Eastern Switzerland is the name given by the German speaking Swiss but in fact the region is in the north east. The region covers more than a third of the entire country, east of a line drawn through Thun, Berne, Solothurn, Basle (Basel), and north of a line through Thun and Chur. The German speaking wine region consists of sixteen cantons and half of the French language canton of Berne that was dealt with under Suisse Romande, which in wine terms belongs to Ostschweiz. This is the tiny area around Lac de Thoune (Thunersee).
This is Bordeaux’s newest AOC. Because the vineyards are located within Graves, wines produced here can also be labelled with any of the region’s AOCs. Seeing their region threatened by urbanization, Pessac Leognan’s producers worked with great perseverance to obtain a specific AOC. A number of factors made this a logical step. In this part of Graves, with remarkable consistency, the soil is particularly gravelly and typical of the region. The wines stand out by their quality—confirmed by fifteen editions of the Feret guide and their soaring prices. Historically, as one of the first Bordeaux vineyards, Pessac-Leognan also deserved recognition.
The Premières Côtes de Bordeaux region stretches from Bassens to Saint-Maixant along the entire length of the Garonne, following the river's twists and turns. This hilly region makes for pleasant walking, offering many viewpoints. Visitors will also come across a number of small chateaux, monuments, and historic sites, such as the fortified towns of Rions and Cadillac. Many famous people were born, lived or spent holidays in this area, including Rosa Bonheur, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Anatole France, François Mauriac, and Gustave Eiffel.
Romania is at least having much potential as any other winemaking country from Eastern Europe. It is having an increasing reputation for Pinot Noir, especially from Dealul Mare region, but has received little foreign investment that has been enjoyed by Hungary and requires both technical and financial expertise for competing internationally.
The biggest issue in Romania is lack of consistency. From early 1990s, we’ve viewed flashes of promises from the exciting Gewürztraminer grapes from Transilvania to dark, deep, brooding Cabernet
Known as much for its architecture as for the excellence of its wines, Saint-Émilion dates from the Middle Ages. An interesting and unusual town, it has been listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO, it is a jewel-box of old stone, built on a picturesque half-circle of hills facing the Dordogne valley. Its steep and narrow streets, its Roman and Gothic churches, its convents and cloisters all point to its prestigious past.
The main monuments still visible are the grotto of the hermit, Saint-Émilion, which faces the remains of his disciples’ monastery; the catacombs; and, next to these, the monolithic church, one of France’s largest underground churches.
The Saint-Julien parish has existed since the seventh century according to some historians, the eighth according to others. In its early days the parish was in the archdiocese of Moulis. Known as Saint-Julien-de-Reignac, the commune changed its name to Saint-Julien-Beychevelle in the first half of the twentieth century, adding the name of the small port and hamlet whose activity contributed to the wine’s fame. During the seventeenth century a few aristocrats and well- informed owners discovered the terroirsexceptional wine-growing potential.
This commune, practically in the center of the Haut-Médoc, is separated from Cussac in the south by marshland created by two streams originating in the Saint-Laurent region. Rising up from the Beychevelle marsh is the attractive gravelly crest of Beychevelle, and on the north-east is the Saint-Julien hilltop, separated from Pauillac by the Juillac stream.
The region defined by the Sauternes AOC consists of five communes: Sauternes, Fargues, Bommes, Preignac, and Barsac. This is the region that produces the precious nectar known throughout the world as Sauternes, considered by many enthusiasts to be the world's best white wine. The ultimate Sauternes wine is Chateau d'Yquem, which in 1855 was the only Gironde wine to be awarded the title Premier Cru Supérieur.
Like Cérons, this wine-growing region is included in the southern part of Graves. It is separated from the Graves region on the west by the pleasant, green Ciron valley, which serves as a border for the Sauternes, Bommes, and Preignac communes. On the north, this valley separates Preignac from Barsac. The type of soil and subsoil gives a particular character to the wine produced, which explains the slight differences between wines of different crus. Workers pick the grapes bunch by bunch, selecting the fruit that has been affected by the famous "noble rot", which is the key to Sauternes wines. This rot is caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea.
The vineyards of Tarragona were already in existence in Roman times. In those times loads of full-bodied, strong, and sweet fortified Tarragona wines were shipped to Rome. The trade was later taken over by the French at which point Tarragona flourished in the sale of wine in bulk volume. This heavy wine was very suitable for ‘cutting’ various so-called French wines, and trade flourished, especially after Algeria, which was the former main supplier, gained its independence. A small amount of Tarragona Classico is still produced today but in common with the rest of Penedés the emphasis has now increasingly been placed on quality wines. Much has changed since the 1960s but to a less spectacular extent than in Penedés.
Umbria is bounded in the east by the Apennines and, in the north-west by Tuscany, and in the south-west by Lazio. Umbria is one of only five regions in Italy that does not have any coast, being a fairly small region in the interior. Umbria's history of wine-making goes back some time but the area has not always been associated with quality wines. The climate here is difficult to cope with (very cold winters and extremely hot summers).
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