• Algerian Wine

    Algerian Wine History

    Algerian Wine LabelThe Algerian wine-making tradition is more than 2,000 years old and wine was exported to Rome for the courts of the Caesars. Moslem domination ended Algerian wine production but grapes were still grown as fresh fruit and for raisins.


    Current situation for Algerian wine

    Modern Algerian wine production started about 130 years ago with the first French settlers and the first vineyards were planted in 1865. As French vineyards were decimated by phylloxera, many growers moved to Algeria to start again, bringing with them their own regional varieties.

  • 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.

  • Bordeaux wine region

    Bordeaux Wine Region

    Bordeaux Wine BottlesThe Gironde, in south west France, is the country’s largest Departement, and the home of Bordeaux wines, including claret, Britain’s favorite French wine for centuries. But while all claret is Bordeaux, not all Bordeaux is claret.

    Bordeaux is the largest region of fine wine production – red, white and dessert – in the world. The vines cover more than 500 square miles, split almost evenly between red and white grapes, and most of the wines have AC status. The vineyards run from the west bank of the Gironde estuary southwards to below the river Garonne.

  • Casteller DOC


    These are reds and roses from Schiava grapes, possible supplemented to a maximum 20% with some Lambrusco, Merlot, Lagrein, or Teroldego.


    These wines are either ruby red or pink, very light in texture, and extremely mellow in taste. They are available as dry (Asciutto) or slightly sweet to sweet (Amabile). These wines keep well. Serve slightly chilled at 53.6- 57.2°F (12- 14°C) but cooler for the sweeter wines (46.4- 50°F/8- 10°C).

     *** the best italian WINE ***


    There are two types of Sorni: whites from Nosiola grapes, possibly supplemented with Miiller-Thurgau, Pinot Bianco, and Sylvaner, and reds made with Schiava, Teroldego, and possibly Lagrein. Sorni Bianco is pale golden yellow with a green cast and barely noticeable bouquet or taste. It is refreshing though and can be served on any occasion. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

    Sorni Rosso has a more expressive nose and taste than its counterpart. It is an elegant, aromatic wine that is delicious throughout a meal. Choose a Scelto (auslese) for these are slightly higher in alcohol and more rounded. Drink at 53.6- 57.2°F (12- 14°C).

     *** the best italian WINE ***


    This wine from the Teroldego grape that is native to Trentino is virtually unique. The grapes prefer the flat land in the Rotaliana valley, to the north of Trent (Trento) . These grapes only develop fully with such great finesse in this one location. Wherever else these grapes are grown in Italy the results are moderate to atrocious. The Teroldego Rotaliano Rosso is very intensely coloured (ruby with glints of purple when young) and its characteristic nose is of violet and raspberry. A hint of bitter almond can be detected in the finish. In common with red Loire wines, Teroldego Rosso is best drunk when young or not before eight to ten years after the harvest. In the intervening years this wine often suffers from evaporation and becomes closed, revealing nothing of itself. Drinking temperature is 50-53.6°F (10-12°C) when young and 57.2-60.8°F (14-16°C) when mature.

    Teroldego Rotaliano Rosso Superiore has more body and is higher in alcohol and this is equally true of Riserva wines which must have at least two more years maturing before sale. Drinking temperature is 57.2-60.8°F (14-16°C).

    *** the best italian WINE ***

     There is also a Rosato (Kretzer) made from Teroldego which is an attractive pink to pale granite red colour, with an intriguing floral and fruity nose and delicate taste that is juicy and rounded. This wine also has a discernible finish of bitter almond. Drinking temperature is 50-53.6°F (10-12°C).

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  • Chablis and Beaujolais Wine Regions



    Chablis Fine Wine Chardonnay: The only grape allowed for Chablis producing a steely dry, green, acidic wine. The best wines are much richer, with depth and intense flavour although still bone dry.

    Sauvignon Blanc: Used for Sauvignon de St.Bris. The variety is not legal in Chablis which is why the wine has only VDQS status.

    Pinot Noir: Mainly used for red wine production, with some César, Gamay and Tressot.

  • Fitou Roussillon Maury French Wines


    This is the oldest established red French wine AC of the Languedoc. There is a clear differentiation between Fitou that is made from the coastal strip and that produced inland. A superb full-bodied, and powerful red wine is produced from approx. 2,500 hectares between Narbonne and Perpignan. The bouquet and the taste of the best Fitou have overwhelming influences of Provençal herbs such as bay laurel, thyme, and rosemary, sometimes with a touch of clove, and flint. The best Fitou benefits from lengthy maturing in oak and can certainly be laid down. This French wine is extremely popular with the French and English. Drinking temperature for this French wine: 16°C (60.8°F) .


