Lesson 4 Principle Wine Regions of the World a unique gift from nature and the earth’s geology

Grape varieties: Black (Baga, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional, Trincadeira, Periquita), White (Loureiro, Alvarinho, Encruzado)

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Grape varieties: Black (Baga, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional, Trincadeira, Periquita), White (Loureiro, Alvarinho, Encruzado).

  • Viticulture and vinification: the unqiue vine training used is called Ramisco (this involves bending the branch into the sandy soil

  • where it grows up as a vine so there is no need for grafting and no phylloxera). Tradtional fermentation and use of old casks, modern

  • fermentation with temperature control, use of stainless steel and new oak.

  • Portuguese Wine Laws

  • Portugal revised its wine legislation in 1999 to upgrade a lot of IPR wines, these IPR and DOC wines are identified by a paper sela

  • (Selo de Origem), which is usually placed on the back label of the bottle. Overall there are four different quality levels of wines from

  • Portugal;

  • Denominacao de Origem Controlada (DOC): this is the top level, similar to AC.

  • Indicacao de Proveniencia Regulamentada (IPR): similar to VDQS.

  • Vinho regional: regional wine, similar to Vin de Pays.

  • Vinho de Mesa: bottom level, table wine.

  • Two further terms are used to indicate quality, Reserva when stated on the label, indicates that the wine has come from a single

  • vintage and have passed a tasting panel plus if it a DOC grade, it must have a high percentage of natural alcohol than the minimum

  • decreed by law for this DOC wine. Garrafeira indicates the wines ageing which is traditionally two years in cask and one in bottle for

  • reds and six months equally in cask and bottle for white wines.

  • Lesson 4: Principle Wine Regions of the World 4.20 Portugal (continued)

    • Major regions and wines of Portugal

    • Northern Portugal’s major wines

    • Vinho Verde DOC (white: Loureiro, Paderna, Alvarinho): the vines here grow up trees and on pergolas around the little fields, this height keeps the grapes cool and helps to keep their fresh acidity.

    • Douro DOC (reds: Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Cao, Tinta Barroca). The white wines although based on Port varieties and Sauvignon, Gewurtztraminer which are planted at the labour intensive higher altitudes.

    • Dao DOC (reds: Jean, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz): lying south of the Douro and 80 kilometres inland Dao has long been associated with solid reds, vineyards lie 200 to 400 metres above sea level on a plateau with granite soil.

    • Bairrada DOC (red: Baga): This DOC in central Portugal the region’s white grape, Maria Gomes, is fairly neutral, but leavened and made aromatic by the highly acidic excellent Bical grape. Most of this wine is made sparkling, these wines display fresh exotic flavours.

    • Southern Portugal’s major wines

    • Ribatejo DOC (white: Fernao Pires, reds: Castelao Frances plus international varieties): this new DO includes the majority of the vineyards in the alluvial Tagus river plains.

    • Alemtejo DOC (reds: Trincadeira, Aragonez, white: Roupeiro and Antao Vaz, Arinto ): this area is the world’s most important source of cork, soils are loam, mixed with granite and schist. Trincadeira the quality grape here makes dark plumy wines with hints of coffee which when aged in oak develop quite well. Aragonez is useful for blending purposes. The white wines made from Roupeiro and Antao Vaz are full-bodied and honeyed with low-acidity, the Arinto grape gives these wines some much needed aromatic flavours.

    Lesson 4: Principle Wine Regions of the World 4.21 Romania

    • Romania

    • This country is geographically spilt by the L shaped Carpathian Mountains, which occupy

    • almost half of the country. The most widely known wines come from the vineyards of

    • Dealul Mare, which lie on the south-facing slopes of the Carpathian foothills, these red

    • wines are made from Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and local varieties. The area

    • of Murfatlar with its limestone soils also produce quality white wines from Chardonnay and

    • Pinot Gris and soft reds from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Most Romanian wines are

    • sold as varietals.

    • The Romanian wine grading hierarchy is as follows in decreasing order;

    • Vinuri de Calitate Superioara cu Denumire de Origine Controlata (VDOC): top level, indicates superior quality wine from a controlled appellation of origin

    • Vinuri de Calitate Superioara (VS): indicates superior quality wine

    • Vin de Masa: table wine, bottom level.

