Baja California may seem like beer and tequila country but its grape-growing valleys like Guadalupe, San Antonio, and Santo Tomas, are producing 90 percent of all of the wine made in Mexico. “There’s a big market for good wine and there’s a lot of money here in Mexico,” says winemaker of Vena Cava, and British transplant Phil Gregory. “Guadalupe Valley is the name that brings people here.” More and more, the Guadalupe Valley is becoming known as the de facto wine route, known as the Ruta del Vino (route 3 from Ensenada) which traverses 135 miles encompassing about 50 wineries.
Ask any wine lover about wines from Argentina, and you'll probably get one of two answers – malbec or Mendoza. Just as wines made from the malbec grape are associated with Argentina, the country that made them great, Mendoza's influence on Argentina's wine industry is so strong that many people focus exclusively on this region.
Chile's wine heritage dates back to 1548, when Spanish monks brought wine grapes with them to the New World. The Spanish settlers quickly discovered that their new country's soils and climate were perfect for growing grapes. By the time Chile declared its independence from Spain in 1810, the Chilean wine industry was well-established and flourishing.
Virginia is well known for its revolutionary and Civil War history. One of the original 13 colonies, it’s practically the birthplace of the U.S. It’s less known however for the 150 wineries which dot the landscape, turning out respectable wines since the days of the founding fathers.
The Margaret River area is one of Australia's best-known wine regions. Although Margaret River produces only about three percent of Australia's wines, the region's wine producers make about 20 percent of Australia's "premium market" wines, according to the Margaret River Wine Association.
If Canada doesn’t scream wine to anyone, that idea might be forgiven. But if the Okanagan Valley isn’t on your list of wine places to visit, you’re sorely missing the proverbial boat. When one thinks of world-class wine the short list is easy: Names like Napa, Bordeaux, Piedmont, Rioja, Mosel, among others. Canada it seems, is better left to hockey and maple syrup. You might be embarrassed how wrong you can be.
Valencia's association with wine and the wine trade dates back to Neolithic times. Excavations of ancient gravesites have helped archaeologists document this tradition of grape cultivation. Certainly Valencia's long history as a prominent port city has bolstered its connections to winemaking and wine exports. Today, Valencia is Spain's third-largest city and biggest wine export center; its exporters send products from the Valencia DO to markets around the world.
The Azores, Portugal's Atlantic archipelago, are remote, to say the least. This group of islands is located about 950 miles west of Lisbon, Portugal's capital, smack in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The Azores were uninhabited when Portuguese explorers began to settle them in 1439. Today, the Azores still belong to Portugal, and the archipelago makes up one of the country's two autonomous regions.
Ribatejo is named for the banks of the Tejo (Tagus) River, which divides this wine region from northeast to southwest. This part of Portugal is known not only for wine but also for Lusitano horses and for Mertolengo cattle, both raised for use in Portuguese-style bullfighting. Ribatejo is Portugal's second-largest wine region, but the DO as a whole is still struggling to forge an identity.
Ribera del Guadiana is one of Spain's newest wine regions. The Extremadura area, which borders Portugal, Andalucía, Castilla-La Mancha and Castilla y León, has a long history of winemaking. The area's only DO, Ribera del Guadiana, was not established until 1997, when Extremadura's six Vino de la Tierra regions were combined. Ribera del Guadiana's diverse terroirs and large list of approved grape varieties have given the region's winemakers a lot to work with. The resulting wines vary greatly in style and quality, but Ribera del Guadiana's winemakers have established a significant goal, to make high-quality wines in the modern style that reflect the uniqueness of Extremadura.