Vineyards and Wine Regions from Around the World
France holds second place for both total vineyards area in the world as well as for wine consumption. They also produce some of the most expensive wines in the world. France cultivates an abundant variety of wines, and the most commonly known international wines are of French origin.
France has laws that prevent vineyards from growing just any type of wine. Therefore, wine is classified by regions, where each region usually only grows one type of wine and sometimes two.
Some commonly known wines which are exclusive to France include: Champagne, Burgundy, and Bordeaux.
Spain has the largest amount of land dedicated to vineyards. Some of their more famed wines are Sherry, Rioja, and Ribera del Duero. The very popular international sparkling wine, Freixenet, is actually a spanish wine from the Cava region.
Portugal is home of the famous wine called port. Port is thick although usually lighter tasting than most wines. It has a nutty, sweet flavour, sometimes with hints of oranges. Another well known wine region in Portugal is Medeira, an island near Cassablanca that also produces high quality wines.
Germany’s wonderful contribution to the world of wine is the Riesling. Also known as the creators of the first ice wines, their famous wine region is the Rhine.
Argentina surprisingly comes 5th in wine consumption in the world. But it wasn’t until the 1980s that Argentina started exporting their wines. They have since been gaining recognition for their Criolla and Ceraza, as well as the Malbec hybrid grape. Argentina also produces excellent white wines like Chenin Blanc. More recently, they have started harvesting Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons to keep up with export demands. Their most famous region is Mendoza.
Chile’s climate and terrain make it easy to grow any variety of grape. And since their vines seem to be all but immune to the grape phylloxera bug (which devastated France’s wine production in the late 1800s), they have some vineyards that are older than some in France.
Australia’s wines and wine regions have been gaining in popularity and worldwide reputation over the past decade. They now produce some of the finest white wines available. Some of the more famous regions include: Hunter, Barossa, Clare, Yarra, Coonawarra
Canada has two main wine regions that have won awards for the wine they produce. On the west coast near Vancouver is the Fraser River and nearly 3000 km away near Niagara falls are the Niagara wine regions – famous for their ice wines. Canada is also accredited for inventing the first sparkling ice wine in 1988.
America now produces wine in all 50 states – the most prominent being California. Wines form the Napa Valley in California have won countless awards worldwide. They grow most European varieties of grape including Merlot, Pinot Gris, Cabernet, Chardonnay and many more. America’s most famous contribution to the world of wine is probably the Zinfandel.
South Africa is another newcomer in the international world of wine. Most wine is grown around Cape Town and they have produced some fine Chardonnays, Cabernet Sauvignons, and Pinotages.