Wine Searcher

  • French wine history

    French wineFrench wine’s success has been created on deservedly popular regions that are enshrined by the AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) laws, but unwillingness to guard such system in a meaningful logic has slowly debased historic reputations at precise point in the history when the New World manufacturers are eager at establishing their own range of wines.

    France owns a total of 872 hectares of land under vine that also includes 70,000 hectares for the Cognac and 6,000 hectares for the Armagnac. It produces an average of approximately 57 million hectolitres of wine each year. From the mid of 1980s, there has been a drop in French wine production by 27% in response to moving away from lower-quality end of spectrum because wine consumers have started drinking less wine but they drink the better quality ones. The way that quality is classified is a highly contentious issue that is faced by the French wine industry.

  • German wine-growing and regions

    German Wine-growing

    German WinesAlthough a few wine-makers succeed in making excellent red wines, German is white wine country, because of its climate. Although the quality of red German wines has improved, the price charged for the level of quality available is somewhat on the high side. Slightly more than 85% of the area cultivated by vines in Germany is planted with white grape varieties. Before the reunification of Germany the proportion of red wine grapes had risen sharply from 13% in 1984 to almost 19% in 1994. Because the winegrowing areas of the former East Germany mainly grew white varieties, the proportion has now decreased slightly. The choice of grapes grown has also shifted in favour of better quality. Hence the very productive MüllerThurgau is losing ground in favour of Riesling.

  • Greek wine growing

    Greek region wine

    Greek winesGreek wines fall into two market segments: the branded wines and those with the name of their place of origin. Large numbers of just about drinkable wines fall within the branded sector but also some very top quality wines. Greek wine-growers have an ideal climate for cultivating vines and making wine, especially close to the sea. Many different microclimates, combined with varying local soil conditions such as chalk and rock, and the different varieties of grapes used ensure different characters for the various wines. At present some 300 different types of grape are grown in Greece. Many of these are of French origin such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Merlot, but the majority are native and sometimes ancient varieties. The best known of them are Assyrtiko (Santorini, Sithonia, Athos) ,

    Vilana (Heraklion, Crete), Robola (Cephalonia), Savatiano (Attiki, Beotia, Euboea) , Giorgitiko (Nemea), Xinomavro (Naoussa, Amynteon, Goumenissa, Rapsani) , Mavrodaphne (Achaia, Cephalonia),Mandelaria (Paros, Rhodes, Heraklion Crete), Moschofilero (Mantinia), Muscat (Patras, Samos), and Rhoditis (Achaia, Anchialos, Macedonia, Thrace).

    Greek wine logoThe Greek regions, from north to south, are Thrace, Macedonia, Ipeiros, Thessalia, Central Greece, The Ionian islands (Eptanesos), Eastern Aegean islands, The Peloponnese, Cyclades islands, Dodecanese islands and Crete.

    Greek wines fall into two market segments: the branded wines and those with the name of their place of origin. The Greek landscape does not generally feature large mountains with a few exceptions but the country is naturally divided into smaller areas by small mountains and hills.

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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.

    All merchants and wine stores will negotiate special deals for large orders, so it is always worth buying with a group of friends to get the maximum discounts, or you could consider setting up your own wine club. Most people buy their wine through normal retail outlets or wine clubs, but auctions can yield some great bargains and they are not as imposing as you might think - so long as you exercise self-discipline!

  • How to serving a wine

    Serving wine

    Serving Wine Good wine deserves good glass. Crystal is fine but it can interfere with your perception and appreciation of the colour of the wine. I prefer clean, clear and large glasses. Clean glasses are essential because there is almost nothing worse than being offered wine in a glass which reeks of washing-up liquid.

    Nor is it pleasing to be given wine in a small glass. This is not just a matter of greed, but because wine needs to breathe and you must be able to appreciate the bouquet given off. A large glass should be used and only half-filled, so there is space between the surface of the wine and the rim of the glass, where the aromas can gather.

  • Italian Wine Regions

    Piemonte wine region

    Lazio Wine The name describes the position of the area: “at the foot of the mountains”, which is the Alps and bounds Italy with France and Switzerland. Countless rivers flow from these mountains to create beautiful valleys in the lower area. The city of Piedmont is Turin (Torino), famous for its large industry. The rest of the region is traditional agricultural and wine region.

    Piemonte has great tradition, which has had many successful generations of farmers. The local food is known for its strong herbs and spices. The Italian red wine is very powerful, especially those made with the Nebbiolo grape. Italian wine has been made in this wine regon for a long time, referenced both in Greek and Roman literature. Today Piedmont, with Tuscany, is a temple to the art of Italian wine making.

