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Thread: World's Top 10 Wine Regions

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    SVZ
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    Default World's Top 10 Wine Regions

    Top 10 wine regions

    Taste the World's best from vineyards in Europe, Africa, USA and more!



    By Editorial Staff


    Updated: 2:08 p.m. ET Oct. 14, 2005
    The harvest season is here for many of the world’s viticultural centers, tempting visitors to tastings of tried-and-true vintages and more innovative wines. Our favorite wine regions to visit at this time of year range from the classic castle-country of France’s scenic Loire Valley and the sun-kissed vineyards of Tuscany, to the Western US, where America’s marvelous wines emerge from soils stretching from California to Oregon. But we're also keen on lesser-known wine-producing areas, like Canada’s Niagara region, which touts scenic wonders and icewine to boot, and European centers that specialize in sherry and port. Even if you're too late to catch this year's bounty, you can plan ahead for a visit to three top grape-growing destinations in the Southern Hemisphere, whose coveted harvest season will spring forth when our northerly winter ends.

    Andalucía
    With more vineyard acreage than anywhere in the world, this south-western Spanish province produces an array of fine wines but is most renowned for its dry to sweet amber sherry. Most tours in the region start off in Seville and head to Jerez de Frontera (the sherry capital of the world) where you’ll learn the ins and outs of wine making and how varietals like vinegar and Jerez brandy are produced, and, of course, get to taste some quality selections.

    Cape Winelands
    The Cape’s striking wine country, just 45 minutes northeast of Cape Town, in South Africa, is the seventh-largest wine-producing region in the world, comprising some 417 square miles of vineyards. In addition to world-class wineries such as the Bergkelder, famous for its subterranean “cellar in the mountain,” you can indulge your palate at world-class restaurants like Bosmans at the Grand Roche Hotel, in Paarl

    California
    The largest wine-producing area in the US, wine-tasting tourism in California has exploded in recent years, having been particularly bolstered by the release of the popular film Sideways (2004), which showcased the state's Santa Barbara wineries. The appeal is obvious – small, family-owned, boutique wineries are neatly tucked away in the scenic rolling vineyards – discovered only by curious visitors who come for sampling of their sublimely flavored vintages.

    Hunter Valley
    As harvest season unfolds in the northern hemisphere, spring is in full swing Down Under – marking the start of a new winemaking season in these spectacular rolling vineyards just two-hours north of Sydney. Thriving with first-rate vintages and over 60 wineries, this South Wales valley offers a fantastic spread of shops and restaurants, many of them overlooking verdant vineyards, to make it one of the most attractive and visited wine regions in Australia.

    Loire Valley
    Arguably the most beautiful wine region in the world, the famed fertile valley of the sinuous Loire River is a place seeped in a rich history, where regal chateaux meet a long viticultural tradition. While the Loire’s numerous vineyards are most famous for their production of white wine (accounting for 75% of the wine produced here) such as Sauvignon Blanc,Muscadet, and Chenin Blanc, some delightful, fruity and pleasant reds such as Cabernet Franc can be enjoyed here, as well.



    Mendoza
    In addition to flourishing vineyards nestled in the foothills of the snow-capped Andes (the highest peak on the South American continent), this Argentine region also touts nature reserves, alpine ski resorts, and a picturesque city. Various bodegas offer free tours and tastings all year long, while the annual harvest festival, Vendimia, kicks off in January and brings folkloric celebrations, grape-blessing ceremonies, and plenty of other merry events.

    Niagara
    Moderate temperatures and rich soils allow dozens of wineries in Southern Ontario (Canada) to turn out an excellent variety of vinefera grape harvests each year, from Chardonnay to Riesling to Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. But the region’s biggest claim to fame is its icewine, a delicious, intensely flavored wine created from grapes harvested after the first winter frost – the area is one of the only wine-producing regions in the world to produce the coveted product with such consistency and
    quality.

    Oregon
    Many speculate that, if it weren’t for the state’s more longstanding stint with Prohibition, Oregon today would be the de facto forerunner in the US wine-producing industry. As it is, the state currently lays claim to the second-greatest number of wineries of any state, and turns out more than 40 appellations including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, Riesling, and Syrah. The Willamette Valley is its thriving center (and the largest region), luring connoisseurs with its internationally acclaimed Pinot Noir and plethora of charming wineries that occupy some 100 scenic miles between Portland and Eugene.

    Porto
    Porto’s biggest claim to fame is the sweet fortified wine that bears its name and which has been aged here for centuries, in nearby Vila Nova de Gaia, where 50+ port traditional port lodges offer samplings and tours. Set aside an afternoon for some sampling of the renowned Sandeman label’s wares – the distillery was founded back in 1790 and housed in a former convent – or, for a less touristy experience, head to Taylor, Fladgate & Yeatman, a wonderfully atmospheric lodge that’s been around since 1692 and features some top-notch vintage brands.

