It’s always fun to explore little known wine regions. So this week I’m going to highlight:
- A relatively new wine region;
- An old wine region making a comeback;
- A wine region you’ve probably never heard of.
A relatively new wine region
Michigan’s wine country is relatively young, and relatively tiny with only 1,800 acres devoted to wine grape cultivation as of 2007. While most of Michigan’s grape production is for table grapes or juicing, Michigan is becoming known for her fruit wines (cherry), and sweeter wine (eiswein). Other varietals grown in the four Michigan wine regions are Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Riesling.
An old wine region making a comeback
Moldova is a land-locked country near the Baltic, between Ukraine and Rumania. No wine newbie, Moldova has produced wine for more than 4,000 years. The interesting thing about Moldova, besides her relatively flat, temperate, and river-crossed terrain, is that she is now overcoming years of political and religious upheaval that caused considerable interruption to her wine industry. Well on the rebound, current famous Moldovan varietals are the floral and fresh Feteasca Alba (white), and the red Feteasca Neagra (fruity, cherry) and Rara Negra (vanilla, earth tones).
A wine region you’ve probably never heard of
Tasmania has been cultivating wine for at least a hundred years. But do you automatically think Tasmanian wine? Thought not. In fact, “Tassie” was one of the first countries to export vine cuttings to Australia. Australia then proceeded to overshadow her smaller neighbor in the wine world. But today, Tasmania is beginning to get the world’s attention. Her cooler northern region, Tamar Valley, is known for typical cold-weather wines: Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blancs and crisp, dry Rieslings. Southern Tasmania, which is warm and dry, is home to typical warm-weather wines like Shiraz (as Syrah is commonly known there).
If you’ve tried wines from Michigan, Moldova or Tasmania, I would love to hear about your experiences.