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  • Aragon wine SpanishThe autonomous region of Aragón is situated between Navarra and Cataluña, covering a large area from the foot of the Pyrenees through to the Sierra de Javalambre, about 31 miles (50 km) north-west of Valencia. The major towns of Aragón are Zaragoza, Huesca, and Teruel. Three of the four Spanish wine-growing areas of Aragón are situated close to each other near the town of Zaragoza; Campo de Borja lies to the west and Cariñena en Calatayud to the south-west in the province of Zaragoza.

  •     Despite its ecomonic problems Argentina is, undeniably, one of the world’s most important wine-producing nations.

     Mostly planted at high altitude, at tha feet of the Andes mountains, vines benefit from long, warmm sunny days, and very cold nights. The melted snow from the mountains provides plenty of water to compensate for the low annual rainfall. Not everything however, focuses on the Andes. From Salta in the north to Patagonia in the southm Argentina’s northern and southernmost vineyards are 900 miles apart and the differnet regions produce wines with a distict individuality. Massive investment has taken place so the country’s most progressive producers now have up-to-date equipment and facilities at their disposal. This investment has enabled the country’s producers to concentrate on wines made ar varios price points, from the fruity and inexpensive, to the sophisticated wines of iconic status.

    The three most significant wine-producing area of Argentina are Mendoza, San Juan and Rioja. The most significant wines exported from Argentina are the reds from Malbec and Cabernet Sauvingnon, grown in Mendoza, where 75 per cent of the country’s wines are produced. Aromatic white wines from the Torrontes grape variety aslo provide interest.

     Malbec, which produces distinctive world-class wines, is the grat trump card. Although very different to the Malbec you would find in France, the image of Argentina’s winemakering is associated with this variety. Tempranillo, Barbera, Syrah, along with different styles of Bonarda and Sangiovese, can also provide some excellent wines.{jcomments on}

  • Argentina WineArgentina has been climbing steadily up into the ranks of the top five wine producing countries and in terms of total production has challenged Spain's third position.  It is only the past decade or so that Argentine wine has been discovered in Europe and much of their wine does certainly not deserve to be called 'quality wine'. But the quality winery of Trapiche Bodega (which is famous for its Fond de Cave Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon) has show the way to other top class Argentine wines.

  • Armenia


    Armenia might be the birthplace of the grapevine, with the stories of Noah's Ark that is thought to have been set in the region of Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, between the Black and Caspian Seas.

    Armenia is best known for its excellent brandies produced close to Mount Arafat but the country also makes a number of very acceptable quality red wines, such as those in the south-west of the country in the area around Yeghegnadzor. These are sturdy wines that are high in tannin and high levels of acidity.

    Drinking temperature is 14-16°C (57.2-60.8°F).


    The southern states of the former Soviet Union

    Grape vines are now cultivated in some strange places thanks to gigantic irrigation projects. Some of the southern states of the former Soviet Union such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan were making

     reasonable table wines and good dessert wines (Muscatel, Port. and Madeira type wines) until recently. The unsettled economic situation in these countries has had a negative effect on the local wine industries.

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  •    When it comes to technical know-how, the Australians are streets ahead of the pack. Wine was being commercially produced here as long ago as 1850 but in modern times Australia has become one of the most successful wine-producing countries in the world.

     At the top end of the market, an emphasis is being placed like Orange and Wrattonbully. Mny of the new sites are in cooler areas, where the grapes provide better levels of natural acidity and aromatics. Australia built its reputation on wines showing ripe fruit flavours, often accompanied by noticeable use of oak, and in today’s commercial middle ground, there’s an enormous amount of wine being made to a standardised recipe, all backed up by full-throttle maketing.

