Wine Regions of the World A – C
The most prolific wine region of Italy, in the south, supplying many of the wines for making into vermouth and used in wine-based aperitifs. The wines, together with those of the Basilicata and Calabria, are interesting to the traveller, but seldom seen outside their own region. A number of full, sweet wines are made, as well as the usual reds and whites. They can provide pleasant drinking and are worth investigation by holiday-makers.
Region in the Rhone area of France, where increasing quantities of good and still inexpensive wine are being made, notably from the Gamay grape. The Coteaux du Tricastin and Cotes du Vivarais are in the south of the region.
Extensive wine region in the south of France, on the Mediterranean and hinterland. Red, white and pink wines are made. Although they were formerly used for blending and vermouth production, today’s improved technology makes it possible for some to be pleasant drinks that feature on export lists.
Both red and white wines are made in the east of Austria, although it is possibly the white that achieves most quality. There are several regions: the Burgenland, near the Hungarian border; the Danube area, including Krems and Wachau; the Weinviertel, north of Vienna, with the Vienna Woods vineyards and Gumpoldskirchen, and Styria, by the Yugoslav frontier. The Gruner Veltliner grape makes some of the best whites. The Riesling, Rheinriesling, Muscat-Ottonel, Furmint and Gewurztraminer are also used for good white wines, some of which have a touch oipitillance while young. The red wines are usually made from the Burgunder grape and, although they can be pleasant, they are not in the same class as the best whites. Around Vienna, numerous small country inns specialise in the heurige wines, made from local grape varieties such as Nussberger, Grinzinger, Neuburger and Sieveringer, which are offered for sale while they are very young by green boughs being hung outside the establishment.
One important event in wine history has been the work of Dr Lenz Moser, an Austrian, who evolved a method of training vines high, spaced out so that a tractor could cultivate them, and arranged up even steep slopes so that, without terracing, vines could be cultivated. His methods were much suspected when first put into practice but in fact the Lenz Moser method of high cultivation is now followed in many vineyards making white wines in other countries.
Austrian wine labels often bear descriptive terms, indicating that the grapes have been late vintaged or specially picked over. Personally, I feel that the character of such Austrian wines as I have tried is so dissimilar from the character of German wines that I rather deplore the tendency to imitate the German classics. The delicacy of Austrian wines is one of their charms and does not need to be masked by contrived sweetness. The young wines are delicious fragrant drinks, the well-known brand ‘Schluck’ (gulp) being popular, but the individuality of both reds and whites according to area and winery deserves developing. For travellers, the Austrian wine towns and village are wholly charming.
The region of Lake Balaton, in Hungary, has a long tradition of winemaking. Wines made around here usually bear its name on the labels.
Region south of Bordeaux, adjoining that of Sauternes, where the great sweet wines are made. But the Barsacs have a curious and individual flavour, with a ‘lift’ which finishes virtually dry. The two great properties arc Coutet and Climens.
Wine region in Languedoc, in the south of France, producing red, white and rose wines. Up until recently these have been considered purely ‘holiday’ wines, but great strides have been made in improving their quality and the wines from individual estates are of interest: many attain true quality, especially the reds.
This is the old French name for the region in the south-west of France, adjoining Gascony and abutting on the Pyrenees. Red, white and pink wines have been made there for centuries; the best known is probably the sweet white Jurancon, although nowadays there is more dry white made. One is often told about fine wines, of proud traditions and historic associations, being produced in minute quantities, but I have never found these and it is possible that there was never anything of outstanding quality made in the region – had there been, it would probably have survived.
The reds tend to be rather harsh and ‘peasanty’ in character; the pink wines pleasant holiday drinks; both dry and sweet white are agreeable. I would hazard a guess that, if you want a superior wine made in this part of the world, you would find better quality over the border in Spain – the French wines of further north (Bordeaux) will be what the locals often drink today.
Wine region in Provence in the south of France, producing red, white and rose wines. These are seldom seen on export lists, but they can make very agreeable drinking for those on holiday in the region.
Important wine region in the Nahe valley, in Germany.
Region in the south-west of France about 80 miles (128 km) east of Bordeaux, making both red and white wines and some sparkling wine (Pecharmant). The best known is probably Monbazillac, a golden, sweetish wine, formerly very popular before the prevailing fashion for dry drinks. The chalky soil of most of the region is conducive to the making of pleasant, lightish wines, very acceptable at moderate prices on export markets nowadays.
