Friday, March 7, 2008

Top 10 Wine Regions

Andalucia
This south-western Spanish providence produces an array of fine wines but most renowned for its dry to sweet amber sherry.  This regions has more vineyard acreage than anywhere in the world.  


Cape Winelands

The Cape's striking wine country, just 45 minutes northeast of Cape Town, in South Africa, is the seventh-largest wine producing region in the world, comprising some 417 square miles of vineyards. 


California

The largest wine-producing area in the US, wine-tasting tourism in California has exploded in recent years, having been particularly bolstered by the release of the popular film Sideways (2004), which showcased the state's Santa Barbara wineries.  Small, family-owned, boutique wineries are tucked away in the scenic rolling vinyards.


Hunter Valley

This is arguably the most beautiful wine region in the world in the famed fertile valley of the sinuous Loire River where regal chateaux meet a long viticultural tradition.  The Loire's numerous vineyards are most famous for their production of white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadet, and Chenin Blanc.


Mendoza

Flourishing vineyards in Argentina are nestled in the foothills of the snow-capped Andes, the highest peak on the South American continent.  The annual harvest festival, Vendimia, kicks off in January and brings folkloric celebrations, grape-blessing ceremonies, and many other merry events.


Niagara

Moderate temperature and rich soils allow dozens of wineries in Southern Ontario, Canada to turn out excellent variety of vinefera grapes harvests every year, from Chardonnay to Riesling to Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc.  The region is known for its icewines, a delicious, intensely flavored wine created from grapes harvested after the first winter frost.  The area is one of the only wine-producing regions in the world to produce the coveted product with such consistency and quality.


Oregon

Many speculate that if it were not for the state's more longstanding stint with Prohibition, Oregon would be the de facto forerunner in the United States wine-producing industry today.  As it is, the state currently lays claim to the third-greatest number of wineries of any state, and turns out more than 40 varieties including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, Riesling, and Syrah.  The Williamette Valley is its thriving center, and the largest region, luring connoisseurs with its internationally acclaimed Pinot Noir and plethora of charming wineries that occupy some 100 scenic miles between Portland and Eugene.


Porto

Porto's biggest claim to fame is the sweet fortified wine that bears its name and which has been aged here for centuries, in nearby Villa Nova de Gala with over fifty port lodges.  


Tuscany

Italy's best-known wine region is divine, especially during the autumn harvest season when you can really get in on the grape-stomping action and taste the fruits of labor.  Tuscany's highlight is no doubt Chianti, the source of the country's most famous wine, which is decked out in gothic bastions, olive groves, and 10,000 acres of sprawling vineyards in the shadow of protective mountains.

2 comments:

Rascallion said...

There is also the Okanagan Valley region in British Columbia, Canada. (I might be a bit biased living here but I think it ranks better than Niagara....lol)

Personal Wine Blog said...

Very interesting. I will be in the area and I must try to get some Canadian wines. Can you recommend some?