Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Surprising Wine Producing Countries

The vast majority of wine is made between 30 and 50 degrees latitude, and then only in countries that have the right climate for it. But there are a few countries out there that try to eek out whatever wine they can, and you may be surprised. Here are a few:

- England. It turns out that the soil in southern England is nearly identical to the soil in Champagne and other regions of northern France. The tricky thing is all the cloud cover they get (not too much rain, as you might think. Actually southern England gets very little rain). But recently summers have been longer and warmer. Don't be too surprised if you start seeing English sparkling wine showing up in America one day.

- Denmark The Danes will tell you that their country is too cold to make wine, but somehow a little bit does get made. I once saw a Danish wine called "Viking's Blood". I didn't try it.

- China Chinese wine may one day be common. In parts of the country the climate is excellent for growing grapes. But they don't have a tradition of wine making. Now with all the newly rich in China and a growing taste for wine, some investors are hiring consultants from Europe to help them start growing grapes. In 20 or 30 years I wouldn't be surprised to see Chinese wine crack the market.

Uruguay - Why should Argentina and Chile get all the attention? We have an excellent Sauvignon Blanc from Uruguay available.

Israel - Many people are aware that Lebanon produces wine, but Israel does too in the Golan Heights region.

Slovenia - Actually, Slovenia produces a lot of wine, you just don't see it too often in American stores. And Slovenian oak is commonly used by Italian winemakers.

1 comment:

Wine Tasting Guy said...

Thanks for pointing out some "Surprising wine producing countries".

While Israel is not the first country that comes to many people's minds when they think of wine producing countries, Israel has been making wine for thousands of years (minus several hundred when the territory was overtaken by non-drinking Muslims).

Also want to point out that Israel has 5 wine producing regions within its small country. The well known (and well regarded) Golan you mentioned is part of the region known as the Galil - the largest region.

Thanks for bringing this up!