Alella is a relatively small Spanish wine-growing area surrounding the town of the same name, slightly north of Barcelona. The area was threatened for many years by expansion of the Catalan capital city. It was only in 1989 that government called a halt to this threat. This Spanish wines of Alella had been granted DO status in 1956 but the area’s history as a wine-growing area date back to the time of the Roman occupation and even earlier. The original wine-growing area surrounded Alella at a height of about 295 feet (90 metres). The soil of these ancient vineyards is mainly sand on underlying granite. The vineyards of Vallès has been officially part of Alella since 1989.
This Italian wine has been a DOC since 1980. The area is to the south east of Pisa. Outstanding white wines have been made for centuries from the Trebbiano grape and today these contain 75-100% of this variety. The local Vin Santo also enjoys great fame in Italy. The fresh Bianco Pisano has a very subtle taste. Drinking temperature for this Italian wine is 46.4- 50.0°F (8-10°C). The Vin Santo is amber coloured, aromatic, fulsome, mellow, and sweet. Drinking temperature for this Italian wine is 42.8-46.4°F(6-8°C).
Croatian wine-growing with 650 square kilometres in cultivation mainly consists of a fairly large number of small areas. It is not worthwhile during this period when the Croatian industry is re-building itself to describe each of these areas individually. One of the attractive aspects of Croatian wine-growers is their determination to improve their native varieties of grapes.
This makes it more difficult for them to sell their very specific wines of local character but increasing numbers of consumers are discovering that the native grapes guarantee greater authenticity of the terroir.
This is a very big name for such a small french winegrowing area of only 800 hectares. Wine-growing here takes place on a small area with a ferruginous soil. The soil varies greatly: it is sandy in the vicinity of Libourne, gravel-bearing sand and clay to the west, gravel-bearing clay in the centre, and ravelbearing sand to the north. Despite this variety of soils the French wines of Pomerol are clearly all offspring of the same family.
The French wine Pomerol is at the same time full, powerful, and supple, and very fruity with blackberry, cherry, raspberry, and plum dominant, sometimes tending towards preserved or dried fruit in the best years. Other recognisable aromas in top Pomerols include violet, iris, vanilla, spices, toast, game, leather, tobacco, cocoa, coffee, liquorice, and sometimes also cinnamon (Petrus), and truffle.
The area surrounding Lake Balaton is ideal for summer holidays. The lake itself is a watersports paradise. The lake is 77 km (48 miles) long and 14 km (9 miles) wide as its broadest point. The water is only some 3-4 metres (10-13 feet) deep except around the Bay of Tihany where the lake can be 12 metres (39 feet) deep.
The climate is mild in winter and hot in summer (above 25°C). The water temperature varies in the summer between 20 and 26°C (68-78.8°F). In addition to still wines, the wine areas around Lake Balaton also produce several very acceptable sparkling wines.
We have already dealt with one of the DO regions of Castilla y León with Bierzo. Bierzo is officially one of the five wine areas that form Castilla-León. Our website, seven-wines.com has separated Bierzo (León) from the other areas for both geographical and climatalogical reasons.
The other areas are all situated in Castilla. These remaining four DO areas are sited on the banks of the Duero river (which is known in Portugal as the Douro). The Toro and Rueda DO areas are situated south of Valladolid in a rectangle formed by the towns of Zamora, Salamanca, Segovia, and Valladolid. The Cigales and Ribera del Duero DO areas are found to the north and north east of Valladolid.
It is impossible in short to describe all the wine areas of Hungary so the emphasis is placed on the best of them. In 1998 there were at least 22 different wine areas in Hungary of which the best are Sopron, Aszar- Nesmzmely, and Etyek (north west), Matraalja, Eger, and Tokajhegyalja (north east), Villany Siklos, Szekszard, and Tolna (south west), with to a lesser extent Badacsony (north east), Balatonfiired- Csopak, Balatonmellek, and Del-Balaton (Lake Balaton).
Sopron is a perfect example of a restored and cared for old historic town. The old town centre is one of the most attractive in Europe. The area surrounding the town is also beautiful with green undulating hills and enormous fields of oilseed rape.