Blanquette de Limoux
The region making wines of this name is near Carcassonne, in the south-west of France. There is a still white wine made, but the most famous wine is the sparkling white, made by the Champagne method. The grape used is the Mauzac which, because of the white underside of its leaves, gives the curious name of blanquette to the wines. The winemakers have registered the sparkling wine as le plus vieux brut du monde and they claim that, because of their proximity to the Catalan and Iberian cork oak forests, they were able to seal the sparkle in their vivacious wines even before Dom Perignon did this in the 17th century in Champagne.
A wide range of table, sparkling and aperitif wines are made in Brazil. but they are seldom seen on export lists, although some are now finding outlets in the U.S. Many of the classic wine grapes are used in the production of wine, and the influence of Italian settlers is noted.
Wine region of Bordeaux, producing both white and red wines.
(Pronounced ‘Bor-guy’) Part of the Touraine region in France, producing red and some rose” wines made from the Cabernet Franc grape. Some people find a flavour of raspberries or violets in the wines. The fresh fruitiness of these wines is brought out by serving them cool – as is traditional in the region.
Bourg; Cotes de Bourg
Regions in the Bordeaux area, on the east bank of the Garonne. Both red and white wines are produced, but it is the reds that now often feature on export lists. They can be well made and. by their sturdy robust style, appeal very much to claret lovers who enjoy a ‘little’ red Bordeaux for everyday drinking.
(Pronounced ‘Bon-zo’) Region within the Coteaux du Layon vineyard area in the Loire, in France, making wines of a fullness and lusciousness that can be very attractive. They are mostly famous for their sweet wines but some are made which, although full, are essentially dry.
Region in the Veneto, in northern Italy, making both white and red wines. Some of them are produced from classic grape varieties, including Tocai, the two Cabernets, Trebbiano, Malvasia and Pinot Noir.
Brouilly, Cotes de Brouilly
(Pronounced ‘Brew-yee’) Regions of the Beaujolais, producing red wines of a certain style of body and, almost. toughness, capable of being very fine.
North of Lisbon in Portugal, this region makes white wines that today are dry or dryish; although in the past they tended to be quite sweet and many received fortification with brandy. Charneca and Bucelas are the main wine villages; the principal grape appears to be the Arinto, a form of Riesling. There are plenty of references to Bucelas in English history, as Wellington’s army acquired a taste for it when they were encamped at Torres Vedras.
A long mixed drink. of lemon juice. a spirit and carbonated water.
Buck’s fizz Invented at Buck’s Club. London in 1921 by Pat McGarry. the barman. It consists of one-third freshly-squeezed orange juice, two-thirds non-vintage Champagne, and a teaspoonful of grenadine. It is a delicious mid-morning or late-night drink. In France it is known as a ‘Champagne-orange’, in Italy as a ‘Mimosa’. It can. in fact, be an enjoyable drink if made with any good sparkling wine – but the orange juice must be fresh. The original drink was made with Bollinger.
Wine is produced throughout Bulgaria and, in recent years, the quantity has been enormously increased. The achievement is remarkable in view of the fact that, until less than a century ago, the country that is now Bulgaria was under Turkish rule and winedrinking forbidden. The whole wine trade is controlled by a monopoly, Vinimpex. There are some important local vine varieties, including Dimiat, which makes white wines; Gamza, which makes red; and Mavrud, also making red. Other vines from Balkan countries and the classic wine regions of the world are also cultivated, and the wines are usually named after the vine making them. Trakia – meaning Thrace – is an exception, and this is a pleasant dryish white wine. It is generally considered that the Bulgarian whites are better than the reds; but the latter, such as Gamza and Kadarka, can be very pleasant and achieve good quality at what are still quite low prices, due to trie state subsidy.
The foot region of the ‘boot’ of Italy, where a quantity of red and white wine is produced, virtually none of it seen on export lists.
Bordeaux wine region on the right bank of the Garonne, specialising in white wines, which often attain reasonable quality nowadays.
Vineyard in the Lot region of France, where both white and red wines are produced; the latter, made from the Malbec grape, are the most famous. Known in early medieval times as ‘black wines’ because of their dark colour, they were often used to ‘help’ the lighter wines of the Bordeaux region. They have recently been awarded an A.O.C. The true ‘black wines’ are comparatively rare. They remain in cask for many years, apparently without deterioration, and they are said to possess revitalising properties. Wines made in the same region can be pleasant, but are not quite in the same category as the real ‘blackwine’.
