Wine Guide by Country
This narrow country is privileged in having ideal climatic conditions for growing vines. Dramatic improvements in Chilean winemaking, as well as replacing local grape varieties with classic international varietals, has seen a tremendous surge in sale and popularity of Chilean wine.
The Australian wine industry is the 4th largest exporter in the world, placing particular focus on branding and usually conveying an 'easy drinking style' of wine. It has doubled both its vineyard surface and its wine exports since 1996. The country's most planted grape variety is Shiraz and is regarded as displaying what Australia does best.
New Zealand wine is largely produced in ten major wine growing regions spanning latitudes 36° to 45° South and extending 1,600 km (1,000 miles). Wine making dates back to colonial times, with British Resident and keen oenologist James Busby was attempting to produce wine as early as 1836. Today it is home of what is regarded as some of the world's best Sauvignon Blancs.
Portuguese wine is part of the ancient traditions introduced to the region by ancient civilizations and has the oldest appellation system in the world, the Douro Valley. This region produces some of the world's finest and unique wines, as Portugal has a very large variety of native grape breeds (about 500).
Without question, when you think of wine you think of France. As the world's largest wine producer and exporter, French wine traces its history to the 6th century BC, with regions dating their wine-making history to Roman times. The wines produced today range from expensive high-end wines sold globally to more modest wines usually only seen within France.
Today Italy produces an immense diversity of wines made from international and indigenous grape varieties. However it is the wines made from the local grapes that convey wonderfully distinctive flavours that are not found outside Italy's borders. Unlike French wine, the styles and character have not been `copied` all over the world.
Spain has greatly transformed and modernised its wine industry. The most famous wine region since the 19th century, La Rioja, is still the best known Spanish red wine region in the world. However the greatest example of marketing triumph was `Cava`, the name given to the ever popular Spanish sparkling wine.
Quality German wines and the greatness of German Riesling are often overlooked. Among enthusiasts, Germany's reputation is primarily based on its sweet wines and on it being home to the Riesling grape. The highly individual German Riesling grape. The highly individual German Riesling conveys a complex intensity and delicacy that is unique.
California is the USA's biggest and most recognisable winemaking region, however American wine has been produced for over 300 years and is today made within all fifty states. The USA is the fourth largest wine producing country in the world, with the production in California alone is more than double of the production of the entire country of Australia.
South African wine dates back to 1659, and at one time Constantia was considered one of the greatest wines in the world. Production is concentrated around Cape Town, with major vineyard and production centres also at Stellenbosch. South Africa can claim its own grape variety in the Pinotage grape, which is a crossing of Cinsault and Pinot Noir, while it is also regarded as the second