11 wine regions to discover (or rediscover) during 2012

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We probably all have a tendency sometimes to choose the wine that sounds familiar or what happens to be easiest to find on the shelf. Here is a list to encourage you to look for those things that are a bit more off the beaten path in terms of wine regions.

1. Apulia, southern Italy

The landscape near Castel del Monte in Puglia (Apulia)
The landscape near Castel del Monte in Puglia (Apulia)

Today mostly known for Primitivo but interesting things is also made with Negroamaro and Nero di Troia. Ambitious producers have much more to offer than the easy drinking wines mostly sold today.

2. Entre-deux-Mers, Bordeaux

A big region between the rivers of Garonne and Dordogne. Most people just pass it on their way from the left bank to the right bank. But they should make a stop. Today you find lots of ambitious chateaux with amazing quality. Their owners do their utmost to convince people that Bordeaux is not only Grand Cru Classé.

3. Alentejo

The biggest region in Portugal. Sparsely populated, at least by humans but more so by oak trees. And handsome wine estates that offer a modern interpretation of the classic Portuguese wine style.

4. Burgenland, Austria

Austria is not only white wine and Grüner Veltliner. Close to the shallow Neusiedlersee, not far from the Hungarian border, growers make very good red wines from Zweigelt and Saint Laurent.

5. Swartland, South Africa

Cape wine is not only about Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschoek anymore. Swartland, north of Cape Town, has had a lot of success recently. New and young wine makers are aiming high.

6. Savoie, France

Maybe you go skiing in the Savoie mountains? Don’t forget to taste the local wines as well. The whites are good, especially the Roussette de Savoie, made from the local grape Altesse, but they have also some interesting reds. I particularly like the grape Mondeuse, often quite harsh and tannic but lovely with food.

7. Istria, Croatia

Sagrantino di Montefalco grapes in Umbria
Sagrantino di Montefalco grapes in Umbria

Malvazija is a white variety that exists in many versions around the Mediterranean. The Istrian version is definitely the most interesting. Especially if you give it a long skin contact, like they do, here in Istria.

8. Umbria, Italy

Umbria is i little bit in the shadow of its more famous neighbour Tuscany. But Orvieto is well worth rediscovering because the Orvietos of today are not like they were a few years ago.

9. Greek Macedonia

The northern part of Greece has a number of wine styles and grape varieties. You can try white wines from grapes like Malagousia och Limnio, grown on the beautiful peninsula of Halkidiki and fabulous reds made from the powerful Xinomavro, full of character, in Naoussa. The dramatic landscape with high mountains and the rich history is a bonus.

10. Jurançon, France

This beautiful and small white wine district is in the south west of France, close to the city of Pau. Jurançon was long only known for its sweet wines. They are also good, but we would like to promote the dry wines from Jurançon, made from the grape gros manseng. The dry wines have their own appellation Jurançon Sec (only Jurançon on the label means a sweet wine).

11. Jerez, Spain

In hot Andalusia in the south of Spain some of the worlds most crispy and dry white wines are made. The world of wine is fantastic. It doesn’t matter how many wines we try, nothing beats a fino as an aperitif.

What have we missed? What is your favourite unknown wine region? Write a comment!

[box type=”info”]If you are interested in discovering some of those wine regions on site, then you should perhaps take a look at our wine and food travel programs![/box]

Gravely Graves soil in the vineyard
Gravely soil in Bordeaux vineyards, copyright BKWine Photography

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3 Responses

  1. I’m interested that you put Puglia at the top of your list. In October I visited the region and attended Terronia, the wine school of Southern Italy held in Lecce. The school is organised by Silvestro Silvestori at the Awaiting Table cooking school.
    The Puglian wines we tried were very impressive. I particularly liked a sparkling pink wine made from Negroamaro. We also experienced wines from other regions of Southern Italy -Calabria, Basilicata and Sicily. My impression is that all of these regions will become more prominent over the coming decade as improved technology revitalises the industry and we get to see more of the interesting local grape varieties a their best.

  2. The list is not in any order of priority so Apulia just happens to be #1.

    But why do you think

    “all of these regions will become more prominent over the coming decade”?

    Any good reasons for thinking so or is it more wishful thinking? ;-)

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