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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The World's Top Ten Most Famous Wine Regions and Wine Holiday Destinations Part 6: SOUTH AFRICA.

National Flag of South Africa..


South African Wine Regions.
South Africa's wine country just North East of Cape Town is the seventh largest wine-producer in the world. South African wine producers work mainly with white grapes often Chenin Blanc.

The regions vineyards are noted for producing their own varieties of grapes by crossing different established strains, for example the rustic South African Pinotage which is a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsant grapes.
Sauvignon Blanc is also grown successfully in the cooler regions of the coast.

South African wine terrain.

STELLENBOSCH is the home of South Africa's most visited wine routes and in the heart of the Cape Winelands region. Surrounding the culturally rich center of the town of Stellenbosch there are more than 100 cellars to visit.

Anyone visiting Cape Town can, within a few hours' drive around the city, acquaint themselves with some of the vineyards that are now becoming so familiar with the wine-buying public all over the world.

Pinotage Grape Cluster.

There are thirteen wine regions to explore in South Africa, all have their own history and attractions as well as some of the regions' major wine brands.
These regions are namely:

a. Constantia famous for its Sauvignon Blancs;
b. Durbanville for its ideal wine producing climate;
c. Franschhoek for its complete range of wines, gourmet dining, top quality accomodation set in a picturesque vineyard valley.
d. Klein Karoo for its heady and passionate wines;
e. Olifants River;
f. Orange River for their Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir;
g. Paarl for its noble grape varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay wines;
h. Robertson Valley;
i. Stellenbosch;
j. Swartland;
k. Tulbagh;
l. Worcester;
all famous for Chenin Blanc, Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, their Cape cuisine and scenic beauty.

South African Game Cuisine.
Pinotage Wine.
Ethnic Chicken-curry pie.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The World's Top Ten Most Famous Wine Regions and Wine Holiday Destinations Part 5: AUSTRALIA.

A true Australian.


Australia has become one of the New-World's major wine producers, although it does not have one single indegenous grape. All grapes grown in Australia have originated from imported rootstock and their insistense to call Syrah, Shiraz, is only an effort to distinguish their Syrah wine from the rest of the world.

Neverthless, Australia's wine producing regions are vast and numerous as befits this large and beautiful country which is a continent in its own right.
Some of the most important regions that one would want to visit whilst on holiday in Australia might be one or two of the following:

A typical premium
Australian red wine.
1.New South Wales.

Hunter Valley:
This region is only about a two hour drive from Sydney and is Australia's best-known wine region. The region is well known for its Chardonnay, Semillon, Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc grape varieties and excellent wines produced from them.

Mudgee also in New South Wales but further away from Sydney. famous for its small individual boutique wineries and cooler climate Chardonnay.

2. South Australia.
 Rich in wine regions and exclusive vineyards:
Barossa Valley - an hour's drive from Adelaide. Famous for its Shiraz, Grenache and Semillon vineyards. Other grape varieties grown here are Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir.

Clare Valley; The Adelaide Hills; Mclaren Vale and Coonawarra are also well known grape growing regions and fine wine prucing regions.

3. Victoria.
The Yarra Valley a cool climate, low yielding wine region which is an hour's drive from Melbourne.

Mornington Peninsula south of Melbourne and The Macedon Ranges north-west of Melbourne.

All famous for their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, and Sauvignon sparkling wines.

4. Tasmania.
The Pipers River and the Tamar Valley region.

5. Western Australia.

Margaret River, three hours from Perth - there are about 40 wineries focusing on prime Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.

Pemberton - consisting of about 20 vineyards famous for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

The Great Southern Region - for Riesling; Chardonnay; Pinot Noir; Cabernet Sauvignon; and Shiraz wines.

Australian Lamb Tenderloin.
Cuisine in Australia is very varied, due to the massive immigration policies of the 1950's which consequently brought with it new ideas in food preparation, albeit from existing ingredients that were originally found in Australia. Up to the 1950's Australian cuisine was tied to that of the United Kingdom -King, Queen and country, but that has changed drastically to the better and Australia can boast some very good restaurants in most cities. There are no Michelin starred restaurants in Australia, as there is no Michelin guide for this country, but the top restaurants are awarded with Chefs' Hats. Australia has some of the very best beef and lamb in the world, which pair and complement to perfection the vast selection of wines found here.

