainly no late harvested types. Most of them are dry and often pretty tart.

    White grapes particularly thrive on a soil of sandstone with plenty of fossilised shells, but the rare reds prove the potential ofthe area. Müller-Thurgau is undemanding and productive and here it successfully produces fresh vegetal wines with a pleasing fragrance of grapefruit. The Silvaner (Sylvaner) are better though, producing mellow and fresh wines with milder acidity and nose of citrus fruit.

    The best places are reserved for Riesling, which yield especially good results on chalk soils. The Riesling is fresh, powerful, full-bodied, with a characteristic nose of pear.


    German Baden Wine

    German Wine GrapesThe German wine region of Baden is in the south-east of Germany, forming a fairly long strip from the northern shore of the Bodensee by way of the famous Black Forest... Read more about German Baden Wine

    German Württemberg Wine

    German Wine GrapesThe vineyards of Württemberg are situated on hills above the Neckar and its tributaries. 

    Read more about German Württemberg Wine  

    German Rheingau Wine

    German Wine GrapesThe Rheingau is not only the geographical centre of the German wine industry, but also its historic centre.

    Read more about German Rheingau Wine 

    German Rheinpfalz Wine

    German Wine GrapesRheinpfalz is the most French of all the German wine regions.

    Read more about German Rheinpfalz Wine 

    German Mosel-Saar-Ruwer

    German Wine GrapesThis widely known wine region stretches itself out along the Saar, Ruwer, and the Mosel rivers, from Saarburg by way of Trier to Koblenz.. 

    Read more about German Mosel-Saar-Ruwer

     Other grapes such as Weissburgunder (green apple) and Traminer (mellow and rounded) , yield reasonable wines for easy and early drinking. Portugieser reds have a seductive scent of raspberry but are often a bit too rigid.

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  • Lombardia Region

    Italian Wine

     Lombardy (Lombardia) lies right in the centre of northern Italy running from the foot of the Alps to the Po valley. Various tributaries of the River Po flow from the Alps, of which the best known is the Tieino.  The area is characterised by water and it is home to four huge lakes: Lago Maggiore, Lago Como, Lago Iseo, and Lago Garda.

     Lombardy is a fairly large area with a number of famous cities and towns including Milan (Milano), Como, Bergamo, Pavia, Cremona, Brescia, and Mantua (Mantova) . This is a land of great contrasts such as that between the bustle of commercial life in the big cities and the quiet rural life in the picturesque mountain villages.


    Lombardy - Italian Wine


  • Matanegra Spanish wine

    Matanegra region

    Matanegra Spanish Wine MapMatanegra surrounds the small town of Zafra, approximately 19 miles (30 km) south of Almendrajelo. The production of Spanish wines in this area with 8,000 hectares of vines in cultivation is mainly in the hands of family businesses. Ribera Baja del Guadiano (the lower loop of the Guadiana, that extends to 7,000 hectares) is situated just to the west of Badajoz.

    Ribera Alta del Guadiano (upper loop of the Guadiana, that extends to 8,500 hectares) is found around the towns of Don Benito and Villanueva de la Serena, about 75 miles (120 km) upstream of Badajoz. Montanchez is a small territory of 4,000 hectares, situated surrounding the small town of the same name, about 44 miles (70 km) north-east of Badajoz. This area is known for its ancient vines and olive trees. It is a picturesque region with lots of gently undulating hills and hospitable valleys.

  • Moravia Wine Region

    Moravia Czech Wine and Region

    Moravian Wine FestivalConditions for wine-growing are better in Moravia than Bohemia. There is a tradition here of wine-making that goes back at least a thousand years. The start of wine-making coincides with the occupation by the Roman legions in third century BC.

    At present there are about 12,000 hectares of productive vines in Moravia. The climate is relatively favorable. The average annual temperature is between 10°C (50°F) and 15°C (59°F) during the growing seasons. Average precipitation is 500-700 mm per annum. The consistency of the soil is extremely varied, ranging through slate-like strata and chalk-bearing layers to gravel, and pre-dominantly clay soils. The vineyards are cultivated on both slopes and level ground with a preference for frost-free locations.

