About vineyards and wineries
Sitting on a terrace at the top of a vineyard, savouring a wine, the fragrance of grapes in your nostrils, and the taste of wine on your tongue, while the sun slowly sets, sounds like a wonderful evening. Wouldn’t you agree? In some parts of the world, there are vineyards in abundant profusion. But what precisely are the best-known wine-growing regions? I set myself to do some research, and singled out three of the most famous. When I’m daydreaming about exquisite wines, the first ones I think of are Italian Chianti, French Sauvignon or German Riesling. And it’s precisely these countries, too, that are also home to some wonderful wine-growing areas.
Germany – Moselle
Even though Germany is better-known for beer than for wine, the Moselle valley is nonetheless deserving of mention. The Romans and the Celts were already cultivating vines there 2,000 years ago. Thanks to the steep hillsides and the concomitantly sun-kissed soil, the grapes grown here are of superlative quality. And so the wine is excellent as well. The approximately 9,000 hectares of vines under cultivation produce primarily white wines. You could actually say almost exclusively, since about 90 % of the wines are white. Besides the Riesling, the vintners there produce Elbling, Rivaner (Müller-Thurgau), plus Weisser and Grauer Burgunder. The region’s red wines include Dornfelder, Blauer Spätburgunder and Regent.
France – Bordeaux
When I think of France, wine comes automatically to mind. I bet it’s the same with you! This is hardly surprising since France is one of the world’s biggest wine producers. Among the French wine-growing regions Bordeaux is best-known. With approximately 120,000 hectares under cultivation, it’s France’s second-largest wine-growing area. And what kind of wine is more popular here? In contrast to the Moselle, Bordeaux produces almost only red wines. About 80 % of the wines here are red, including: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The best-known estates with their eponymous wines are Margaux, Saint-Emilion, Pomerol and Sauternes.
Just imagine motoring through Tuscany, driving along the roads surrounded by serried rows of grape-laden vines, and stopping at one of the small estates. Is that what you’d like to be doing? Tuscany would be ideally suited for this. It’s one of Italy’s best wine-growing regions. With a total area of 65,000 hectares, and luxuriant vineyards, the region supplies delicious red wines. Pre-eminent among them is the Chianti. Scarcely less popular is the Brunello di Montalcino.
I don’t know about you, but I simply can’t decide which wine-growing region I like best. But all of them are indubitably ideal for a wonderful evening on one of the estates.