    Tuscany
    For a romantic rendezvous or an enlightening vineyard tour, Italy’s best-known wine region is divine, especially during the autumn harvest season when you can really get in on the grape-stomping action and taste the fruits of your labor. Tuscany’s highlight is no doubt Chianti, the source of the country’s most famous wine, which is decked out in gothic bastions, olive groves, and 10,000 acres of sprawling vineyards in the shadow of protective mountains.

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    Gold Member Fonzarelli23's Avatar
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    My boyfriend and I went to Napa last March. It was sooo much fun. I'm not even a huge wine lover but it's just an experience in itself. There are wineries everywhere, tucked back in the hills or alongside the road. We just drove from winery to winery and tasted and ate! So much fun!

    We went up there for a weekend while we were visiting San Francisco for the week. It's amazing how you can go from a busy city to such peaceful hills in less than an hour.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, but there is a serious omission here. Okanagan Valley (in B.C.) wine has been winning all kinds of awards for the past few years.

    I love wine from all the regions mentioned, but I would stack quite a few BC wines, especially the whites, up against any from these areas.

    Try some, you'll like it!

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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    www.bcwine.ca

    http://www.bcwine.com/wineries.html

    http://www.winesnw.com/bchome.html

    Here are some links about BC wine and wineries. I did a week-long tour this summer and was very impressed by the quality of most of the wine I tasted. Like Fonzarelli, I would highly recommend a wine tour/vacation to just about anyone. It was fun, and educational. And now I want to learn more about wine, and even take a course once I'm done my thesis.

    I just joined an informal tasting group that meets every two weeks, and it's been great. Before that, I belonged to a wine-tasting society but it was too expensive for me.

    Wine is a world unto itself and there are a lot of interesting people connected to the industry.

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    Gold Member chuckpony's Avatar
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    My husband and I spent 3 days in Napa as part of our Honeymoon. I loved it and wanna go back! We stayed in a secluded cottage up in the hills. Mmmmmm wine!

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    Elite Member moomies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacific breeze View Post
    www.bcwine.ca

    http://www.bcwine.com/wineries.html

    http://www.winesnw.com/bchome.html

    Here are some links about BC wine and wineries. I did a week-long tour this summer and was very impressed by the quality of most of the wine I tasted. Like Fonzarelli, I would highly recommend a wine tour/vacation to just about anyone. It was fun, and educational. And now I want to learn more about wine, and even take a course once I'm done my thesis.

    I just joined an informal tasting group that meets every two weeks, and it's been great. Before that, I belonged to a wine-tasting society but it was too expensive for me.

    Wine is a world unto itself and there are a lot of interesting people connected to the industry.

    I've had some fruit wines (raspbery and blueberry wines) from Okanagan, they were delish. I'd love to go there for the fruits, maybe next summer. Ice wines from Ontario are GREAT. Must try if you haven't.
    I only like sweet desert wines but Canadian wines are awesome!

    If you think it's crazy, you ain't seen a thing. Just wait until we're goin down in flames.

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    Gold Member EvilMonkey's Avatar
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    Another few very serious ommissions:

    McLaren Vale
    Coonawarra ( Home of Grange! Australias top wine )
    Barossa Valley.

    To a lesser degree

    Margaret River
    Mudgee
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    They also forgot the Marlborough region of New Zealand makes some of the finest sauvignon blancs in the world. Stupid list.
    How can you trust anything that bleeds for 3 days every month but doesn't die?

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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    Oh yes, AO. I love those wines from New Zealand.

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    Woo go Niagara! Only an hour away!
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Default Re: World's Top 10 Wine Regions

    What's your favourite wine region?

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    Elite Member moomies's Avatar
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    Default Re: World's Top 10 Wine Regions

    I think Australian sparking wines are pretty good (though I don't know any particular region).

    If you think it's crazy, you ain't seen a thing. Just wait until we're goin down in flames.

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    Default Re: World's Top 10 Wine Regions

    We can't get a lot of the best ones over here. I sampled quite a few good ones when I was there, but...you can only carry so much back!

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    Elite Member moomies's Avatar
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    Default Re: World's Top 10 Wine Regions

    Oh yea I know, but as a Canadian you are allowed 2 L, I think, to bring back into the country (I'm only allowed 1L cuz I'm foreign. I usually lie at the customs though...they never check, it's voluntary, hehe).

    If you think it's crazy, you ain't seen a thing. Just wait until we're goin down in flames.

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