    Lesson 4: Principle Wine Regions of the World 4.22 South Africa [ Wine map of South Africa ]

    Lesson 4: Principle Wine Regions of the World 4.22 South Africa

    • Winegrowing in South Africa is mainly cooperative-based. Nearly 5,000 grape farmers farm over 250,000 acres (100,000 hectares). All the best grape varieties are grown near the sea, the inland is too hot

    • the main areas for good wines are Constantia / Durbanville / Stellanbosch outside these areas its mainly sherry type wines

    • South Africa was the first country to invent night harvesting, two thirds of the grape varieties planted here are Chenin Blanc called locally ‘Steen’ (tastes lively), the climate is Mediterranean in character, the cold Benguela ocean cool currents extents inland.

    • South Africa wine laws

    • Dating back to 1973, South African Government where eager for international acceptance, when they introduced and elaborate system of control for Wines of Origin. A Certification of Seal on each bottle is awarded only after tasting by an independent panel; this guarantees the accuracy of the information on the label. The other important label information includes;

    • Vintage year display: this indicates that 75 per cent of the wine has come from the this year

    • Cultivar (stated variety of grapes used): this indicates that 75 per cent of the total must comprise of this variety

    • Stated variety EU difference: in the EU 85 per cent of the total must comprise of this variety with 100 per cent produced in the stated production area.

    • The South African wine legislation order is as follows

    • Region (5): these are large, the problem with the wine regions of South Africa lies in the fact that boundaries are not rigid enough

    • Districts (16): such as Stellenbosch and Paarl

    • Wards (almost 50): these are groups of estates such as Constantia and Franschock, they are grouped into the districts listed above

    • Estate: these are the smallest production areas recognised in the wine laws they consists of co-operative cellars, estate wineries and small independent merchants.

    • South Africa Grape varieties and Principal regions

    • Cabernet Sauvignon: Stellenbosch

    • Chardonnay: coastal area and Walker Bay

    • Sauvignon Blanc: Constantia, coastal areas

    • Chenin Blanc (Steen): coastal areas

    • Pinotage (Pinot Noir and Cinsault): coastal areas

    • Merlot: mainly grown for varietal wines, creates very dark plumy wines

    • Muscat of Alexandria (Hanepoot)

    Lesson 4: Principle Wine Regions of the World 4.23 Spain [ Wine map of Spain ]

    Lesson 4: Principle Wine Regions of the World 4.23 Spain (continued)

    • Location and size: southwest Europe, the country is 650 miles across and 500 miles deep, a big land area.

    • Soils: North, granite, South, limestone.

    • Grape varieties: Black: local – Tempranillo (a class act, the best grape variety of Spain, the more Tempranillo used in the wine the better, its strawberry- scented wines are quite low in acidity, and its shows its best when blended with other varieties. Grapes ripen early at the end of September approximately 2 weeks earlier than Garnacha. Garnacha is the Grenache of southern France (widely planted in Spain, not a great ager, capable of high alcohol), Monastrell is the Mourvedre of southern France, Bobal, Mazeula and Carinena is the French Carignan, international – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir. White: local – Airen (Garnacha Blanca), Viura this is the main white grape of Rioja. Wines are fresh and fruity, excellent acidity, and can resist oxidation, this is the Macabeo of southern France, Malvasia originated in Greece it makes full bodied heavy whites, Parallada suits the altitude of Pendes. Used for fine wine, Xarel-Lo well suited to the sparkling wines, Albaria is light, crisp and aromatic, Moscatel International: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Chenin Blanc.

    • Viticulture: Spain contains largest area under vine in the world but small yields make it the third in volume. Vines trained on wires in better regions. Low, bush-trained, widely spaced vines in arid areas. Many smallholders selling grapes to merchants or co-operatives.

    • Vinification: traditional fermentation and use of old wood. Modern fermentation with temperature control and use of stainless steel and new oak.

    Lesson 4: Principle Wine Regions of the World 4.23 Spain (continued)

    • Consejo Regulator – ageing for Spanish wines

    • Vino Joven: young wine, may or not have spent time in cask before bottling in the year following vintage for immediate release.

    • Crianza: red wines: minimum 6 months in cask before release

    • Reserva: selected from vats of better vintages, the cask and bottle ageing duration periods here depend on the individual producers, red wines: minimum 1 year in cask, 2 years in bottle white and rose wines: minimum 6 months in cask.

    • Gran Reserva: produced only in exceptional vintages, red wines: 2 years in cask and 3 years in bottle 5 years old white and rose wines: 6 months in cask.

    • Usually Reservas and Gran Reservas are aged for more than the legal minimum years.

    • Overall white and rose Reservas and Gran reserves are quite rare.

