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Wines Of Northern Italy

Italy is home to some of the best wines in the world. Learning some basic information about the northern Italian regions will enhance your enjoyment of northern Italian wines. Northern Italian Regions The wine regions in Northern Italy include the following: Friuli-Venezia-Guilia produces more white wines than red wines. Liguria includes steep slopes that are home to more than 100 different types of grapes. Lombardy focuses on food production more than wine production. Piedmont is well-known for its production of fine wines made from the Nebbiolo grape. Trentino-Alto Adife is more well-known for its production of grappa, made from the skins and seeds of grapes, than for its wine. Trentino produces just 1 percent of Italian wine but makes 10 percent of Italy”s grappa. Valle d-Aosta(Aosta Valley) is located in the Western Alps near the border of France. In fact, many people who live here speak both Italian and French. Grapes that thrive here grow in gritty soils at high altitudes. Venoto was the home of the first school that offered oenology in Italy, which opened in 1885. The most predominant of the northern Italian wine regions is arguably Piedmont. Italy produces fine wines throughout the country. Other important wine regions in Italy include: Emilia-Romagna Tuscany Sicily. Types of Northern Italian Wines The wineries of north Italy produce some of the best wines in the world: Amarone, produced in Veneto, is made from grapes that have been allowed to dry for up to a four-month period, leading to a concentration of sugars and flavors. The grapes used in this wine include Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. Amorone is a white wine that is tart with sweet fruit overtones. Amorone works well when served with game birds. Barbaresco is produced in Piedmont using Nebbiolo grapes. Barbaresco is a dry, tannic red with vanilla attributes. Serve Barbaresco with game, spicy cheese or barbeque. Serve at a temperature between 64

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Wine Regions And Climate

Growing grapes for wine is a centuries-old art form that combines perfect wine climate, soil and cultivation to create unique wines that echo the land from which they came. Certain regions of the world are renowned for their wines because their geography is particularly suited to the art of winemaking. The study of these winemaking techniques, called viticulture, gives insight into the subtle characteristics that provide each bottle of wine with its very own personality. Winemaking and Terroir Terroir is essential for growing grapes. This term denotes not only the geologic component of the soil but also the environmental qualities of the region and the methods used by particular vintners. Terroir can include: drainage (which is affected by the foundation underneath the soil) microclimate of the soil the altitude the amount of sun the plants receive (aspect) viniculture, or winemaking techniques employed in a region or at a specific vineyard. Different soils are better suited for different grapes. For example, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes are especially suited for limestone soil, while Rieslings thrive in slate-based soil. Drainage is also key. Grapes can grow in a variety of soils, but, for ideal winemaking, the foundation on which the vines rest must allow for drainage and aeration. Wine and Temperate Climates Grapes are an adaptable fruit and grow around the world. However, vines fare best in temperate climates, such as those found in France and Italy as well as in California and Chile. Annual weather conditions are critical for a vineyard. Extremes of heat or cold can disrupt the proper growth cycle or even result in ruining a crop. Too much precipitation can drown vines, and too much humidity can lead to parasitic problems, such vine rot. This is why many wine regions that are well-known for their grapes generally fall between 20 and 50 degrees latitude, either north or south of the equator. Wine Regions in Europe Many key wine regions fall in the temperate areas along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts in Europe. With a variety of soils, from clay to sandy to earthy, and rich rivers feeding the surrounding areas, this area is well-known for its winemaking. Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne are just a few of France”s well-known wine regions, each specializing in a specific type of grape and exemplifying unique terroir. Given the historical context of wine in France, special laws and regulations abound to preserve the quality and classifications of French wines. Italy is also renowned for its grapes and wine, with Piedmont serving as the country”s most famous region for wines. Producing a wide variety of both reds and whites, Piedmont is famous for its long-aged reds and Asti Spumante sparkling white. Tuscany is one of the oldest wine regions in all of Europe and is well-known for its Chiantis. Spain also cultivates celebrated wines, with the limestone-rich Rioja region producing fresh wines designed to be enjoyed soon after bottling. The Galicia region, with rolling hills and more humidity, produces some of the countries finest […]