  • Moravian Wine

    Moravian Czech Wine region

    Moravian Czech Wine CellarThe Mikulov wine area is one of the largest that extends from Novomlynske Nädrze to the border with Austria.

    The best-known towns are Valtice, Mikulov, and Lednice. This is an area of mainly white Czech wines that are fulsome in taste with pleasing acidity and striking character. A number of Czech wines are produced here with quality predicates, mainly made from Ryzlink Vlayky, Veltlinske Zelene, Muykät Moravsky, Ryzlink Rynsky, Chardonnay, and Aurelius. There is also a plant improvement station at Perna where frost and disease resistant grape varieties are developed.

  • Moravinan Wine Region

    Moravian Czech Wine

    Czech Wine BottlesThe finest Moravian vineyard of Yobes is on the Austrian border. The ideal climate here ripens the Rulandskeyede, Ryzlink Rynsky, and Ryzlink Vlasky fully. The Czech wines from the Yobes vineyard are characterised by their fullness and pronounced bouquet. The Sauvignon Blanc from Znojmo is pale yellow-green and has a wonderful nose that in lesser years is reminiscent of nettles and in good years of ripe peaches. The Irsai Oliver from Yatov has a bewitching Muscat bouquet and fulsome and harmonious taste. The Neuburské is a dry Czech wine that is green-yellow with a gentle nose and fulsome taste with mild bitterness. In good years this Czech wine is capable of maturing well and develops into a fine rounded wine after five years. The Ryzlink Vlasky is a mildly aromatic dry Czech wine with higher acidity, green- yellow colour, and spicy aroma. It is drunk when young.

  • New South Wales

      New South Wales is a large wine-growing area of which the only well-known part is the Hunter Valley. The area lies to the south of Canberra and stretches to the north of Sydney and Newcastle.


    Tumbarumba is best known for its sparkling wines. The area is a difficult one for wine-growing with severe winters, excessive rainfall, and cool summers. Despite this the locals manage to produce reasonable to good whites and reds from Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir on pretty acid soil.


    This area lies further inland than the previous one. The hot and humid climate in summer makes it ideal here to produce late harvest and noble rot wines, that are mainly made from Semillon. The soil is level layers of sand and loam, interspersed with some clay.



    The Young area lies inland and to the north west of Canberra. The vineyards are sited fairly high on hills. Although there is fairly substantial rainfall here during the otherwise moderately hot summer, irrigation remains necessary. Despite this the Young area produces reasonable to good wines.



    Cowra is situated in the hinterland of Sydney. This is a fairly recent newcomer that is barely more than 25 years old. The vineyards are sited on slopes along the local river. The soil is a mixture of clay, loam, and sand that is fairly highly acidic. The climate tends towards continental with hot dry summers. Despite this there is fairly considerable rainfall during the growing period so that irrigation is not always required. Cowra's wines are mainly whites and they are characterised by plenty of taste for little money.


    Lower Hunter Valley

    This is one of Australia's oldest wine-growing areas, and it is mainly known for its superb Semillon and Syrah. The climate is hot but there is sufficient moisture. The soil on the slopes where the vineyards are situated is mainly sand, which is ideal for white wines.


    Upper Hunter Valley

    This too is a white wine area, mainly producing Chardonnay and Semillon. It is somewhat hotter and drier here than in the Lower Hunter Valley.


    The soil chiefly consists of a mixture of salty and acidic loam and sand. The Upper Hunter Valley is perhaps the most picturesque wine area in Australia.{jcomments on}

  • Rioja DOC Spanish Wine

    Rioja Spanish WineRioja DOC Wine

    Rioja is made in three different areas as previously indicated: the southern Basque country, Navarra, and La Rioja. The area of La Rioja and Rioja wine derive their name from the small river Oja, hence Rio Oja. The river flows into the Ebro near Haro. This Spanish wine region region is subdivided into three areas: the highlands of Rioja Alta in the north west, the most northerly vineyards of Rioja Alavesa in Alava Province, and the lowlands of Rioja Baja in Navarra and La Rioja. The entire area is protected from the cold north winds by the mountains of the Sierra Cantabrica. The river Ebro rises in the Cantabrian mountains and flows towards the Mediterranean.