    • Major Regions and DO wines of Spain

    • The major DO regions of Spain are grouped together into six geographical regions, each containing

    • similarities between their climates and grape varieties. Upper Ebro (Navarra, Rioja, Somontano),

    • Catalonia (Catalonia, Coasters del Segre, Penedes, Priorato, Tarragona), The Duero Valley (Ribera del

    • Duero, Rueda, Toro), Levante (Valencia), Castilla-La Mancha (La Mancha, Valdepenas), Southern

    • quarter of Spain – Andalusia.

    • (chapter 4 – pp. 137-141 detailed DOC explanations for discussion)

    Lesson 4: Principle Wine Regions of the World 4.24 Switzerland

    • The vineyards of Switzerland are all concentrated and divided into tiny holdings around the country’s lakes and rivers

    • and are often steep and terraced – unfortunately the high cost of production makes them expensive in relation to their

    • relative value. Nearly half the wines produced are red, both reds and whites tend to be delicate and fresh.

    • Swiss Wine Classifications and Laws

    • Swiss wines are known by regional names relating to grape varieties and qualities as well as to geographical origin. any

    • Swiss wine, which is not completely dry, must by law carry the words ‘legerement doux or ‘avec sucre residuel’. There

    • are three significant quality categories as follows;

    • Appellation d’Origine Controlee (in locals areas winemakers use either canton or village appellation), others recognise Crus within the village, or district such as Chablais (Vaud), the AC also recognises the grape variety used generic indication of origin (roughly compared to Vins de Pays)

    • table wines (labelled basically red or white).

    • Switzerland Wine Regions and Grape varieties

    • Major Swiss Wines: Valais (reds: Pinot Noir, Gamay, whites: Chasselas (Fendant), Vaud (white: Chasselas - Dorin), Geneva (whites: Aligote, Chasselas – Perlan, reds: Gamay), Ticino (Merlot).

    • The areas of Vaud and Valais located around the Lake Gevena are the source for the majority of Swiss wines. Neuchatel and Geneva also contribute substantially, while the Fribourg and Jura vineyards are among Switzerland smallest. The white Chasselas (known as Fendant in Valais, Dorin in Vaud and Perlan in Geneva) is the main variety, making light, neutral fresh wines, reds come from Pinot Noir and Gamay; roses under the stylistic appellation of Oeil de perdrix (partridge eye) are also made from Pinot Noir. The German-speaking districts of Basel, Bern, Aargau, Graubunden, St Gallen, Schaffhausen, Thurgau and Zurich make reds and whites from the same grapes (but sometimes under different names – Pinot Noir is also known as Blauburgunder and Clevner), plus Muller-Thurgau (Riesling x Sylvaner) and others, the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino makes good ripe Merlot.

    Lesson 4: Principle Wine Regions of the World 4.25 United States of America

    • The American wine market is led by fashion and this unfortunately leads to instant demand problems for example Merlot’s

    • links to health and well being and more recently the fascination with Rhone style wines.

    • United States classification for wines

    • Wine laws are placed at two levels, the Federal Law and the State Law.

    • Federal Law: In 1978 AVA (Approved Viticultural Areas) was introduced to supplement the existing appellation system. This evolving system only guarantees the source but is not related to quality or production. AVA when mentioned on the wine label also ensures that at least 85% of the wines grapes must be grown within the area.

    • State Law: These laws vary considerably nationwide, for example in relation to varietal names mentioned on wine labels, they must contain (85% in Washington and California, 95% in Oregon, 75% for all the rest except in New York State, local wine here sometimes contains 35% sugar and water added and 25% grapes from other areas.

    • Major Regions and wines of North America

    • California is about 1,100 kilometres long , California’s major wines – varietal: Chardonnay (Sonoma, Monterey and

    • Carneros cool areas produces good Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa, Sonoma): Merlot (Napa, Sonoma,

    • Monterey), Pinot Noir (Carneros, Sonoma), Sauvignon Blanc (Napa), White Zinfandel (Central Valley). Zinfandel (Sonoma,

    • Sierra Foothills, Santa Cruz).

    • Mexico and the Southwest States of North America

    • Mexico: The majority of Mexico’s quality wines (90%) are produced in the northern Baja California, which consists of three valleys, the Guadelupe is the most important. A wine bearing the words Hecho en Mexico on the label must be made entirely from Mexican grown grapes.

    • Texas: Affectionately referred to as the botanical heart of America, contains more native grape species than any other area in the world.

    • New Mexico: The Rockies make it possible to grow wines here, elevation cools the climate. Its three AVAs from north to south (Middle Rio Grande – the states biggest and best winery, Mimbres Valley and Mesilla Valley on the Mexican border).

    • Southeast Arizona: Contains one AVA, Sonoita plantings of Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc are common.