    The main wine-producing regions are hear the cities of Perth in Western Australia, Adelaide in South Australia, Melborne in Victoria, and Sydney in New South Wales. The climate rends to be hot, so irrigation is often necessary. The vast size of the country means that the states provide different growing conditions. Some of Australia’s most elegant wines are made in the relatively cool climate of Western Australia. White wines from the Chardonnay, Semillon, Riesling, and Verdelho grapes have been successsuful, along ‘Bordeaux Blends’ from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

    South Australia includes the premium regions of the Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, and Adelaide Hills. Barossa Shiraz is world-famous for its inky, concentrated style, whilst Coonawarra, with its coole climate and Terra Rossa soil, provides ideal conditions for some af Australia’s outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The Adelaide Hills vineyards, situated at 450 metres above sea level, are proving to be a prome area for Riesling, Pinot Noir and bottle-fermented sparkling wines.

    A great range of wines is produced in Victoria, including the unique liqueur Muscats. The Yarra Valley benefits from one the coolest climates in Australia, resulting in fine Pinot Noirs, Rieslings, Chardonnays, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Australia’s ultimate cool climate location however, is Tasmania. The island is home to some of the very best Pinot Noirs.


    Hunter Valley

    In New South Wales, the lower and upper Hunter Valley, locared norh of Sydnay, has established itself as an area of ‘classic’ wines such as Semillon and Shiraz. Both of these can develop with bottle age.

    The area of Orange is rapidly becoming known for its excellent cool climate wines while the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area, which produces mostly commercial blends but with a smattering of extremly good botrytised wines, makes ten per cent of all Australian wine.

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  • More Australian Wine

    No New World wine-producing country has had such an influence on the entire philosophy of wine as Australia. The wine industry was also established here by European immigrants. Australia set about a radical change in wine-making techniques so that good wines could be made for a few Australian dollars.

    The European industry tried for years to protect themselves against these Australian wines but the public proved en masse to prefer the tasty Australian wines that were ready to drink, amenable, comforting, rounded, full-bodied, and warm. What is more they were much cheaper. It seems as though after years of battle Australia has not only won market for itself but also much more. Countless 'flying wine-makers' from Australia now fly from one European company to another to teach them how to achieve the same kind of results.

    More and more Australians are also establishing themselves in the South of France in order to make Franco-Australian wines. No other New World country has similar achievements.

    Australian Wine

  •   Australia produces and sells many different types of wine. Those that come from one area are characterised by the combination of terroir and grape variety.

    The wines are very aromatic with characteristic vegetal undertones such as freshly sliced green peppers (paprika).The taste is fresh and lively and less taut than that of a white Bordeaux. Drinking temperature is 46.4- 50°F (8- 10°C) .The type of oak (French, American, or  German) used for the casks is also very important. Pinally, the price of the wine also has a great bearing on the eventual complexity of the wine but in general every bottle of Australian wine offers value for money or even better.

    The following descriptions are intended to stimulate you to do your own research.


    In view of the remarkably low price it is best to choose a true traditional method sparkler that has undergone a second fermentation in the bottle. The white Brut sparkling wines are usually fresh and fruity with sometimes vegetal undertones. Drinking temperature is 46.4°F (8°C). The Rose Brut sparkling wines are generally somewhat less dry than the whites. The nose is very fruity with a slight hint of acid drops, strawberry, cherry, and raspberry.Drinking temperature is 42.8-46.4°F (6- 8°C) .


    This is the success of the Australian wine industry in the past twenty years. The simple, young, Chardonnay that is not cask aged is a nice wine that can be very pleasant but the best ones are cask aged. The wine is fully ripened with an intense colour, very complex structure, and wonderful nose containing exotic and citrus fruit with earthy undertones and suggestions of toast and nuts. Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F/10- 12°C (unoaked) or 53.6-57.2°F/12- 14°C (barrel select).


    As strange as it may seem this typical Bordeaux grape used in e.g. Sauternes, produces a surprising wine in Australia that closely resembles a white Burgundy. This is why it is often blended with Chardonnay.