    The vineyards of Roussillon are situated south of Corbieres, at the foot of the Pyrenees, on part of Catalonia that has been French since 1642. The vineyards stretch themselves out, beneath the hot and drying Mediterranean sun, across a variety of different types of soil and landscape, from the coast to deep inland. The coastal strip south of Fitou to Argeles-sur-Mer is an oasis of calm for both nature lovers and sun-worshippers. From Argeles to the Spanish border the landscape is more rugged and hilly, with the only haven being the picturesque bay of Collioure.


    Once of France's finest wines - the red vin doux naturel - is produced in the country around the small town of Maury. The blue vines of Grenache that are kept pruned low produce very low yields of grapes but they are high in juice in the sun-baked rocky soil. Young Maury is granite red while more mature ones tend to the colour of mahogany. A good Maury is very aromatic: when young is develops above all fruity aromas (red fruit), later suggestions of cocoa coffee, and preserved fruits dominate.

    Although the cheaper Maury wines can be pleasant, it is better to choose the best ones for these are better value. One estate is worthy of particular recommendation for its velvet soft wine with an unparalleled and fascinating bouquet of spiced bread, liquorice, plums, and cocoa: Domaine du

    Mas Amiel. Drinking good temperature for this French wine: 16- 18°C (60.8-64.4°F) .

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  • How to buy your wine?

    Buying wine

    Buying winesThe choice of wine available to the consumer has never been greater and nor have the methods of buying it One of the most pleasurable ways to buy wine is to visit the growers’ cellars and taste before you make your decision. For wines from further afield, there are specialist shippers, merchants and wine shops which can introduce you to the wines of the world. Tastings are becoming much more common in retail wine outlets, especially wine warehouses where you buy by the case.

  • 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}

  • Loire Wine Region

    LOIRE wine and region

    Cheverny Blanc Loire FranceThe Loire is France’s longest river, flowing almost 650 miles from the foothills of the Massif Central in the Ardéche to the Atlantic Ocean west of Nantes. Fairy tale castles overlook the vineyards that flank most of the river and its tributaries. Near its source are the vineyards of Sancerre, Pouilly and the Coteaux du Giennois. Reuilly and Quincy mingle among the southern tributaries. To the east of Tours is Vouvray, and then Chinon, Bourgueil, Saumur, Muscadet and a scattering of smaller appellations as you near the sea.

  • Lombardia (Lombardy)

      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 (Lake Garda etc.in English).

    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's wine-growing is fairly concentrated, especially in Valtellina (north east of Milan), around Lake Garda and in the Oltrepo Pavese (around Pavia, in the south).The Lombardian attitude to wine is 'small but fine '. It is surprising that the inhabitants of the big towns and cities seem to prefer wines from other regions to their own.


     You will search in vain in Milan for a bottle of local wine but this is no problem for the wine industry for rural consumption is almost equal to the production. Little wine is available for export.

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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.


    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.


    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.


       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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  • Marche Wine Region

    Italian Wine of Marche

    Marche Wine ItalyThe Marche is bounded to the west by the Apennines, Umbria, and a corner of Tuscany, in the north by Emilia, to the south by Abruzzo, and in the east by the Adriatic. The best-known towns along the coast are Pesaro and Ancona, the best know inland places are Macerata and Ascoli Piceno.

  • 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.

  • More Canadian Wines


    This grape achieves its best I believe in sweeter wines. The bouquet of citrus and tropical fruits keeps the sultry,

    comforting ripeness of banana and honey in balance. The relatively high acidity also moderates the otherwise very sweet taste of the wine.


    Pine medium dry to sweet wines are made from the noble Riesling here just as they are in Germany. The fresh and refined acidity of Riesling keeps the wine well balanced in spite of its cosseting sweetness. There are very attractive floral aromas and also apple, peach, and honey with the sweeter Late Harvest, and the occasional mineral undertones. Drinking temperature is 46.4-53.6°F (8- 10°C).


    Ice-wine is probably the best-known Canadian speciality. The best of these wines walk off with major prizes at the majority of the international exhibitions. Ice-wine can in principle be made from any type of grape including red varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon or Pranc, but with a few exceptions the most interesting of them are produced from Vidal and Riesling. The method of making Icewines is the same as that for making German or Austrian Eiswein and French Vins de Glace from the south-west of France.

    The grapes are allowed to hang until frozen by the frost. They are then quickly pressed and the tasteless frozen liquid remains behind with the seeds and skins, with only the honey sweet juices emerging from the press.