  • 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.

  • Make Wine

    About making wine and wines

    Grapes and wineWine is the product of fermenting the juice of crushed grapes using yeast and natural grape sugar to produce alcohol. When the required level of alcohol or sweetness has been achieved, the process is stopped and the wine is put into barrels or tanks for storage or bottling.

    That is all there is to it, but from your own tasting you will know that some wines can be magnificent and others quite foul. The skill in wine-making is knowing how to make the best possible wine from the grapes. The work of producing good wines starts in the vineyard. The soil and climate can influence the style of the variety planted, but many other factors come into play.

  • Make Wine

    Making wine and fermentation

    Making wine in oaksIf the wine is not to have secondary fermentation, it must be removed from the vats, and this process is known as racking or back blending. Before this can happen the wine-maker must decide the style of wine he wants. If it is to be medium or sweet, the fermentation will have to be stopped artificially using filters. The wine is passed through very fine screens which extract all the yeast so there can be no more fermentation. In some areas, Germany for example, sweet natural juice is then added to increase the residual sugar content of the wine.

  • Merlot Grapes

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

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

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

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

     

    Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes

    cabernet sauvignon Grapeswhite-grapes

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

     

    Pinot Noir Grapes

    pinot noir Grapes white-grapes 

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

    Syrah Grapes

    Syrah Grapeswhite-grapes

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

    Other Red Grapes

    other red Grapeswhite-grapes

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

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  • Mexico Wines

     Mexico is probably the oldest wine-producing country of the New World. Vines were introduced by the Spanish conquistadors under the command of the faimous Henando Cortez in the sixteenth century.

    The results were very disapponting though because of the tremendous heat and arid conditions.

     The Spanish searched for better places to plant the vines further north in satisfactory. It was only in the eighteenth century that Franciscan monks imprived the Spanish vineyards and extended those in the former greater California. After California was separated from Mexico, wine-growing in Baja California (the Mexican part of California) fell into total neglect. Several large American and European wine and drinks companies saw an opportunity in the later twentieth century to establish a wine industry in Mexico in the best locations.

    Of these companies the firm of Domecq achieved short-term success with Mexican wine. Because of the very hot and dry conditions it is essential for wine-growing to find cooler places so sites were sought on the high plateaux. Hence some vineyards are sited at 3,300-5,000 feet. Although there are well-hnwon internationally. These are L.A. Cetto, Mission Santo Thomas, and Domecq to a lesser extent in terms of the wine than the name.

    L.A. Cetto and Domecq have vineyards in Baja California, about 50 miles south of the bode with the United States, tin the Guadalupe Valley, and Mission Santo Thomas has them in the Santo Thomas Valley. There are also vineyards in the Baja California of the smaller scale but high quality wine producer of wines, with a sultry and unforgettable Chardonnay and excellent Cabernet Sauvignon. Both wines are very expresive and difficult to get and appers to be less interested in wine. Mission Santo Thomas has entered into a joint venture with the famous Californian company of Wente and is extremly busy. Their Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon are absolute gems.

    L.A. Cetto makes a wide range of different types of wine from very acceptable cheap ones for local consumption to excellent Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo, Zinfandel, and Petite Syrah that are mainly intended for export.

    Mexican wines, as the taster will soon discover, are long on sensuality and short on finesse.

     The success of Mexican wine is due to the soft acidity and fulsome, rounded, and warm taste. In addition the wines from producers such as L.A. Cetto are really quite cheap for the quality they offer. Drinking temperature is 57.2-60.8°F (14-16°C) for the Cabernet Sauvignon and 60.8-62.6°F (16-17°C) for the other red wines.

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  • Moulin Haut-Laroque, Mouton Rothschild Bordeaux Wines

    Moulin Haut-Laroque (Ch.) Bordeaux Wine

    Chateau Moulin Haut Laroque Fronsac Bordeaux WineThis cru is an example of a family-run vineyard. The property of the Hervé family for many generations, it took its present form at the end of the nineteenth century. The fifteen hectares of vines in the Saillans commune, part of the Fronsac AOC, are particularly well positioned. Jean-Noël Hervé, who has a great respect for tradition, has devoted himself since 1977 to bringing out the best in this outstanding terroir, and to producing wines typical of the appellation.

     Moulis, Medoc, wines, Mouton, year, Rothschild, Baron, vineyard, vines, quality

  • 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

    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.