    Semillon is a somewhat strange term in Australia though for some areas call it Chenin Blanc, Crouchen, or even Riesling, such as in the Hunter Valley. The true Australian Semillon though is superb. The bouquet is reminiscent of ripe and sweet fruit with suggestions of citrus fruit and flowers .

    Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F (10- 12°C) .


    This is a popular blend in Australia. This aromatic wine smells of fresh citrus fruit, peach, apricot, and tropical fruit. The Chardonnay imparts a buttery character and the complexity while Semillon and the oak provide smoothness and the rounded taste. A little Colombard is also often added to this blend to make the wine slightly fresher. Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F (10- 12°C).


    Australian Sauvignon Blanc resembles a good Sancerre rather than a white Bordeaux. Both these French areas grow Sauvignon as their basic variety.

     The wines are very aromatic with characteristic vegetal undertones such as freshly sliced green peppers (paprika).The taste is fresh and lively and less taut than that of a white Bordeaux. Drinking temperature is 46.4- 50°F (8- 10°C) .

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  • Neusiedler See-Hügelland Austrian Wine

    Austrian WineThis area is located on the other - western - side of the Neusiedler See lake, between the lakes of the plains and the Thermen-region. It is best known for its seductive sweet Austrian wines such as the famous Rüster Ausbruch.

    The white Austrian wines are made from I Welsch Riesling, Weiss I Burgunder, Neuburger, Sauvignon, and Morillon (Chardonnay).

    Excellent red Austrian wines are Neusiedler See-Hügelland made in the area around the picturesque village of Rust from Fränkisch, Zweigelt, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Most of the vineyards are sited on soils of clay, sand, chalk, and black loam.

  • Austria VineyardsAustrian wines have re-established themselves after the great disaster of the anti-freeze scandal of fifteen years ago. Austria can satisfy the true wine lover like no other country with its countless different types and tastes of wine. Austrian wines are convivial, informal, and inviting, reflecting the culture and picturesque landscape of the country.




    Wine regions from Austria

    The Austrian wine industry is concentrated in the east and south-east of the country. The Alps in the west make wine-growing virtually impossible. The country has borders with Germany in the west, Italy to the south, but the vineyards are along the borders with the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Slovenia.

  • Wachau Austrian Wine

    Austrian WineThis Austrian wine region in the picturesque valley of the Danube makes quality wines, including excellent Grüner Veltliner, Neuburger, Chardonnay, and Weiss Burgunder.

    The vineyards are arranged in terraces on steep slopes above the Danube. The underlying geology is mainly of basalt and other igneous rock. This region produces the finest wines of Austria although the competition with Styria is becoming more intense.

  •   The wine region of Baden is in the south-east of Germany, forming a fairly long strip from the northern shore of the Bodensee by way of the famous Black Forest (Schwarzwald), Freiburg,

     and BadenBaden, to Karlsruhe and Heidelberg, slightly south of the point where the Neckar and Rhine meet. Baden is the second largest wine region of Germany and it has a great diversity of wines to offer. Baden's soil chiefly consists of loess, loam, gravel, some chalk, and volcanic rocks.

    The full-bodied and rounded white wines are made from Miiller-Thurgau, Rulander, Gutedel, Gewürztraminer, and Riesling grapes. These wines often possess spicy and powerful bouquets.


    German Württemberg Wine

    German Wine GrapesThe vineyards of Württemberg are situated on hills above the Neckar and its tributaries. 

    Read more about German Württemberg Wine  

    German Rheingau Wine

    German Wine GrapesThe Rheingau is not only the geographical centre of the German wine industry, but also its historic centre.

    Read more about German Rheingau Wine 

    German Rheinpfalz Wine

    German Wine GrapesRheinpfalz is the most French of all the German wine regions.

    Read more about German Rheinpfalz Wine 

    German Mosel-Saar-Ruwer

    German Wine GrapesThis widely known wine region stretches itself out along the Saar, Ruwer, and the Mosel rivers, from Saarburg by way of Trier to Koblenz.. 