    These juices are so concentrated that the yeast cells which can normally live up to a level of alcohol of 15% are finished by 8 or 9%. Ice-wines are very complex, powerful, extremely aromatic wines with notes such as apricot, peach, sweet melon, and honey with Vidal grapes and tropical flowers, apricot, citrus fruit, toffee, and vegetal nuances with Riesling. To gain double the pleasure serve it cold at 46.4-53.6°F (8- 10°C) but then allow it to warm up slowly.


    Most Canadian roses are very lightly structured and not terribly interesting. They are certainly fruity but despite good acidity and reasonable complexity most are knocked back like soft drinks. Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F (1O-12°C).


    This is an extremely surprising French-Canadian hybrid which produces quite exciting results in Canada with full-bodied wines with lots of juice and taste that are very scented with suggestions of blackcurrant, blueberries, tobacco, and animal undertones. Some top Baco Noirs slightly resemble better Rhone Syrah wines. Drinking temperature is 60.8-62.6°F (16-17°C).


    The typical bouquet is of woodland fruits, cherry, and a hint of wild strawberry which when older become more rustic notes of leather, animal, and humus. Drinking temperature is 57,2- 60.8°F (14- 16°C).


    Bear in mind that many Canadian Cabernet wines are a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Pranc but may also contain Merlot. These are generally well-made wines but the best of them are simply fantastic. They have constantly caused great surprise in blind tastings with their power, complexity, seductive fruitiness, and elegant tannin. Drinking temperature is 60.8-62.6°F (16-17°C).

    Other wines

    The best wine houses also make excellent Sauvignon Blancs, Aligotes, Gamay Blancs and Rouges. These wines are not very abundant though.

    Recommended wines

    The following wines from the best Canadian wineries are well worth trying.

    - Ontario: Chateau des Charmes, Hildebrand Estates Winery, Inniskillin, Marijnissen Estates, Reif Estate Winery (all Niagara-on-the-Lake); D'Angelo (Amherstburg); Henry of Pelham (St. Catharines); Stoney Ridge Cellars (Winona); Lakeview Cellars (Vineland); Cave Spring Cellars (Jordan); Colio Estate (Harrow); and Pelee Island Winery (Kingsville) .

    - British Columbia: Calona Vineyards, Quails' Gate, Summerhill, Mission Hill, Cedar Creek, St. Humbertus (all Kelowna); Hawthorne Mountains, Inniskillin Okanoga, Jackson Triggs, Peller Estate (Okanoga); Domaine Combret, Tinhorn Creek (Oliver); and Langley's Estate Winery (Langley).

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  • North-East for American Wine

       While the vineyards of Ontario in Canada are on the northern shore of Lake Erie, the majority of the North-East’s vineyards in the United States are on the southern shore between Detroit and Buffalo. The Finger Lakers area is slighty further east and to the south of Lake Ontario.

     There are also vineyards towards the coast on the banks of the Hudson River, on Long Island near New York, and further away near Boston. The remaining vineyards of the North-East can be found in the valley of the Ohio river and south of Washington DC, in the Shenandoah Valley.


    The local American wine industry dates back to the first pioneering settles of the sixteenth century. For many years hybrids and natives species that were not varieties of Vitis vineferawere used like Alexander, Catawba, Delaware, and Concord. The results from these were not really satisfactory because of the ‘foxy’ aroma these vines give to the wines that is characteristics of varieties and sub species of Vitis labrusca. The ‘foxy’ aroma is best describes as the smell of a dirty old pelt on which old-fashioned home-made fruit jam has been smeared.

    More suitable French hybrids were introduced during the early 1940s such as Baco Noir and Seyval. From the early 1950s and particularly in the 1970s large scale planting were made of Vitis viniferavines. Thirty years later this helped to cause a major breakthrough.


    New York’s climate is marginal for cultivating vines and making wines. The summers are generally very warm and dry but the winters are often exceptionally raw. Wine-growing is only possible where the climate is moderated by the big rivers, lakes, or the Atlantic Ocean. It is extremely important to plant the vines in subsoil that is free draining. The North-East region contains the following officially recognised places of origin known as AVA (American Viticultural Areas): New York (includes Finger Lakes, Lake Erie, Hidson River, The Hamptons- Long Island), New England (Western Connecticut Highlands, South-estern New England), Ohio, Michagan, and Virginia (inclunding the Shenandoah Valley).

    Despite goverment campaigns promoting the planting of Vitis vinifieravarieties, some still persist with the old-fashioned and inferior Concord, Catawba, Delaware, and Niagara. The very best wines though are made with Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc (Hudison River). Merlot, and Pinot Noir.