    • Colorado: This trendy state produces Chardonnay, Merlot, Riesling, Viognier and Shiraz in its nine wineries from its vineyards sheltered in the Grand Valley of the Colorado River at an elevation of 1,200 metres.

    Lesson 4: Principle Wine Regions of the World 4.25 United States of America (continued)

    • The Pacific North-West

    • The vineyards here are located in the states of Washington, Oregon and the smaller Idaho. Pacific North-West major wines varietal

    • Pinot Noir (Oregon): Good quality wines made from good clonal selection, shows fresh juiciness of some of the lighter burgundies. Oregon is also known for its Pinot Gris and Chardonnay.

    • Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot (Washington):

    • Chardonnay (Washington):

    • Washington State: Divided into two by the high ever-snowy Cascade Range, the majority of

    • vineyards are based around the infertile valleys of Columbia and its tributary, the Yakima and also at

    • Walla Wallla to the east.

    • Oregon: All of Oregon has less than one third of Napa’s acreage, this area has concentrated on the

    • Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley, but if search hard you will find Oregon Riesling and Cabernet

    • Sauvignon, plus the other smaller regions of Umpqua and Rogue valleys.

    • New York State: 120 wineries and 3,350 acres of vinifera vines in the seven New York State AVAs,

    • these are divided between four distinct regions.

    • Lake Erie AVA, Finger Lakes AVA,, Cayuga Lake AVA, Hudson River Region AVA, Long Island AVA, North Fork of Long Island AVA, The Hamptons, Long Island AVA.

    Lesson 4: Principle Wine Regions of the World Conclusion

    • Wine is one of the oldest beverages known to mankind, so many people have a deep passionate love for this beverage around the world it means so much to so many people.

    • Wine can convey history, love and hospitality in a glass, its flavours can stimulate memories, you could compare it to life, when every single little decision made on its development has a direct impact on its outcome and personality.

    • No other beverage can uniquely reflect the land, people, soil and climate of its origin better than wine (the hillsides, flatlands, sunlight and rain), it’s the perfect artisan produced beverage.

    • Wine delivers so many sensory characteristics which include over a thousand aromas its flavours and aromas can transport us back to good times in our lives (special holiday, mother’s kitchen).

    • Wine pairs so well with food they compliment each other perfectly.

    • Ultimately wine helps you to enjoy the world in your local bar or restaurant in a bottle and as you travel to these far flung destinations it also deliver some health benefits.

    Lesson 4: Principle Wine Regions of the World References

    • Boulton, R.B. Singleton, V.L, Bisson, L.F and Kunkee, R.E .(1996) ‘Principles and Practices of Winemaking’, Thomson Publishing: UK.

    • Brown, S, C. (1978) ‘ Wines and Beers of old New England’ UPNE [accessed 29/07/2011].

    • Clarke, O. (2003) Encyclopedia of Wine, Websters, Time Warner Books, UK.

    • Fielden, C. (2004) Exploring the World of Wines and Spirits, Wine & Spirit Education Trust, London.

    • Johnson, H. (2003) World Atlas of Wine, Chancellor Press, Octopus Publishing Ltd, London.

    • Murphy, J. (2013) Principles and Practices of Bar and Beverage Management – The Drinks Handbook, Goodfellow Publishing Ltd, Oxford: England.

    • Robinson, J. (1986) ‘Vines, Grapes and Wines’, Alfred A. Knopf: New York.

    • Robinson, J.(2006) The Oxford Companion to Wine, 3rd ed, oxford University Press: Oxford.

    • Robinson. J and Johnson, H. (2007) The World Atlas of Wine, 6th ed, Mitchell Beazley: UK.

    • Sequin, G. (1986) ‘Terroirs and pedology of vine growing’. Experientia 42, 861-873.

    • Schreiner, J. (2005) The Wines of Canada, Octopus Publishing Group Ltd: US.

    • Web Resources

    • www.winespectator.com Wine resources.

    • www.eRobertParker.com 130,000 tasting notes, from the wine advocate.

    • www.bbr.com/wine-events/school Berry Brothers & Rudd wine school.

    • www.winetelevision.com Wine TV.

    • www.wineAtlas.net Wine resource site.

    • www.winesofbalkans.com Wines of the Balkans.

    • www.wineofczechrepublic.cz Wines of the Czech Republic.

    • www.englishwineproducers.com English and Welsh Wine Producers.

    • www.winesofcanada.com Wines of Canada.

    • www.decanter.com Decanter Magazine.

    • www.masters-of-wine.org Institute of Masters of Wine.

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