    Read more about German Mosel-Saar-Ruwer

    German Saxony Wine

    German Wine GrapesThis is one of the 'new' wine regions of Germany in the former East Germany. Together with the other 'new' region of Saale/ Unstruut they form the most northerly of the German wine areas.

    Read more about  German Saxony Wine 


     Spatburgunder is used to make velvet smooth red wines that are lively and rounded, and also the gloriously refreshing Weissherbst. {jcomments on}


    Red Bandol must contain at least 50 per cent Mourvedre, which can be made up to 90 per cent of the volume with Grenache and/or Cinsault. The remaining 10 per cent may be Syrah and Carignan. The character of red Bandol is determined therefore by the Mourvedre grape.

    Where other grape varieties provide almost baked aromas to the wine because of the great number of hours of sun, Mourvedre retains its fruity bouquet, making it an ideal choice for the Bandol vineyards. Bandol red is very full of tannin when young so that it needs to be aged for at least 18 months in oak. Many find Bandol red too expensive and the wine too harsh. These are people who do not have the patience to lay these French wine down for at least six but preferably ten years before drinking. Only then is Bandol at its best.

    The bouquet is a sublime combination of red and black fruit (wild cherry), peony, humus, and heliotrope. When these French wine is older (more than ten years), classic aromas of truffle, pepper, vanilla, liquorice, cinnamon, and musk come to the top. A good vintage Bandol red can be kept for at least 20 years. Do not drink these French wine when young but at a mature age and serve at approx. 16- 18°C (60.8-64.4°F) .



    The same strict proportions of grapes apply to this French wine also. A Bandol Rose combines the essential elements of Mourvedre (wild cherry, red and black fruit, peony, heliotrope, and pepper) with its owncharm, power, freshness, and depth. Serve this French wine at approx. 10-12°C (50- 53.6°F).



    This white French wine is exceptionally fresh, full-bodied, and impertinent. The wine is made with Clairette, Ugni Blanc and Bourboulenc. Grapefruit and lemon together with floral notes can be detected in the bouquet. The taste is full of flavour, fleshy, and whimsical. Do not serve this French wine to cool (approx. 10-12°C/50-53.6°F).



    This much-loved French wine has nothing whatever to do with the popular blackcurrant soft drink. Cassis is the name of an idyllic harbour town on the Mediterranean. The harbour is encircled by imposing cliffs which protect the vineyards of one of France's most delightful white wines. Of the 175 hectares of vineyards, 123 hectares are devoted to white French wines. Rose and red Cassis are also produced. Both are surprisingly fruity, lithe, and pleasant.



    A good Cassis Blanc is not readily found outside its locality because local demand exceeds the supply. Thise French wine smells of beeswax, honey, ripe fruit, cedarwood, may and lilac blossom, almond, and hazelnut. The taste is very fresh and full-bodied . The acidity that is clearly present provides a good structure to the Frech wine. Drink white Cassis at 10-12°C (50-53 .6°F).


    Côteaux d'Aix-en-Provence

    This extensive area lies to the south of Durance, stretching to the Mediterranean in the south and the Rhône in the west. The soil is chalky and the changeable landscape is characterised by small mountains and alluvial valleys. The mountains run parallel to the coast and are covered with scrub, wild herbs (maquis), and coniferous woodland. The valleys have a subsoil of broken rock and gravel, interspersed with calciferous sandstone and shale, mixed with sand, gravel, and alluvium. The French winegrowing area is fairly large, covering approx. 3,500 hectares.



    This French wine is light, fruity, and very pleasant. The better C6teaux d'Aix-en-Provence rose is full-bodied and powerful, with dominant floral notes. Drink this French wine young at approx. 10- 12°C (50- 53.6°F) .



