The 4 Most Unusual Wine Making Areas Of The World
When people think of wine, they often think of wine-producing juggernauts, Italy, France, and Spain. Of course, there are other nations around the Mediterranean that also make great wines that show up on many lists. With all of these wine-making countries, it seems strange that there are so many others that make wine while flying under the radar.
We expect wine to be produced outside of traditional areas there is a huge market for Australian and even Argentinian wines these days. But, some areas seem very unusual. Very odd in fact. In this article, we will show you some wines producing countries that you probably have never thought about.
1 – Morocco
Not many people would consider a Muslim country to be among the wine producers of the world. However, Morocco is one that makes some exceptional wines. In fact, they have a wine-making tradition that goes back to the ancient Phoenicians from over 2,000 years ago. The Romans continued the tradition until it faded after it became part of the Muslim Caliphate in the 8th century.
The French brought back the tradition under their occupation and now Morocco is back on its game and producers like Dune Wines are making some remarkable reds like Syrah and Grenache.
The high altitudes with cool nights and the Atlas mountains blocking the humidity from the Atlantic make for ideal wine-making conditions similar to the Rhone valley.
2 – Sweden
This cold, Scandinavian country has never had a wine-making tradition. It was well over the northern limit to where wine grapes could grow in enough quantity to make wines. However, that has changed with some very hard strains from Austria and Germany that have adapted well to the harsh conditions in Sweden.
These wines are called Solaris for white, and Rondo for red and have been getting more and more popular with locals. There would likely be more cultivated but Sweden has some outdated laws when it comes to wine production so vineyards have to sell the wines in their own restaurants and not in wine shops.
3 – Cape Verde
Cape Verde is an archipelago off the Western coast of Africa that was once a Portuguese colony. They brought the wine-making expertise with them to grow some varietals in the lunar landscape so prominent there.
One of the main areas is an active volcano that looks extreme but actually provides ideal conditions for growing wine grapes. The slopes of the volcano are very rich in minerals thanks to volcanic activity. Add the cool nights and humid air from the coast and it equals some incredible wines from an unusual area.
4 – Japan
Once again the Portuguese are responsible for bringing a wine tradition to a place that nobody would ever expect it. Portuguese traders arriving in Japan in the 16th century planted grapes for wine there and a cottage industry grew.
After the Portuguese left, the Japanese continued the tradition, but the wines they made were not fit for consumption outside of the area. They were mainly sweet as dessert wines which is what the locals wanted.
Lately, there has been a return to making more refined wines that were traditionally grown by the Portuguese.