Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from fermentation of grape juice. The natural chemical balance of grapes is such that they can ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Although fruits other than grapes can also be fermented, the resultant wines are normally named after the fruit from which they are produced (for example, apple wine) and are known as fruit wine (or country wine). Others, such as barley wine and rice wine (e.g. sake), are made from starch-based materials and resemble beer more than wine; ginger wine is fortified with brandy. In these cases, the use of the term "wine" is a reference to the higher alcohol content, rather than the production process. The commercial use of the word "wine" (and its equivalent in other languages) is protected by law in many jurisdictions. Wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast which consume the sugars found in the grapes and convert them into alcohol. Various varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts are used depending on the types of wine produced.
Wine stems from an extended and rich history dating back about 8,000 years and is thought to have originated in present-day Georgia or Iran. Wine is thought to have appeared in Europe about 6,500 years ago in present-day Bulgaria and Greece and was very common in ancient Greece and Rome; the Greek god Dionysos, and his Roman counterpart Liber represented wine. Wine continues to play a role in religious ceremonies, such as Kiddush in Judaism and the Eucharist in Christianity.
Vineyards around the town of Barolo
produced in Italy
, a country
which is home to some of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world. Etruscans
settlers produced wine in the country long before the Romans
started developing their own vineyards
in the second century BC. Roman grape-growing
was prolific and well-organized, pioneering large-scale production and storage techniques like barrel-making
. Two thousand years later, Italy remains one of the world's foremost producers, responsible for approximately one-fifth of world wine production in 2005.
Wine is a popular drink in Italy. Grapes are grown in almost every part of Italy, with more than 1 million vineyards under cultivation. In some places the vines are trained along low supports. In others they climb as slender saplings.
Most wine-making in Italy is done in modern wineries. However, villagers who make wine for their own use sometimes still tread the grapes with their bare feet, until the juice is squeezed out. They believe this ancient method still makes the best wine. (Full article...)
Pierre Brejoux was Inspector General of the Appellation d'Origine Controlee Board, which controls the production of top French wines. he served as an expert wine taster in the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. In the blind tasting, California wines won both the red and white wine categories. After the tasting, there were many calls for him to resign his position as Inspector General because so many people and groups were highly displeased with the results. He is also the author of several books on French wine. (Full article...)
Screaming Eagle Winery and Vineyards is a California wine estate producing limited amounts of varietal wine. The winery is located in Oakville, California, north of the town of Napa in the Napa Valley, and their product has risen to the status of "cult wine".
Jean Phillips, a former real estate agent, bought the 57 acres (23 ha) vineyard in 1986 which was planted to produce a mix of varieties, most of which Phillips sold to various Napa wineries. With all white varieties but for 1-acre (0.40 ha), approximately 80 vines of Cabernet Sauvignon, Philips sought the opinions of Robert Mondavi Winery staffmembers on the commercial potential of her wine before hiring Richard Peterson as a consultant, and subsequently met Peterson's daughter, Heidi Peterson Barrett, who became her winemaker. (Full article...)
grape is a wine grape
variety originally planted in the Médoc
region of Bordeaux
, where it was used to produce deep red wines
and occasionally used for blending purposes in the same manner as Petit Verdot
A member of the Cabernet family of grapes, the name "Carménère" originates from the French word for crimson (carmin) after the hue of the grape in fall. The grape is also known as Grande Vidure, a historic Bordeaux synonym, although current European Union regulations prohibit Chilean imports under this name into the EU. Along with Cabernet sauvignon, Cabernet franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit verdot, Carménère is considered part of the original six noble grapes of Bordeaux, France.
Now rarely found in France, the world's largest area planted with this variety is in Chile in South America, with more than 4,000 Hectares (2006) cultivated in the Central Valley. As such, Chile produces the vast majority of Carménère wines available today and as the Chilean wine industry grows, more experimentation is being carried out on Carménère's potential as a blending grape, especially with Cabernet Sauvignon. Carménère is also grown in Italy's Eastern Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions and in smaller quantities in the California and Walla Walla regions of the United States.
In Australia, three cuttings of Carménère were imported from Chile by renowned viticultural expert Dr Richard Smart in the late 1990s. After two years in quarantine, only one cutting survived the heat treatment to eliminate viruses and was micro-propagated (segments of individual buds grown on nutrient gel) and field grown by Narromine Vine Nursery. The first vines from the nursery were planted in 2002 by Amietta Vineyard and Winery in the Moorabool Valley (Geelong, Victoria) who use Carménère in their Angels' Share blend. (Full article...)
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