When it comes to wine, Colonial Spirits of Acton is here to help. We break down some of the major wine producing countries and regions below. Colonial Spirits is also proud to host many wine tastings where vintage wines are featured. Would you like to learn more? Join us at one of our wine tasting events.
Bordeaux : (bohr-DOH) is a region in the south west of France from which many wine enthusiasts believe the world’s greatest wine is produced. The wonderful wines produced there have been sought after by wine connoisseurs today, as well as the ancient Romans over 2000 years ago. Today, well over one half billion bottles are corked there each year.
Rhône : (ROHN) A region of France named after the Rhône river which flows through it. The region is found between 2 major cities, Vienne to the north, and Avignon to the south. Following the river for approximately 120 miles, the Rhône region has beautiful, hillside vineyards that produce wonderful Syrah- and Grenache-based wines.
Burgundy (or Bourgogne) : (BER-gun-dee) Even someone who has never tasted a wine before knows that Burgundy produces amazing wines. Burgundy is located southeast of Paris. It is divided up into five major regions: Chablis, Côte d’Or, Côte Chalonnaise, the Mâconnais, and Beaujolais. The region produces many different types of wine, but most predominantly uses 3 types of grapes. Chardonnay and aligoté (used for Kir) for the white wines, and Gamay and Pinot Noir for the red wines. A Burgundy Chardonnay or Pinot Noir is always a great choice to drink.
Alsace : (Al-Zass) A region of France’s Northeast, located on the German border, nestled between the foothills of the Vosges mountains and the Rhine River. Because of its location and due to its socio-political history, the region reflects the meeting point of Europe’s two great culture nations. They may use of the traditional “German” flute-shaped wine bottles, in addition to such varietals as Riesling, Sylvaner, and Gewürztraminer, but don’t be fooled, the Alsatians are French, and so is the wine.
Sauternes : (soh-TEHRN) Outstanding sweet wines from of the Bordeaux region . Located about 25 miles southeast of the city of Bordeaux, Sauternes primarily grows Sémillon grapes, but also is home to Sauvignon Blanc and sometimes small amounts of Muscadelle. But it isn’t just the grapes that make these wines gain their amazing sweet flavor, during good vintages, a mold called Botrytis Cinerea grows on the vines, producing the rich flavors. The noble rot, as it is affectionately called, shrivels the grapes causing a concentrated taste to emanate during the winemaking process. If you enjoy a sweet dessert wine, with a French touch, then a Sauternes wine is the smart choice.
Champagne : (sham-PAYN) True champagne only comes from northernmost wine growing region of France. Located 90 miles northeast of Paris, Champagne typically grow Pinot Noir, Meunier, and Chardonnay grapes. After being bottled, the wine is given extra yeast and sugar, which naturally carbonates the wine. If any event calls for a celebration, then Champagne is the wine you need.
Tuscany (or Toscana) : (TUHS-kun-nee) Surrounding the cities of Florence and Sienna, Tuscany lies in the center of the Italian peninsula, housing over 160,000 vineyard acres that produce the famous Chianti wine. Cities such as San Indignant and Florence lie in the Chianti Region, and almost entirely produce the red wine. Tuscany is famous for two things, wine and art, and the perfection of each.
Piedmont (or Piemonte) : (Piedmont) Italian for “foot of the mountains,” the Piedmont region of Italy lies in the northwest part of the country, surrounding it’s capital city of Turin. With over 142,000 vineyard acres, the Piedmont region primarily grows the Barbera grape, but is no stranger to the Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Bonarda, Friesa, Gringnolino, and Croatina grapes as well. Also very popular in this region is the Spumante (sparkling) wines of Asti and Moscato d’Asti.
Other Wine Regions of the World
California : The California wine movement began during the period from 1769 to 1823, when Franciscan Monks began planting vineyards in the state. With the state’s different regions, a multitude of grapes can be grown producing a plethora of wines including Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and of course, Cabernet Sauvignon.
Spain : has the most vineyard acres in the world, yet produces the third most volume of wine behind Italy and France. This is due to much of the land’s inability to handle densely planted vines. Spanish wines traditionally are high-alcohol, full-bodied wines, like famous Rioja style.
Australia : Australian wines really hit the mainstream in the 1950′s. By the 80′s Australia was a world power in the wine world, and it was lead by the Shiraz (Syrah) wine. Other Australian wine varieties include Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sauvignon Blanc.
Germany : holds a different view on wine than other countries. This is due to the fact that unlike France and Italy, they are not focused on wine, they prefer beer. In fact, Germany is a negative producer, that is, it consumes more wine than it produces. But what it does produce, it does well. Germany’s main wine production includes the Riesling, Müller-Thurgau and Sylvaner grapes.