Region in Piedmont, Italy, making white wines, some of which are sweet and made by the passito process of drying before pressing. The Erbaluce vine is used exclusively.
This is the Italian wine region around the Bay of Naples, including the islands of Capri and Ischia, the Vesuvius area, and that of Irpinia. Well-known wines include Lacrima Christi and Falerno.
Region in the Mull of Kintyre. Scotland, at one time famous for the distilleries making the whisky typical of the region. Today there are only those of Glen Scotia and Springbank: the latter is the only one available as a bottled Scotch of the region, the other is used for blending.
Town in the Veneto region of Italy, around which vineyards make white wines of quality, varying from still to sparkling, dry to sweet.
Vineyard region at the bottom of the Rhone, producing pleasant white, red and pink wines.
One of the official wine regions of South Africa.
Property in the parish of Leognan in the Graves, south of Bordeaux. It produces both red and white wines, though more white than red, the latter being rare outside the region. The best-known story associated with Chateau Carbonnieux relates to the time when it belonged to the Abbey of Sainte Croix in Bordeaux. The Benedictines of the establishment, seeking to extend their export markets, sent quantities of wine successfully to teetotal Turkey, having labelled it Eau Minerale de Carbonnieux. Another version of this tale explains that a beautiful Bordelaise. captured by a Turkish pirate and sent to the Sultan’s harem, persuaded him that she must have supplies of the mineral water’ of her home to preserve her charms. Both the red and white wines are of fine quality.
Defined wine region in Aragon, in Spain, making chiefly red wines of a bright, deep tone, plus a little white and some sweet white.
Vineyard and winery region in the Napa Valley, California, where a number of producers own plots.
Delimited wine region of Italy in Lazio. being an area in the Alban hills near Rome. Most of the wines made here are white, ranging through dry, semi-sweet and sweet, but there are some red wines as well. The best known is Frascati.
White wine region south of Bordeaux in the Gironde region of France. The wines are flinty and fragrant, varying from fairly dry to lightly luscious, and can be very pleasant.
Nothing to do with Chablis in France, this is a region in the Vaud district of Switzerland, where white wines are produced, possibly the best known being those of Aigle.
Wine region on the River Vienne, tributary of the Loire in France, making red wines from the Cabernet Franc grape. They can, in the right kind of year, achieve a fruity charm and delicate flavour that is extremely pleasant. Rabelais praised them, and although they do not always bear vintage dates, they can age very pleasantly. They should never be served warm – indeed, on their home ground they may be served at cellar temperature (cool) to show off their character.
Italian wine region in Calabria, where what appears to be a good red and some pink and white wines are made.
Region in the Medoc, making pleasant wines, of which the best known is certainly that of Chateau Cissac. Its dedicated owner, Louis Vialard, has augmented the advantages it enjoys from its proximity to Chateau Lafite, through his care and adroit publicity.
Both red and white wines are made in Chile, but it is the reds that have become best known on export markets. The grapes used to make the wines are European classics. Although as yet the wines available in the U.K. have been of no more than very good everyday quality, it may well be that some will achieve even higher standards in the future. The significant thing about all the Chilean wines, which include sweet and sparkling wines, is that, as the Phylloxera has never attacked the vines in this country, they are not grafted and. therefore, can give an idea of what wine produced from nacional vinestocks is like. Some of the estate wines display good quality and it may well be that this country will provide some most interesting wines for all drinkers. now that transport is easier.
Marco Polo wrote in 1275 that the inhabitants ofPeking enjoyed a very light-coloured, scented rice wine. A type of beer, cider and various liqueurs are also made in China, but few are known outside the country. Mao tai is a distillate. Shao hsing is a rice wine; traditionally made at the birth of a daughter, then kept until her wedding: Kuei hua chen chiew is a type of rice beer, formerly prepared only for the Imperial Family: Mei kuei lu chiew is a digestive liqueur from Tientsin: Muiguy lu is a type of rice gin.
Region near Lisbon in Portugal, making both white and red wines, although the reds are better known, able to mature and demonstrate great quality. The vines are curiously and haphazardly cultivated in sand dunes; because of this, they have never needed to be grafted because the Phylloxera aphis has not attacked them. They are seldom seen outside their region and therefore deserve attention by visitors.