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Wines Of Germany

The ancient Romans began cultivating grapes in Germany when they conquered the area in about 100 B.C. The monks of the Middle Ages were also German winemakers, and their tradition of excellent winemaking continues to the present day. Germany is well known for producing exceedingly light, delicate white wines. White Wines of Germany The white wine grapes of Germany comprise approximately 81 percent of the total grapes planted. The white wines of Germany include: Bacchus Chardonnay Elbling Faberrebe Gewurztraminer Grauer Burgunder Gutedel Huxelrebe Kerner Morio-Muskat Muller-Thurgau Ortega Riesling Rulander/Grauburgunder Scheurebe Silvaner. Red Wines of Germany Only 19 percent of the total grapes planted in the wine regions of Germany are red wine grapes. This is contrary to the rest of the world, where red wine grapes outnumber white wine grapes. The red wines in Germany include: Domina Dornfelder Dunkelfelder Heroldrebe Lemberger Portugieser Schwarzriesling Spatburgunder Trollinger. Most of the red wines in Germany are for local consumption. Few of them are exported to other areas. Identifying German Wine If the word “Deutsch” is missing from the wine label, then the wine is not a German wine. Wines without this word may have been blended with German wines or bottled in Germany, but the grapes were not grown in Germany. In the case of buying German wine in Germany, a good bottle will specify the region in which the grapes were grown in. Wine Regions in Germany The wine regions of Germany are located in the southwestern part of the country. Most of the German vineyards are located on steep slopes instead of in valleys and most are in close proximity to a river to add humidity and help keep the climate even and temperate. While many geographical factors influence the individual vineyards and, therefore, the taste of the grapes, the wine regions in Germany continue to offer the world some of the most sought-after wines. The wine regions in Germany include: Ahr Baden Franken Hessisiche Bergstrasse Mittelrhein Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Nahe Pfalz Sachen Saale-Unstrut Rheingau Rheinhessen Wurttemburg. The grapes in Germany are harvested in October and November, due to the moderate climate, which allows the ripening process to continue for longer than in other wine regions. However, the Germans practice selective harvesting, which means they harvest grapes at different stages of ripeness. This harvesting practice plays into the quality of the wine and should be taken into consideration when purchasing German wines. The ripeness of the grapes in the wine is indicated by one of two categories: Tafelwein: Tafelwein (“table wine” in English) means that the wine was made from normally ripe grapes. These wines are considered to be perfect for everyday enjoyment. This category is broken down into two further categories: simple table wines and special table wines, which are produced from grapes that are a bit riper than those used for simple table wines. Qualitatswein: Qualitatswein (“quality wine” in English) is wine that is made from ripe, very ripe or even overly ripe grapes. This category contains most of the German […]

