Macedonia – a wine country yet to be discovered
A few of the most famous wine regions, such as Nappa Valley in California and Bordeaux in France, lie on the same geographic latitude as Tikves, the largest vine valley in the Republic of Macedonia. This valley is a part of the Central wine region, or better known as Povardarie, and together with the East and West wine regions, it marks the territory where this small country in the Balkan and European south grow vine.
The tradition of growing vine in Macedonia dates back from ancient times. Undoubtedly, thanks to its natural conditions, as Macedonia is the place where the continental climate from the North meets with the Mediterranean climate from the South, resulting in moderate and mild winters, and long, dry summers with gentle breeze. Such climate, combined with various soil compositions, including alluvial, volcano or terra rosa soils, creates conditions for growing more than 50 types of grapes. Internationally recognized varieties, such as Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon… successfully grow in Macedonia, just as the varieties that the world is yet to discover, Kratoshija, Stanushina, Temjanika, Vranec, Rkatsiteli… The fact that many of these international varieties have local names speaks of how long the tradition of wine making is. So, when in Macedonia you are offered Belan, and you recognize the flavor of Grenache Blanc, or, if you recognize Pinot Noir in a glass of Burgundec, or, you taste Primitivo or Zifandel while drinking Kratoshija, do not be confused.
Other wine regions of France
SAVOIE and JURA Wine Regions
Savoie is close to the Swiss border, a few miles south of Geneva and most of its production is white wine, although it does produce light red and rosé. The Jura vineyards start about 25 miles north west of Geneva and, like Savoie, cover about 3,000 acres. Red, white, rosé and sparkling wines are produced, as well as the unusual Vin de Paille, so-named because the grapes are dried on straw before pressing to impart very special characteristics.
Loire Wine Region
LOIRE wine and region
The 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.
Rhone Wine Region
RHONE wine and region
The vineyards of the Rhone extend from just below Lyon as far south as Avignon straddling both sides of the river but not continuously. In the north, the vineyard belt is rarely more than a few hundred yards wide, while in the south the vineyards stretch out into the widening valleys.
The northern vineyards are hot and rocky and all the famous red wines are produced from the Syrah grape, while in the south where many of the wines are blended there have been enormous improvements in the past few years.
Champagne Wine Region
“In victory you deserve it; in defeat you need it,” said Napoleon.
Champagne is the most northerly vineyard in France, a large plain split by the River Marne 90 miles east of Paris. There are about 72,000 acres of vineyards within the Champagne appellation, some 15,000 growers, more than 4,500 producers including 110 Houses and about 250 miles of tunnels for storing and ageing the wine. Annual sales are around 250 million bottles, of which 40 per cent is exported.
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