    This is an exciting French wine that can be somewhat rustic. The wine is none too elegant and lacks finesse but is characteristic of its terroir, with fruitiness, power, and sultry notes of leather, pepper, spices, and herbs. The tannin is muted, so that the French wine can be drunk while young. The better wine is however at its best after about three years. Drink this French wine at about 14-16°C (57.2-60.8°F) .



    This fairly rare white French wine made with Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Clairette, Grolle, Sauvignon and Ugni Blanc is often full-bodied, charming, and at the same time elegant. It smells of blossom such as may and/or shrubs such as privet and box. The taste is fresh, full, very romantic, and very characteristic. Serve it about 10-12°C (50-53.6°F) .

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  • Basilicata Italian Wine Region

    Calabriea Bottles Italian WinesAfter leaving Italy’s ‘boot’ you enter Basilicata before reaching the toe of the boot, which is Calabria. The region is named Basilicata (for a long time it was known as Lucania). Basilicata has a fascinating landscape, that is rugged and unspoiled and dominated by a mountainous interior and short stretch of superb coast. Basilicata lies on both the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Sea and bounds Campania in the west and Puglia in the east. The regional capital of Potenza is certainly no tourist hot spot.


    This other member of the Montrachet family needs to be laid down for some years before it can be fully enjoyed.

     Then the colour is clear, pure golden yellow and the heady bouquet is readily released from the glass. It has a nose of exotic fruit, croissants with butter, exotic wood, almond, and honey. The taste is fresh and silken with a hint of tannin and a prolonged aftertaste. Drink this French wine at about 55.4°F/13°C.



    The French wine is golden yellow with a green tinge. It has a very fruity bouquet together with hints of toast, butter, citrus fruit, and sometimes a characteristic t1inty undertone.


    This is a very rare white wine that in many respects resembles   the   Bienvenues-Biitard-Montrachet, certainly sharing its flinty smell and taste.



    Once only red French wines were made here, today the reds and   whites   are   of equal   importance.   White Chassagne-Montrachet is a pale golden colour and it possesses a very intense nose in which buttered croissants, flowers, lemons, and later roasted almond and herbs can be recognised. Some wine also has a noticeable mineral scent and taste. The white Chassagne-Montrachet is generally a fresh, juicy, and very refined wine of great character.

    Red Chassagne-Montrachet is dark red and has a bouquet of ripe cherry, blackcurrant, and other woodland fruit, with a hint of liquorice. Most it is well structured, full , and fatty.



    Red French wine is also made here but the reputation is mainly due to the white wines. The colour is pale golden yellow and the nose     recalls  acacia blossom,   yellow plum, and almond. This later develops into dried fruit and honey. This is a fine, fresh, and generous wine, with sometimes a tendency to plumpness and mineral undertones. The taste and aftertaste are very aromatic.


    This is a ruby red wine with aromas of red fruit and fruits of the forest such as blackberry and bilberry. The French wine can be somewhat harsh in tanin when young but this changes after several years ageing i.n the bottle. Once fully mature a good Santenay develops a very exciting bouquet incorporating wild fungi including truffie.

    The white French wine is generally not among the best whites but choose one from a Premier Cru vineyard for these are well worth drinking. llis a fulsome and fruity wine with clearly recognisable Chardonnay characteristics: butter, croissants, toast, hazelnuts. citrus fruit, and white flowers.



    Thisislesswell-known wine-growingareawhich producesbothred and white Frenchwines. Forthewhite wineschooseformeference from aPremierCruvineyard.Itshould thenbefruityrapricot and almond),iresh,andhave asomewhatfattytastebutbefullof tendernessandelegance.

     RedMaranges(certainlythe premier cru wines)areofoutstanding quality.Thebesthaveaveryintensecolour,nose,andtaste.Thewineisveryaromaticwithsuggestionsofriperedfruitandblackcherry,liquorice,andherbs.

