For centuries, wine making has brought people together and now happens worldwide. Here are some of the best places to visit if you're a wine lover.
A friend was dining at the restaurant of a hotel in Normandy while attending the annual dinner hosted by the agro-chemicals company he works for.
He went with the recommendation of the sommelier for the pairing. It was a Bordeaux from one of the many Chateaus in the region.
The wine was so good that he picked up two bottles for a special occasion even though they cost a hefty 80 euros each.
The two bottles remained in his cellar with some other wines for a few years. His cellar is actually meant for his garden produce, mainly potatoes.
Idly leafing through a magazine at his dentist’s, a name of the wine popped up and he remembered that he had a couple of bottles. The reserve price for the auction of the wine was 13,000 pounds per bottle.
Upon checking the year he found, he indeed did have two bottles that he could sell for 26,000 pounds or perhaps even more. Entirely unintended but he had made a good investment.
Investing in wines can be profitable for those who possess the knowledge. Many earmark five to 20% of their portfolio to wines. The same as investing in any product, commodity, cryptocurrency or stock, while investing in wines, dedicated research and knowledge is important.
After that the luck element, as with all investments, plays its role. The ups and downs on the prices of table wines do not reflect on vintage varieties.
With this article, we begin a miniseries on the best winemaking regions in the world and shall give you associated information on wines with each of the articles.
Even though the Bible claims that it was Noah who first made wine, Georgia, at the intersection of Europe and Asia is said to be the ‘cradle of wine’ and is estimated to have first produced wines around 6,000BC.
At the same time, in all fairness, it must be said that it is the Catholic priests and monks who are involved in the production of some of the best wines.
Where else to begin but with the fabled city of Bordeaux. The wines produced in this region are predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Some of the vintages that are worth keeping in your cellar can swell in value over just a few years or fetch an outlandish price over a generation. In recent times, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2015 have been particularly good years. Even the average varieties costing between 10 to 15 Euros are worth consuming, some of them quite excellent.
It’s not just wines and the gourmet dinners offered by many of the Chateaus, the city is famous for its history, the Gothic Cathedral Saint-Andre, the many mansions, river quays and the Three Graces Fountain.
The city is one of the major tourist attractions in France. Some of the best quality foie-gras is also produced here.
Bordeaux dates back to the times of the ancient Romans and the people of Bordeaux are called Bordelais for men and Bordelaises for women.
Many of the vineyards belong to the church and it’s not at all an exaggeration to say you will see a priest or two in a very expensive Mercedes or a Rolls Royce.
Looking for some of the best, crisp whites? The UNESCO protected vineyards of Lavaux are one of the top open secrets. Little known, but Switzerland produces some of the most excellent wines in the world.
Lavaux wines are special and the grapes are said to ripen due to three sources of heat – the sun, the reverberations caused by Lake Geneva and the heat that emanates from the stone walls.
A decent bottle of Lavaux will set you back around 25 Euros equivalent. This hilly region around the south-west of Lake Geneva is by itself worth a visit.
It’s only around 800 hectares. The right way to see Lavaux is by walking or on a bicycle.
Mutenia and Oltenia
Parts of this underrated country, Romania, have the perfect soil and climatic conditions for growing wine grapes. Some of the vintners are said to have sold their holdings in France and have bought much larger vineyards in Romania with the money they received.
The whites made from the local grape varieties are particularly good to excellent. The south of the Carpathians enjoys Mediterranean influences and the regions of Mutenia and Oltenia are most known for wines.
This historical area is situated between the south of the Danube and the Carpathian mountains also known as the Transylvanian Alps.
The Olt river is to the west. A holiday in the area for the purpose of tourism is worth it and wine tasting comes as a bonus.
Struma Valley, Thracian Valley, Rose Valley
One of the oldest wine producing countries, Bulgaria is also undervalued though it has the ideal climatic conditions and produces some of the finest wines.
The Chardonnays, Merlots and Syrrahs from the country are particularly good. Interestingly, many of the wine producers in Bulgaria use modest labels on their bottles and do not especially care to show off their products via fancy labelling.
According to them the product speaks for itself and they are probably right.
The old fashioned attractiveness and the charm of all of the three picturesque regions is a more than adequate reason to visit and load up on some of the first-rate wines on your way back.
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