Winter Into Spring Wine Tastings
Germany produces some of the world’s most majestic wines. The vineyards of Germany lie at the northernmost extreme of where grapes can grow. The best sites are on south-facing slopes to catch all the sunlight and warmth they can.
Portugal is a country steeped in tradition, where a lot of the work of wine making is still done by hand. Long known for the delicious dessert wine known as Port, since the 1990s they have become known in Europe for having excellent values in table wines as well.
Bordeaux, the Rhone Valley, Languedoc, Provence and Cahors are some of the better known wine producing regions of southern France.
Southern Italy does not get as much attention as a great wine producing region, as the northern areas of Italy. However, wine is produced everywhere in the south as well, and some are indeed wonderful and worthy of a try. Because they are less well known, they often offer excellent values.
Northern Italy is a beautiful place, with a rich past and a present where people focus on their quality of life. The top priority for most Italians is great food and wine shared with family and friends.
The biggest wine producing region in Spain is Castilla-La Mancha, south of Madrid. It is an enormous arid land, known mostly for unremarkable bulk wines until the 1980s.
South Africa is the seventh largest wine producer in the world. It has 1,800 miles of coastline, sandwiched between two oceans, the Atlantic and the Indian. It has a more than 300 year old history of winemaking.
Wine Making dates back to the 1800s in New Zealand, but didn’t reach its stride until the 1970s. The two major wine growing regions are Hawk’s Bay on the North Island and Marlborough on the South Island.
Australia has possibly the most dynamic and cutting edge wine industry in the world. The land down under is known mostly for big, bold, white and red wines that are excellent values, and Shiraz (made from what the French call Syrah).
Chile has a warm, dry, sunny climate, ideally suited to grape-growing. Though once known for having good wines at reasonable prices, there are now more wines in the mid-price range and some expensive ones as well.
Washington State is considered one of the best producers of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the United States. Most of the wineries are located in the dry, warm eastern part of the state.