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  • Beaujolais Nouveau

    This young, extremely fruity wine is sold according to tradition from the third Thursday of November.

    Clacking tongues suggest that the early sale ofthese wines is a marketing stunt to reduce French wine stocks.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

     It is not surprising that Beaujolais Nouveau is nicknamed 'the third river of Lyon'. Others wax lyrical about the outstanding fruitiness of the new season's Beaujolais. Expertenced wine drinkers regard this young wine as heralding the results of that vintage and do not make such a fuss. They consider the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau more as a custom than a passing fad. It is up to you whether to buy them or not. In any event try to avoid the cheaper examples. Always drink the better Beaujolais Nouveau such as a Beaujolais ViJlages Nouveau chilled at about 50°F (10°C).

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE


    The basic Beaujolais is produced as a white, rose, and red.. Light, fruity wines are made on more than 10,000 hectares of predominantly chalky soil. Drink these wines at approx. 51.8° (F11°C).

    Since the most southerly white Burgundy appellation of St-Veran came into existence the production of white Beaujolais has been significantly reduced. Beaujolais Blanc is made with Chardonnay grapes (and occasionally a little Aligote). The wine is fresh and fruity in taste and nose. Experienced wine drinkers may detect a hint of hazelnut, mint, butter and sometimes green vegetal such as green pepper (paprika).

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE



    There are 39 communes which are permitted to call themselves AC Beaujolais Villages. The wine is soft and generous with a delightful cherry red colour and considerable scent and taste of fruit such as blackcurrant and strawberry. Drink at 51.8-53.6°F (11-12°C).{jcomments on}

  • Beaujolais

    Although Beaujolais is officially within Burgundy, it is usually treated as an independent French wine area. We do this because Beaujolais wine has its own identity which is further strengthened by the considerable publicity that surrounds this individually-minded Burgundian brother.

     The most famous   Beaujolais is the new wine or Nouveau, which is introduced each year with much ado. There is much more though to discover in the Beaujolais, with at least twelve different appellations.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    The area

    Beaujolais starts about 6 miles (10 kilometres ) south of Macon, in the department of Rhône. It is a relatively small area about 37 miles by 71/z miles (60 km long by 12 km) wide that spreads itself across a ridge of hills that border the valley of the Saône. The area is subdivided into two sub-regions: in the north Haut-Beaujolais where the best wines are made, the 10 crus, and Beaujolais Villages. The   soil   is predominantly granite and quartz fragments on a bed of slate.

    The southern part or Bas-Beaujolais has soil that is a mixture of clay and chalk. The everyday white, rose, and red Beaujolais are produced from these vineyards.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    The vineyards

    Only about 2% of the vineyards are planted with Chardonnay. The extremely rare white Beaujolais is made from these grapes. The remainder of the vineyards   are   planted with the Gamay grape. Some   rose   but   mainly reds are made from Gamay.

    The preparation of Beaujolais

    In recent decades the growers of Beaujolais have realised that improvement and above all greater environmental awareness in the protect­ ion   of their   vineyards, combined   with   better equipment and hygiene in the wine cellar improves the quality of the wine. Consequently far less sulphate fertiliser is now used and wine-makers control temperature far better duringvinification.

    burgundy WINE *** french WINE

    This protects the characteristics of   the   soil,   climate, and grape far better. Unfortunately there are still growers in Bea u jolais who want to make a profit as quickly and as cheaply as possible - a scandal  for those hard -working growers who seek to improve the quality of their wine.

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    Bélair Bordeaux Wine Region

    Belair Bordeaux WineChâteau Bélair has always been classified among the best of Saint-Emilion’s First Growths, and its origins are ancient. During the period of Bordeaux’s allegiance to the British crown, the property belonged to Robert de Knolles, the great seneschal and governor of Guyenne, who owned a considerable amount of land in the region. This worthy captain, who fought in the Battle of the Thirty in 1351, also took part in the battles of Avray and Navarette; this is where he received his insignia of honor when he was awarded Bertrand Du Guesclin’s sword. When Charles VII won back Guyenne, the descendants of Robert de Knolles remained on his land. They made their name French, changing it to Canolle, and kept the property until the French Revolution.