Wine tours in Australia are organized by specialized wine tour operators from every major city in Australia, and would include: private transfers, private or small group tours; wine tasting in selected wineries and also wineries of choice; scheduled transport services; meals; first class and deluxe hotels; B&B or country accomodation; as well as customized tours for groups in any region. It is best to make arrangements for specialsied wine tours whilst in Australia, so that specific requirements can be discussed with the tour operator in accordance with one's budget.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The World's Top Ten Most Famous Wine Regions and Wine Holiday Destinations: Part 4 - GERMANY

Wine Regions of Germany


Germany is divided into 13 wine regions that are classified according to the quality category that the wine falls into.
These regions are: Baden; Franconia; Hessische Bergstrasse; Mitteilrhein; Mosel; Nahe; Palatinate; Rheingau; Rheinhessen;Saale-Unstrut; Saxony and Wurtemberg. There are also the Tafelwein and the Landwein regions.

Baden Sausages and Sauerkraut.
Premium Riesling
Germany's best white wine.
Baden is the southern most region and is in the famous Black Forest area. It is Germany's third largest region and due to its various soil types (from clay to volcanic stone), is the most diverse region. 23 per cent of the vineyards are planted with Spatburgunder grapes, producing full-bodied, velvety reds. The fresh fragrant whites are made from the flowery Muller-Thurgau; Pinot Gris; the spicy Gewurztraminer; the mild Gutedel and of course the world famous Riesling.

Riesling Grape Cluster.
Spatburgunder Grape Cluster.
Mosel-Saar-Ruwer is home to some of Germany's most famous vineyards. The Mosel wines are normally pale, fruity and light. This region is mainly famous for its Riesling wines.

Bavarian Sausages and potatoes.
Platz is the largest region by wine production and is bordered by France and the Rheinhessen. The best vineyards are in the north, with Forst, Wachenheim, Deidesheim and Ruppertsberg renowned for their Riesling once again. The following grape varieties Muller-Thurgau, Krenner, Sivaner and Morio-Muskat are also successfully grown in Platz.

Premium Spatburgunder Red
Wine from Germany.
The other regions although extremely picturesque in their own right as far as grape varieties and wine production is concerned are similar to the main regions. A wine tour holiday in Germany would normally cover one good region coupled with a normal holiday tour. Once the wines of Baden are tasted then most of the others would taste the same.

The Black Forest.
Black Forest Ham and bread.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The World's Top Ten Most Famous Wine Regions and Wine Holiday Destinations Part 3: CALIFORNIA, U.S.A.



California Wine Regions.
California is a vast state in the USA covering approxemately 163,707 square miles of land mass. With its fertile valleys and counties and mild climate, California is the most prominent wine producer as a region in The USA. It came to the forefront and to the world's attention as a major, premium wine producing region in May, 1976, when Californian Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons won that famous wine, blind tasting competion known as the Paris Tasting of 1976, against the best French wines of the same variety, and judged as the best by a panel of French judges.

Napa Valley sign.
Napa Valley has long been synonymous with superb wine and striking scenery, both of which draw millions of wine lovers to the region each year. Napa valley is home to some 400 unique wineries. The valley has a Mediterranean climate that is ideal for growing a variety of grapes from Cabernet Sauvignon for the red wines to premium Chardonnay for the white wines.

The Sonoma Valley in Sonoma County, nicknamed the "Valley of the Moon", features amazing vineyards, producing remarkable whites from varieties such as Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer and Riesling, as well as beautiful scenery and charming towns.

California Cabernet Sauvignon
grape cluster.
California, incidentally like Australia, South Africa and Chile, does not have its own indegenous grape varieties, although some wild grapes do exist in some regions, but international grape varieties planted from prime root stock over a long period of years, together with its superb climatic conditions for grape growing and cultivation, rewarded vineyard owners with world class Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Zindfandel (Primitivo in Italy), as well as Chardonnay, Riesling and Gewurztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Ribolla Gialla and Semillon to name the most popular.

Of course there are several other famous wine regions in California, and these would include: Lake County; Santa Barbara; Monterey County; San Diego; Central Valley; Mendocino County; San Luis Obispo; Marin County; Paso Robles; and the Siene Foothills. These all offer magnificent scenery, very good hotels, exceptional food choice and exquisite wine in the traditional American way and style.

California Zinfandel.
Wine tours in California are offered by a maltitude of operators in each region, and the best deal for overseas visitors would be simply to travel to the States on a normal holiday, and then book your wine tours and holidays directly whilst you are there. If one shops around, one could get a magnificent holiday at half the price that would otherwise have to be paid for, if it is booked from country of origin. All in all an exclusive wine holiday in California can be coupled with a myriard of other tours outside the sphere of the wine world.