The Piacenza hills region in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, making red and white wines of medium and good quality, of which the red Gutturnio is pleasant.
Region in the Veneto, Italy, making good quality white, red and sparkling wines.
Important Australian wine region, near the border of South Australia and Victoria, it is famous for its wines. The climate, rather cool and changeable, means that the character of each vintage will vary. Typical soil of one part is the terra rossa, which is unusual in the production of fine wines; but the subsoil, of chalk and limestone, and the presence of fossils in the dark, clay-like soil in other parts all contribute to wines of individuality and stylishness. The red wines have probably made the reputation of the region in export markets, but plantings of grapes for white wines are also considerable. The main wineries are run by Wynn, Mildara, Lindeman, Penfold and Hungerford Hill. The most famous individual range of wines is possibly that produced by Wynn at their huge winery, under the name ‘Coonawarra Estate’. The name ‘Coonawarra’ is an aboriginal word, meaning ‘wild honeysuckle’.
The comparison of some of the reds with claret is often made but, in spite of the use of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, I think there is merely a likeness, not a direct similarity. The interest of these wines is considerable however.
Wine region in the south of Languedoc between Narbonne and the Spanish frontier. The wines are mostly red, made chiefly from the Grenache, Carignan, Terret Noir and Picpoul grapes, with a full-bodied character and clean fragrance.
Costieres du Gard
Vineyard region in the Herault, just west of the Rhone Valley and south of Nimes. It makes red, white and pink wines, which can be very pleasant and definitely better than what are merely categorised as ‘holiday drinks’. The red is the one best known to export markets and Chateau Roubaud possibly the most familiar estate name: it first appeared on British wine lists in the 1950s. The surprisingly good dry whites should be sampled by visitors however, and the pink, a robust southern rose, is also pleasing.
Region near Vicenza. in Italy, making white, red and rose wines in small quantities.
This region is in south Burgundy, and produces red and white wines. The Pinot Noir is used for the reds; the Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay are used for the whites. The grapes must be grown from sites in the parishes of Givry, Mercurey, Montagny and Rully. Some sparkling white wines are also made. The wines can be particularly charming by reason of their freshness, scent and elegance; but they seldom have long lives.
Cote de Beaune
Section of the Cote d’Or in Burgundy, around the town of Beaune. Notable for fine red wines, which are very pleasing though at their greatest perhaps not quite as fine as those of the Cote de Nuits; and also for the very greatest white Burgundies, apart from those of Chablis. Villages associated with wines include: Pernand-Vergelesses, Ladoix-Serrigny, Savigny-les-Beaune. Aloxe-Corton, Pommard, Volnay, Monthelie, Auxey-Duresses, St Romain, Meursault Blagny, Gamay, St Aubin, Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Monrachet, Santenay, Chagny, Dezize-les-Maranges and Chorey-les-Beaune.
Cote de Beaune Villages
According to this particular A.O.C., these wines are red, and the blends of at least two wines from those possessing various different A.O.C.s.
Cote de Nuits
Section of the Cote d’Or in Burgundy running from just south of Dijon almost to Beaune. The principal villages associated with wines are: Chenove, Marsannay-la-Cote, Fixin, Brochon, Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-St-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Vougeot, Flagey-Echezeaux, Nuits-St-Georges, Premeaux, and Prissey. This is the area that makes the finest red Burgundies of all, though a very little white wine is also made.
Cote des Blancs
Region near Epernay in Champagne.
The part of Burgundy where the most famous vineyards for red and white wine are situated. Literally ‘golden slope’, it is a ridge of vineyards, running from just south-west of Dijon to south of Beaune. It is made up of the Cote de Nuits, where the very finest red wines come from, from Dijon to Nuits-St-Georges; and the Cote de Beaune, around the town of Beaune, which region produces many fine red wines and the finest whites.
Coteaux de la Loire
A subdivision of the Anjou vineyards, the best-known wine being the white Savennieres.
Coteaux de L’Aubance
The white wine region of the Aubance Valley, in Anjou on the Loire. The wines can be dryish, but the best known are sweet or definitely sweet, often as the result of the action of Botrytis cinerea. Some pink wine is also made.