  • Belgium Wine

    Maastricht Muler Thurgau and Riesling Belgium WinesBelgium already had a wine industry about a hundred years or so ago. After a long period of neglect Belgium has seen a significant re-emergence of wine-making in recent years. A wine culture has re-established a place of honor once more in a nation of beer drinkers. Only the cultivation of grapes in the open air is dealt with in this book, not the growing of grapes under glass.


    Hageland Appellation Contrôlée

    The Belgians have succeeded in gaining their own appellation d’origine contrôlée (AC) for Hageland, which is an area within the triangle formed by Louvain-Diest-Tienen in the Belgian province of Brabant. Vines were being cultivated here in the twelfth century, and possibly earlier. The area flourished in its heydays during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and there was still an active trade with neighboring Flanders and Holland in the sixteenth century.

  • Wine-growing

    Bergerac is full of surprises and presents every visitor with the beauty of the natural surroundings, the zeal and passion of the winegrowers, the eternally sought after truffles, other fungi, pate de foie gras, and wild boar of the Perigord, and the emotions that are unleashed with each sip of wine.

    Delight Bergerac WineThe soil of this area is chiefly a mixture of loam and chalk, loam and granite sand on the plateaux, granite sand in the Perigord and river-washed sediments and pebbles. There are terraces with poor soil and a top layer of sediment on the right bank of the Dordogne. The south-facing slopes are covered with stones. The soil on the left bank is very chalky, especially on the slopes of the hills, interspersed with some loam. Everything is present here, just as in the bordering Bordelais, to guarantee high quality for this French wines: plenty of sun, enough rain, harsh winters are not common (the exceptions being 1956, 1985, and 1987). The humidity is fairly high through the proximity with the Atlantic Ocean and the abundance of water in the Dordogne and its many tributaries.

    However good a terroir is it does not actually make the French wine. Vines have been grown in Bergerac for 2,000 years. French wine-making has almost been elevated to art through the input and experience of generations of wine-makers here. Currently most of the younger French wine-growers seek to retain much of the centuries old tradition while adapting to the latest vinifcation techniques. With the different combinations of varying terroirs and grapes, there is a wide range of types of French wine from just 11,000 hectares (12 AC wines).

    Montravel French wineThe grapes used for red French wine are Cabernet Sauvignon (sturdiness, tannin, colour, bouquet (blackcurrant and cedarwood), Cabernet Pranc (prolific bouquet of strawberry and freshly-sliced green pepper, with high alcoholic content), and Merlot (bouquet: cherry, red berries, plum, juicy with a velvet smooth texture).

    White French wines are made with Semillon (sensitivity for noble rot; bouquet: honey, apricot, peach, or mango, with good balance between sweetness and acidity), Sauvignon Blanc (finesse and bouquet of green apple, new-mown grass) and Muscadelle (intense aroma of honeysuckle and acacia).

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  • Beychevelle Bordeaux Wine Region

    Chateau Beychevelle French WineAlways the territory of powerful men, Beychevelle boasts a long and rich history. During the Middle Ages, when it was owned by the counts of Foix-Candale, the wine was shipped from the port at the bottom of the garden. Bishop François de Foix-Candale had a first château built in 1565. He was followed by Jean-Louis de Nogaret de la Valette, first Due d’Épernon and Admiral of France, his son Bernard who added the central portion of the château in 1644, then Henri de Foix-Candale. In the eighteenth century, the property belonged successively to Jean-Baptiste d’Abadie, President of the Bordeaux parliament; to the Brassier family who partially rebuilt the château, giving the building its present form; and to the ship-owner Jacques Conte.

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