    Griffith/Riverina

    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.

     

    Young

    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

    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}

  • Nodoz and Pauillac Bordeaux Wines

    Nodoz (Ch.) Bordeaux Wine Region

    Chateau Nodoz Bordeaux WineThis property goes back a long way: Count de Nodoz sold it in 1791 to the family of J.J. Bordes, a well-known merchant-shipowner in Bordeaux. This family improved the vineyard and established its reputation. During the winegrowing crisis of 1930, the Magdeleine family bought the property from the wine merchants Posso and Rosenfeld. Beautifully located on a gravelly hillside, the vineyard covers forty hectares in the communes of Tauriac and Lansac. It benefits from maximum sunshine thanks to its east-south-east and south-west exposure.

    After a traditional vinification, Chateau Nodoz wines are matured in Bordeaux oak casks for twelve to eighteen months, depending on the vintage. The Cotes de Bourg AOC wine has been rewarded with several medals in wine competitions and high praise in specialist magazines., A robust and generous wine, it can be enjoyed young but also offers surprises to those who are willing to wait.

     

  • 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.

    AMERICAN WINE *** WINE SHOP

    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.

    AMERICAN WINE *** WINE SHOP

    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.

    AMERICAN WINE *** WINE SHOP

    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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Other white grapes

    GEWÜRZTRAMINER GRAPES

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

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

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

     

    MUSCADET - MELON DE BOURGOGNE GRAPES

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

     The Muscadet grape thrives in the Loire Valley.

     

    MUSCAT GRAPES

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

     Muscat is grown throughout Europe anda also in Australia.

     

    TREBBIANO - UGNI BLANC GRAPES

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

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

     

    VIOGNIER GRAPES

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

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

     

    MARSANNE GRAPES

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

     

    Pinot Blanc GrapesPINOT BLANC - Pinot Bianco GRAPES

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

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

     

     

    Chardonnay Grapes

    Chardonnay Grapeswhite-grapes

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

    Sauvignon Blanc Grapes

    Sauvignon Blanc Grapeswhite-grapes 

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

    Riesling Grapes

    Riesling Grapeswhite-grapes 

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

    Semillon Grapes

    Semillon Grapeswhite-grapes

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

    Chenin Blanc Grapes

    Chenin Blanc Grapeswhite-grapes

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

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  • Pinot Noir 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  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. There are exceptions to the rule, such as the wines from the likes of Romanée Conti in Burgundy's Côte D'Or.

     Pinot Noir is a prime example of the importance of terroir, the term used to describe the growing conditions of the grape such as the soil, drainage, microclimate, and exposure to the sun. Pinot Noir is an excellent wine when the grapes have been grown in Burgungy but an altogether more challenging prospect when grown elsewhere.

     Carneros and the Central Coast of California, Oregonn the Yarra Valleym and cooler spots in Australia, are consistently producing 'typical' and different expressions of Pinot Noir. New Zealand, via Martinborough, Marlborough, Central Otago and South Africam via Walker Bay, are also now producing decent Pinot Noir. The Pinot Noir nose is often reminiscent of paspberry, strawberry, and redcurrant when young, taking on subtle, earthy, leafy, prune-like aromas with age. It is also one the classic Champagne varieties.

    Burgundy,  Alsace, Champagne and Sancerre in France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, and California, Oregon ans Washington State in the United States.

     

    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.

    Syrah Grapes

    Syrah Grapeswhite-grapes

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

    Other Red Grapes

    other red Grapeswhite-grapes

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

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  • Portugal Wine

      Portugal's climate is generally moderate without extremes of temperature. The winters are mild and the summers are warm but definitely not too hot.

     The north of the country is warmed by the gulf stream of the North Atlantic and the ocean ensures ample moisture.The centre of the country is hotter and drier, especially in summer. The winters there are mild and short. The south has the hottest and driest weather with a moderate Mediterranean climate. Countless wines of distinction originate from this idyllic land, which have been popular with European consumers for a long time. There are other wines that are waiting to be discovered that are of no less quality.

    We will deal with the various wine areas of Portugal from north to south and then continue onwards to Madeira and the Azores. The enormous technical backwardness of the Portuguese wine industry has been almost totally done away with in recent decades.

     
    There are small places still to be found where wine is still made as it was 100 years ago but that is in stark contract with the high-tech adegas or independent quintas where everything is computer­ controlled . The best quintas (independent wine companies) choose a perfect middle road with respect for tradition with the hygienic methodology and certainty of the latest technology.

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