Vinho Verde: Portugal's Largest Wine Region

The first thing you should know about Portugal's Vinho Verde wine region is that the name, which translates to "green wine," doesn't describe the color of the wine produced here. Instead, the name refers to the tradition of drinking Vinho Verde wines while they are young. In fact, the worst thing you can do to a Vinho Verde wine is save it for next year.

Navarra Wine Region of Spain: History, Wines, & Producers

In December 2008, the Navarra DO will celebrate the 75th anniversary of its first constitution. Of course, Navarra has been producing wines for much longer than 75 years. In fact, archaeological finds from the second century B.C. include Roman-era earthenware wine jars. Perhaps the DO should be celebrating its 2,075th anniversary instead.

Rheinhessen: Germany's Largest Wine Region

Size Isn't Everything Rheinhessen's long winemaking history and large size are the building blocks of its reputation in the world of wine – and there are pros and cons associated with both. Rheinhessen's most famous wine, Liebfraumilch, while well known as far back as the mid-1700's, might well be called "infamous" today because of its reputation for insipid sweetness. Still, it's hard to argue with brand-name success, so you're likely to find Liebfraumilch prominently displayed in your local wine shop's German section.

Cariñena: Wine and History in the Heart of Aragón

Cariñena's winemaking heritage goes back a long way. The Romans who built Carae, today's Cariñena, discovered that the local inhabitants mixed wine and mead – a fermented beverage made from honey and water – as early as the third century before Christ. The Romans continued this winemaking tradition, as they did wherever they settled in western Europe.

Germany's Saale-Unstrut Wine Region: One Thousand Years of Winemaking

Most wine drinkers have never heard of Saale-Unstrut, unless they happen to live in Germany. That's understandable, since nearly all the wine produced in this small German wine region is consumed locally. Wine production varies here, because Saale-Unstrut lies so far north. In particularly harsh years, crops are lost and production declines accordingly. Still, Saale-Unstrut has a proud winemaking history, dating back over a thousand years.