Oenophiles in the building, can you move a little closer to me. I have found something that is of utmost importance to you. We know that wine is enjoyed pretty much all over the world and the countries that will probably pop into your mind are Italy, France, Spain, USA, Argentina, Australia and South Africa.
But did you know that smaller, more unusual countries have wine industries as well? They definitely do not produce the same quantity as the countries mentioned above, but some at least are near to producing the same quality. Here are 7 wines from surprising places.
Shocked yeah? Well, Lebanon is one of the oldest wine producing regions in the world, with the Phoenicians and Romans getting involved over 2,000 years ago. Presently, all production is concentrated on the Beqaa Valley, which rolls out seven million bottles per year.
If you thought the South of Africa was the only region in Africa where Wine was been produced, you thought wrong. In the 19th Century, the French monks took vines to Madagascar as an experiment but organised production only got going after independence from France in 1960. Due to the tropical conditions, only the southern highland area between Antsirabe and Fianarantsoa is suitable for grapes.
Talk about wine in the United States and most people automatically think Napa Valley in California, but if you head out further west to the volcanic Pacific island of Hawaii, you’ll find two wineries. The Volcano Winery based on the main island makes a range of fruit wines and estate wines. The second winery on the smaller island of Maui was planted in 1973 and makes a range of wines including Syrah, Malbec and Grenache for the reds, and Viognier and blanc de blanc for the whites.
Another country in Africa that produces wine is Ethiopia, Vines have been grown in this ancient land for centuries. Interestingly the US is the largest export market for Ethiopian wines, where there is a large diaspora.
Sula Vineyards is the biggest winemaker in India In 2014 the winery started a partnership with Marks & Spencer to launch their ‘Jewel of Nasik’ range. The aim was to create wines that would compliment Indian dishes and ingredients.
Vin de Tahiti is the only vineyard in French Polynesia. It was founded by Frenchman Dominique Auroy in 1997 after five years of experimenting and finding the right location, the company is now producing over 40,00 bottles, comprising three whites and a rosé.
In Thailand, there are six wine producers and the largest is Siam Winery, which produces more than 300,000 bottles a year under its Monsoon label. The sparkling Brut Blanc de Blanc, Cuvée de Siam and Chenin Blanc are particularly of note and they regularly win awards.
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