Rioja

if-you-like-rioja

Riojas have a lot in common with Bordeauxs. Both wines are made from a traditional distinct and time-tested blend of a few different varietals. Any wine classified as a Rioja will be a Tempranillo-based blend that incorporates smaller amounts of Garnacha, Mazuelo, and Graciano grapes. Rioja is especially known for the notes of vanilla and…

An Overview of the Spanish Wine Industry

an-overview-of-the-spanish-wine-industry

Both in quality and quantity, Spain is a world-class producer of wines. Currently there are close to three million Spanish acres sown with wine grapes, making it the most widely planted wine-producing nation. Worldwide, only France and Italy manage to bottle more wine than Spain. The discrepancy is due to Spanish vineyards’ tendency to have…

The Early History of Wine in Spain

Many species of grapes are native to the Iberian Peninsula, where they have grown wild for thousands of years. The first grapevines to have been cultivated for wine production were likely planted by the Phoenicians around 1100 B.C. in the area of Cádiz in the south. Phoenician viniculturalists taught wine-making techniques to local inhabitants of…

Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc

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When considering Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé, it can be hard to find comparisons because these wines stand out relative to Sauvignon Blancs produced in other parts of the world. Many in the wine world consider these wines to be the absolute best expression of the grape because they manage to showcase all…

Red Zinfandel, White Zinfandel

White Zinfandel is one of California’s all-time most-successful accidents. Zinfandel, the grape from which both red and white wine is made, is almost black in color. Although the vine is infamous for its unevenly-ripening berries (often, ripe black berries will hang next to a tart, green, small berry on the same bunch), White and Red…

High Altitude Vineyards

high-altitude-vineyards

Few factors affect the taste and quality of a wine more than climate. This broader term encompasses everything from altitude to weather. Given this season one of our episodes focuses on Malbecs from Mendoza, Argentina, we thought looking at how altitude affects wine was worthy of further examination. Malbecs grown in Mendoza, Argentina’s largest wine…

Paso Robles Zinfandel

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Zinfandel has a colorful past. Even though it was long thought to be an indigenous American grape, sometimes dubbed “California’s own,” its origins are Croatian. Zinfandel’s origins were not known for certain until as late as the 1990s, when researchers at UC Davis and in Croatia worked closely to determine that Zinfandel is the same…

The South American Wine Industry

According to Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson’s seminal World Atlas of Wine, South America is, after Europe, “the world’s most important wine producing continent.” European vines were cultivated in Peru as early as 1531 – long before those vines reached any part of the New World except Mexico. South America’s viticultural landscape has been influenced…

Mendoza Malbec

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Even though Malbec is currently most associated with Medoza, Argentina, the grape’s origins are French. Experts have traced Malbec to Auxerrois, a small region in Northern Burgundy, and to Southwest France. The grape currently thrives in several French regions. It is perhaps most associated with Bordeaux (where it is one of the five allowed varieties,…

Modern vs Traditional Wine Making in Burgundy

One of the things that came up during Vine Talk’s tasting of wines from Burgundy was the difference between wines made in a modern style and wines made in a more traditional style. One of the reasons that the wine from Burgundy is so treasured the world over is because it is a wine that…