Time to tango with wines from Argentina, one of the top 5 wine-producing countries in the world and the largest exporter in the Americas. Indeed, Argentinians consume an average of 36 litres of wine per person per year! This country has come a long way since the 1990s, from drinking almost all their ordinary, copious production themselves to becoming a world-class wine-producing country with major export markets. Mendoza, Argentina’s most notable region, is tucked into the high desert foothills of the Andes and accounts for 70% of the Argentinian vineyard. Its 2000-kilometer long wine route along the Andes will take you to the highest vineyards in the world! Not only do Argentineans take pride in their wine-consumption, but their cuisine, as well; grass-fed beef is a distinguished part of their culture, and nothing pairs better with it than a beautiful glass of Malbec.
Where the vines are as old as the first inhabitants of the country! Over the past 20 years, Croatian wines have experienced a qualitative revolution. Croatia’s climate is ideal for producing both wine and olive oil, as it is located across from the Adriatic Sea from Italy. Some of the most unusual and beautiful vineyards can be found on more than 1000 islands and inlets! Go for a swim in the sea and cool off with a glass of this white wine from Dalmatia, a historic Croatian region. The grapevines that produced this wine nearly dip into the sea! It is refreshing with notes of peaches, honey, and flowers.
The Portuguese vineyard is the 8th largest in the world, and the Portuguese drink an average of 48 litres of wine per person per year! Visit here and you will be lucky enough to taste bacalhau, a salted codfish dried under the warmth of the Mediterranean sun, explore the rice fields of the Douro, and sip on Port, the country’s most famous wine. Port, despite being a fortified sweet wine, is a fresh and powerful and may be found in multiple specialty styles. Portugal is also known for its vinho verde ("green wine"), a crisp white wine with a slight spritz to it! Pair ours with cod in an olive oil, lemon, tomato, and basil sauce.
There is no risk of getting lost here, for 95% of South Africa’s wine production comes from western Cape Town! Make sure to visit Stellenbosch (City of Oaks), a town in the Western cape most famous for its production of pinotage, an unusual red wine specialty, and the oak trees which grace the streets. It is also the birthplace of Makena, one of our favorite wines! It is rich, fresh, and round; our sommelier recommends it with a spinach and salmon quiche!
The Spanish conquistadors brought the vineyard to Chile in the 16th century and today, it is famous for both its easy-drinking value wines and its more expensive gems. There are 6 wine regions planted with vines up to 140 years old waiting to be explored by you. Although the country’s most planted grape variety is cabernet sauvignon, carmenère—a French variety indigenous to Bordeaux—is the emblematic grape of the country. Make sure to check out the amazing valleys that align the vineyards, as well as enjoy a pisco sour, Chile’s traditional distilled spirit made from grapes!
In California, anything is achievable. This region has no boundaries, and it produces over 90% of all wine made in the United States. Because the climate and geography are so diverse, a large range of grapes are planted, but the silky pinot noirs and powerful cabernet sauvignons are the ultimate signatures of the region. You will be stunned by the gentle hills that accent the wineries of Napa Valley, and do not forget to visit Santa Barabra, “America’s Riviera.” It is no surprise that the kingdom of American wine is the second tourist destination in California behind Disneyland!
In Italy, wine is everywhere! When the ancient Greeks arrived in Italy, they baptized the country Oenotria, the land of wine. Drinking a glass of wine is just about as natural as breathing, as it is the number one wine-producing country in the world since it dethroned France in 2015! From the wonders of Tuscany, the land of the unmistakable Chianti, to the exotic islands of Sicily and Sardinia, there is much to uncover in this dream of a region. Our Italian wine below is from Tuscany and it's 100% Sangiovese, Italy's most prized grape. Sangiovese is perfect alongside a simple peppery extra virgin olive oil, whether is served with bread or tossed with pasta! And, if you desire to fit in as a true Italian, make sure to twirl you pasta with a fork instead of cutting it- it is okay to get a little messy!
While Spain is right behind France and Italy in terms of production, Spain has more land planted with grapes than any other country in the world: 2.5 million hectares or 1 million acres! This is mostly due to the immense amount of history in the region; the first vines in Spain may have been planted as early as 2500 B.C.! Although nearly 100 grape varieties exist in Spain, the most beloved and signature grapes of the region are albariño, an aromatic and zippy white grape that smells of citrus and flowers, and tempranillo, a powerful, sometimes even spicy, red grape. There are many wine regions in Spain, but Rioja has always been considered the greatest. It is especially known for its wines made with tempranillo, which are aged in barrels longer than any other wines in the world.
Some fun facts: wineries are referred to as "bodegas" in Spain and Spaniards use the verb "elaborar," to elaborate, when talking about making wine. Their wines are a beautiful creation- not just a mere production.