    The American wines from such as the Concord are really northing soecial.

    Considerable amounts of sugar are often added to the must to mask the high acidity and strog taste, which certainly do nothing to aid the wine’s finesse. The Vitis viniferaare very taut which is understandable give the climate but they are also extremly aromatic and particularly fruity. These are not high flight wines but the quality is steadily improving.

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  • Other red 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.



     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.



    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.



     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.



    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, 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, 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.



     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.



     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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  • Penedès Spanish Wine region and climate

    Position, soil, and climate for Penedès wines

    Jean Leon Cabernet Penedes Spanish WinePenedès is situated to the south of Barcelona, divided between the provinces of Barcelona and Tarragona. While the centre for Cava production and trade is San Sadumi d’Anoia, the main centre for still wines is Vilafranca del Penedès. The vineyards are sited between the coastal strip of the Mediterranean and the central plateau, the Meseta. In practice Penedes is subdivided into three large sub-regions. The vineyards of Baix Penedes lie along the coast at a height of 820 feet (250 metres). This is the hottest area and the wines produced here are for daily consumption.

  • Pommard - Red French Wine


    Without doubt the best-known Burgundy in the world. The name resonates just like the wine's taste - of a thunderclap on a hot autumn evening.

     The colour is an exciting red and the bouq uet (black cherry, herbs, leather) and taste are both strong. This is a full, fatty wine that is both powerful and harmonious. A more classic traditional Burgundy is not to be found.


    This   red French wine   is strangely   better   known with painters, sculptors, and writers than gastronomes. Perhaps this is because of its almost artistic, tender, and feminine qualities. Volnay is certainly not a macho wine. It has a very pure and clear red colour and the nose suggests violets and blackcurrant or sloes when young, which later develop into a complex bouquet with an assortment of fruits, flowers, herbs, and toadstools. It is a rounded, velvety wine that above all is sensual.

    The better wines originate from the Premier Cru climats. This French wine merits serving with fine food.



    It is impossible to explain why Monthelie has not yet been truly discovered. Exceptionally pleasant white and red French wine is made here which is certainly not inferior to neighbouring Volnay. It is a wine then for the astute who want quality at a lower price. The red wines are better than the whites which are classic Burgundian Chardonnay with lots of butter (sometimes too much) and wood in the nose with a mild but full taste. The best Monthelie whites also contain hints of toast, white flowers, and honey with the occasional suggestion of Virginian tobacco.

    The red Monthelie French wine is a seductive clear, and cheerful red colour. Its nose is fruity when young (blackberry, bilberry, blackcurrant) with occasional floral notes   (violets). When more mature this changes to the classic fungal aromas while the fruitiness reminds of home-made jam. It is a rich, lithe, generous, and friendly French wine which is at its best after several years maturing in the bottle.



    The same hill has two very different sides to it. Red  French wine is made from one side and white wine from the other. White Auxey-Duresses is pale yellow, very aromatic (fruity and minerals) with the occasional suggestion of exotic fruit such as mango.

     The taste is warm, open, and generous. Red Auxey-Duresses steels the show. Do not drink it too young when it is still rather rough. The colour often tends towards granite red and the aromas evoke ripe fruit. It is a warm, full wine with a considerable structure.

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  • Ribera del Duero Spanish Wine

    Ribera del Duero wine and Region

    Ribera del DueroThis Spanish wine region of 11,500 hectares, situated at the centre of a square formed by Burgos, Madrid, Valladolid, and Soria, makes the best and most expensive wine of Spain. Many will have heard of Vega Sicilia, but just as in France there is both Mouton and Lafite Rothschild, there are also countless superb bodegas to discover in this region. Ribera del Duero is ideally suited for the making of quality wines, with its favourable soil, climate, and use of the best grapes. The economic strength of the region has also played its part for it is far easier to find people ready to invest in a wealthy area than a poor one and there is then also a more ready market at hand for more expensive wines.

  • Sancerre French wine

    Chavignol French wineSancerre

    Sancerre is one of the best-known Loire winegrowing areas and also one of the best-known wines of France. Since its early beginnings as an AC wine in 1936 Sancerre white has made the area part of the French wine-growing elite.

    Sancerre rose and red only gained their recognition in 1959. The French vineyards for white, rose, and red Sancerre (approx. 2,400 hectares) are located within 11 communes, of which Sancerre, Chavignol, and Bue are the best known. The area is noted for its attractive landscape of gently undulating hills with chalk or gravel-bearing soils. The grapes used here are Sauvignon Blanc for

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