  • Romanian Wine Areas

    Romanian Wine in Moldova

    Romania Wine GrapesThis area with is renowned vineyards of Cotnari, Odobesti, Panciu, Nicoresti, Husi, and Dealurile Moldovei, borders the Ukraine (Russian Federation). The soil chiefly consists of a mixture of humus and chalk.

    Many Romanian wines here are made from the native grapes of Feteasca Alba, Feteasca Regala, Feteasca Negra, and Galbena, possibly supplemented with or even supplanted by imported grapes such as Rhine Riesling, Welsch Riesling, Pinot Gris, Traminer, or Sauvignon Blanc.

  • South Australia

    Clare Valley

    This is one of Australia's oldest wine-producing areas which has existed since the second half of the nineteenth century.

    High quality wines, and in particular very aromatic reds and superb floral Rieslings come from the Clare Valley. The climate is predominantly a moderate continental one with big differences between day and night temperatures, especially in summer. There is enough rainfall, mainly in the spring, to make irrigation unnecessary. The soil is mainly open calciferous red or brown clay.


    Adelaide Hills

    The vineyards in this area are sited at heights of 1,312- 1,640 feet (400-500 metres) and are becoming better known thanks to the production of very acceptable sparkling and quality wines. The altitude of the vineyards somewhat mitigates the heat and leads to increased rainfall. Since most of the rain falls in winter though irrigation is still necessary. The soil around Adelaide consists of a fairly infertile mixture of loam and sand.


    McLaren Vale

    McLaren Vale is one of Australia's best wineproducing areas and certainly the best in terms of the varied grapes and types of wine. The area is best known for the powerful dark and very aromatic reds and mighty whites. Despite the cooling effect of the ocean too little rain falls here and irrigation is necessary. McLaren Vale has many different soil types which explains the diversity of the wine. It is mainly sand and loam on underlying clay and chalk, or sand, or red or black weathered loam.


    Barossa Valley

    The Barossa Valley is probably the best-known wine area of Australia, both because of its wines and its rich history. The valley was the first territory of the early German settlers who started the wine industry here. German is still spoken here. The climate is hot, sunny, and with little moisture. Despite this there is little irrigation. The vines are trained low, almost like creepers, and the yield is intentionally kept low. This produces excellent wine which is very concentrated, full of colour and structure. The soil chiefly consists of brown sandy soil or clay to dark sand.



    This is a lesser known wine region on fairly level terrain that largely consists of loam or terra rossa with good underlying drainage. The shortage of rainfall here makes irrigation during summer necessary. The area mainly produces commercial wine but is switching over to quality wines such as those of Hardy.



    This is an extremely well-known area within South Australia where wine-growing started way back in the late nineteenth century. The finest Australian Cabernet Sauvignons originate from here these days. The area is situated immediately behind the coastal strip and is favourably influenced by the ocean. The climate here is a moderate maritime one with fairly cool summers (by Australian standards) .

     The loose red terra rossa soil has become a by-word throughout the world. If there is anywhere in Australia where it is possible to speak of the character of the terroir then it is Coonawarra.

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  • The French vineyards of Aveyron


    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).



    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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  • The valley of the Loire - French Wines

    France's longest river, the Loire, (approx. 1,012 km/632 long) has its source in the Ardeche. The wild mountain stream first flows northwards towards Orleans where it turns with a broad sweeping bend to the left into a majestic river as it then calmly proceeds towards the sea. The valley of the Loire displays a constantly changing face. The French vineyards are spread out from the flat land near the banks and on gently undulating hills alongside forests and every type of agriculture. Its nickname of 'Le jardin de la France' (the garden of France) comes from the colourful fields of flowers.

  • Wine areas

       Wine-growing is possible along almost half the length of the Andes (between the 25th and 40th parallels). The vineyards arise like cooling oases in otherwise desert-like terrain.

    It is possible to grow a wide range of varieties of grape here because of the big difference in day and night time temperatures. Argentina has five large wine areas.