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Wines Of Italy

Italy was made for grapes, or perhaps, grapes were made for Italy. Wine has been made in Italy for thousands of years, making this country one of the oldest producers of wine in the world. Today, wine from Italy is enjoyed by connoisseurs around the world. Wine is made in Italy in all three regions of the country: northern Italy, southern Italy and central Italy. Italian Wine Regions: Northern Italian Wine Wine regions in northern Italy include the following: Friuli-Venezia-Guilia has more than 46,000 acres dedicated to growing grapes. Friuli-Venezia Guilia is known for such wines as Ramandolo and Friuli-Giulia. Liguria includes more than 118,000 acres of vineyards. More than half of the wines produced in this region are white wines. Lombardy has more than 60,000 acres dedicated to growing grapes. This region produces predominately red wines. Wines include Franciacorta, a white sparkling wine, and Botticino, a red wine. Trentino-Alto Adife has over 31,000 acres of vineyards, with the majority of the wines produced being red. Red wines include Alto Adige Colli di Bolzano and Alto Adige Santa Maddalena. Valle d-Aosta, or Aosta Valley, has over 82,000 acres of vineyards that predominantly produce red wines. Veneto has more than 186,000 acres dedicated to vineyards. Veneto produces Soaves. Also included in northern Italy is the Piedmont region, with over 142,000 acres of vineyards. Piedmont is well-known for inventing the famous red Italian wine, Barolo. Barolo, which is made from the Nebbiolo grape, is meant to be aged for up to 15 years. Another noted red wine from the Piedmont area, also made from the Nebbiolo grape, is Barbaresco. Barbarescos should be aged at least two years before drinking. Piedmont is also known for its sparkling wines made from the Muscat grape. Unfortunately, many of these Asti wines do not make the grade as far as taste and quality. Wine Regions of Italy: Central Italian Wine Wine regions of central Italy include the following: Emilia-Romagna has over 143,000 acres dedicated to growing grapes. Emilia-Romagna is noted for the production of the white wine Albana di Romagna. Latiumhas more than 118,000 acres of vineyards. Latium produces fine wines, including Bianco Capena, a white wine, and the red Aprilia. Latium is also home to Frascati, a much criticized wine. Umbriagrows grapes on over 40,000 acres. Noted wines include the red Lago di Corbara and the white Colli del Trasimeno. World-famous Tuscany is located in central Italy and is home to Chianti, made predominantly from Sangiovese grapes. Look for Chiantis that are designated Riserva, as these Chiantis have been aged longer than other Chiantis. Legend has it that grapes were growing in Tuscany before mankind inhabited the area. Tuscany has over 157,000 acres of vineyards. Italian Wine Regions: Southern Italian Wine Wines from Southern Italy are produced in the following areas: Campania has over 101,000 acres dedicated to vineyards. Campania is known for Taurasi, a red wine, and two white wines, Fiano di Avellino and Greco di Tufo. Sardina has over 107,000 acres of vineyards. […]

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Wine Regions

Wine regions around the world produce an astounding array of unique tastes and flavors. Experts and those just beginning the path to understanding wines will benefit from developing an appreciation of location. While it”s also important to cater to individual tastes and budgets, making a selection based on country and regional origins can provide helpful direction. In fact, developing an eye for reading labels is, for many, a preferred method of selecting wines. The Importance of Understanding Wine Regions Many factors can influence wine selection. A wine must fit the food served, whether it”s an appetizer, a meal or a dessert dish. Individual preferences also factor in, along with the wine buyer”s desired price range. For many, though, the background of the wine is just as important as any of these other elements. Regional variances can tell the real tale of taste, when dealing with quality wine. “Terroir” is the French term that encompasses the entire growing environment, from the soil to the temperature. The word is not limited to describing French wine growing regions, however. Wine connoisseurs may use it to describe any wine growing environment, from Italian wine regions to the wine growing regions of Sonoma in California. For the French, it”s also a protective word, because French wine growers are responsible for initiating laws guarding the origin and name of particular wines. For instance, a sparking wine is only a champagne when it originates from the Champagne region. However, no laws currently exist in the U.S. that limit the use of the name. As connoisseurs will adamantly state, no sparkling wine tastes exactly like champagne should unless it is the original. Old World and New World Regions When shopping by region, the choice between Old World versus New World wines takes center stage. In fact, selecting by region is an Old World tradition. European countries, including Spain and France, produce wines based on growing conditions, but also on technique. Famous regions in France include: Bordeaux Burgundy Champagne Loire Valley Pyrenees. The many regions of Spain include: La Mancha Navarra Priorato Rioja. Outside of Europe, New World regions produce wine more often by grape variety than by location. Notables include the United States and others outside of Europe, such as: Argentina Australia Canada Chile New Zealand South Africa. Regardless of whether you choose Old World or New, quality can vary significantly. The well known vineyards are typically more consistent, but off years can produce some less palatable tastes. An appreciation of the region, the maker and the year”s crop production must all combine when making a selection. Specialties in Wine Regions Understanding the type of grape production in which each region excels often provides insight into taste. That still leaves room for experimentation and you can always ask the local wine expert for new recommendations. Here are a few tips on regional specialties: Australia: Many great reds come out of Australia, due to the dry, hot climate in some growing regions. If you”re interested in particular wines from […]

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