Coteaux du Languedoc
Wines from different regions in the Herault. mostly red and rose, but with some whites. They are now often sold under their own names and provide phasant. comparatively inexpensive drinking. Formerly such wines were either only drunk locally or. if produced on a large scale, were often used for making vermouth or other aperitif wines. The emergence of these and vast number oipetits vim shows the seriousness of French producers in attempting to improve vine cultivation and winemaking in what were previously merely bulk wine regions. However, even the most lavish publicity cannot make a small-scale wine into a fine one. With prices of the French classic wines very high, some misguided attempts have been made to try and convince buyers of these little wines that they are almost as good as the great Burgundies and Bordeaux. They are not and never can be. As quality is inevitably related to price, the public cannot expect great drinking experiences from these otherwise pleasant little wines: they should forget the snobbery of the French label and. if they can afford a little more, look for lesser-known wines from other countries.
Coteaux du Layon
The vineyards of the Layon, a tributary of the Loire in France, which produce dry white and rose wines and some very fine white dessert wines, of which Quart de Chaume is possibly the most famous. The sweet wines of Bonnezeaux are also of high quality.
Coteaux du Loir
Vineyards on the Loir, a tributary of the Loire, producing red, white and rose wines.
Coteaux du Tricastin
Cotes du Rhone vineyard in the Drome region, mostly producing red wines which have recently become very popular on export markets because of their low price and pleasant, robust character.
There are a number of other wine regions in France entitled to called themselves Cotes de . . . They include: Cotes d’Agly, Cotes de Bergerac, Cotes de Blaye, Cotes de Bordeaux St Macaire, Cotes de Buzet, Cotes Canon Fronsac, Cotes de Duras, Cotes de Haut-Roussillon, Cotes du Jura, Cdtes du Marmandais, Cotes de Montravel, Cotes de Toul, to cite the list given in the latest edition of Lichine’s Encyclopedia.
Many of these are seldom seen on export markets; others, thanks to modern improvements in winemaking and freight facilities, do provide pleasant drinking outside their homeland. The Buzet, Canon Fronsac, Marmandais and Provence wines are among the latter. But for details about any of them, more comprehensive works of reference on French wines, notable those of V.D.Q.S. status, should be consulted.
Red wine region on the west bank of the Rhone in France; the centre is Ampuis. The grapes used are the black, called Serine or Syrah,and the white Viognier. The Cote is divided into the Cote Brune and the Cote Blonde: a picturesque legend relates that these got their names from being the dowries of the two daughters of a medieval lord – a blonde and a brunette. A more logical explanation is that the soil is differently coloured: light and dark. The wines are full-bodied and ‘gutsy’, capable of much improvement if allowed to mature for some time.
Cotes de Castillon
These wines, from the eastern part of the Girondein France near Bordeaux, are both red and white. With improvements in vinification, they are becoming of wider commercial interest and of good quality.
Cotes de Provence
Region in the south-west of France on the Mediterranean, where large amounts of pink, white and red wine are made. Today these wines are featured on export lists and the waisted, curvaceous bottles of many of them make them pleasant novelties. The pink and the red wines appear to have appealed most to markets outside the region. The wines of Bandol, Cassis and those properties where large concerns are now making pleasant wines that do not cost a great deal, are of interest.
Cotes de Ventoux
The foothills of Mont Ventoux at the bottom of the Rhone valley, in France, where pleasant red and rose wines are made.
Cotes du Forez
Region in France at the top of the Loire, where wines of pleasant style are now being made, especially from the Gamay.
Cotes du Luberon
Region of the Rhone Valley in France, making red and white wines that, in recent years, have achieved some quality.
Cotes du Rhone
Vineyards in the south of France, stretching along the Rhone valley from just south of Lyon to north of Avignon. Red, white and rose wines are made. The finer quality wines are sold under the names of their communes, the lesser ones may just be termed ‘Cotes du Rhone’, sometimes with the addition of a site name. A variety of different grapes may be used, according to region, but those in fairly wide use include the Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Terret Noir, Picpoul (for red wines); Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier for the whites.
Wine from Moldavia in Romania, considered to be that country’s greatest white wine. It is slightly sweet and full, and is made from a blend of the native vines – Grasa, Feteasca, Frincuca, in equal proportions of 30% and 10% of Tamiloasa.
(Pronounced ‘Coo-ahns’) An attractive estate in the Graves region of Bordeaux, making very pleasant dry white wines.