     From north to south, these are:

    - SaJta/Cafayate that lies just below latitude 25 degrees south, along the banks of the Rio Sali, between the towns of these names. Wines such as Cafayate and those of the renowned Etchart Bodega come from here.

    - La Rioja/Chilecito which lies just below 30 degrees south. This area is known for its Bodega La Riojana wines.

    - Mendoza is undoubtedly the best-known wine area of Argentina. It lies above the latitude 35 degrees south, on the banks of the Rio Mendoza and Rio Tunuyan, and is known for numerous good bodegas such as Etchart, Nieto y Senetiner, Trapiche, Norton, and Flichman.

    An area within Mendoza is regarded by insiders as the area with the greatest potential for the twentyfirst century. This is Lujan de Cuyo to the south-west of the town of Mendoza, which produces outstanding Malbec wines with its own denomination of Lujan de Cuyo. Given the significant levels of investment by the major wine producers and distillers it is apparent that something important in terms of quality is happening here.

    - San Rafael, lies along a latitude of 35 degrees south, between the Rio Diamante and Rio Atue!. Only the wines of Bodega Goyenechea are known to some extent outside of Argentina.

    - Rio Negro, the most southerly area, lies just north 40 degrees south on the banks of the Rio Negro.

    Wines from this area are hardly known outside Argentina.{jcomments on}

  • Wine regions - Africa

      South Africa has had a clear system of naming the places of origin of its wines since 1973, based on the geographical and climatological properties of the wine.

    Most of the wine-growing areas are in the south west of the country, between Cape Town and the coast. Wine is also made in the north and east of the country at Olifantsrivier, Orange River, and Klein Karoo.

    Wines can originate from a specific local area such as these or from larger regions such as Coastal Region (Swartland, Tulbagh, Paarl, and Stellenbosch). and Breede River Region (Worcester and Robertson) . Excellent examples of this type of wine are the successful Fleur du Cap range and Stellenrijck from the Coastal Region.

    In our visit to these wine regions we start in the north, travel via the west to the south and then east.

    wine regions from Africa 

    Orange River

    This is a relatively unknown area alongside the border with Namibia. The wine is acceptable at a reasonable price but little is exported.



    This area is slightly south of Orange River, running more or less parallel to the coast. The climate here between Koekenaap and Citrusdal is somewhat drier with less rain and higher temperatures than near Cape Town. Extremely pleasant wine at very acceptable prices originates from here but virtually only for the domestic market.



    The area around Piketberg has extremely hot summers making irrigation essential, particularly as there is so little rainfall throughout the year. The wine is first class and quite reasonably priced.



    This area is further south, between Piketberg, Darling, Malmesbury, and Tulbagh. The quality of the wines start to improve now. The area used to be renowned for its sweet port-type wines. Nowadays two types of wine are produced here: light, tasty, convivial, and inexpensive modern wines such as Swartland, but also top quality wines from noble grapes such as Alles Verloren.



    This is a very small place of origin in the south east of Swartland.

     Reasonable to good cooperative wines are made alongside excellent classic wines here depending on the microclimate. We know the area in Europe chiefly from Drostdy-Hof and Twee Jonge Gezellen. {jcomments on}

  • Wine-growing conditions

      California’s climate is quite varied, which is not surprising given the large area of the state. In rough terms the climate on the coast is similar to the Mediterranean with warm summers and mild winters. Summer in the Central Valley is exceptionally hot and dry, while summer in the area immediately behind the coast is much moister and can be misty.

     The highest temperatures are in the Central Valley and the mildest are on the coast. The North Coast vineyards get the most rainfall. The soil is also varied as a result of the many earthquakes that hane occured throughout the area. The soil varies from alluvial and sedimentary deposits to strata of volcanic origin.

    The notion of terroir that is so strong in Europe is not given much credence in California. The variety of grape is far more likely to be chosen as suitable for the climate than the soil.

    In the past when grapes were just regarded as yet anothe crop, the vines were planted in the most fertile soil, where the highest yield could be expected. This, when combined with the high wine yield from the grapes, expains why the wines used to be so ponderous and characterless. Fortunately the best growers have put an end to that policy.

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