Global News

Friday, December 3, 2021

In these days when most people don’t move outside their suburb or city, here is some news from other wine growing parts of the globe.

MEXICO: Although as not well known for grape growing as Baja California on the west coast (just over the border from California USA), even within Mexico the central highland state of Guanajuato has been making wine since the 1520s – That’s a quarter of a millennia (250 years) before Australia was discovered! It died out for a while after the ruling Spanish government banned grape growing by anyone other than priests, but since the revolution in 1821 the locals have been making wine commercially. The environment is quite challenging as the region suffers from torrential downpours during the harvest season and in mid-summer the temperature difference between night and day can be as much as 30 degrees leading to what locals describe as “charismatic easy drinking wines”.

Nonetheless, over the last couple of decades thirty new wineries have been established and the region is thriving. Many of the newcomers planted “traditional” European varieties while a few have gone for emerging varieties such as Cabernet Franc.

The colourful and quaint capital, Guanajuato City, looks like it was sealed in a time capsule in the mid-1800s and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

DENMARK: Denmark was only recognised as a grape growing region by the EU in 2000. Today they have around 100 wine producers in the country, mainly located along the coastline in Zealand, Jutland and Funen where it is warmer than inland.  Their production is minute and the majority of vines planted are cold climate resistant hybrids such as, Solaris, but they are confident that in the warmer future they will be able to grow more traditional vitis vinifera varieties. It should be noted that the average Danish temperature has risen by 1.5ºC in the last century, with a further 1.5-2.0ºC rise expected this century due to global warming. Here is a rare instance of global warming being welcomed.

Skaarupøre Vingaard, located just outside the coastal town of Svendborg, is Denmark’s first biodynamic producer, making wines from Solaris and Rondo.

While it is very unlikely that Danish wines will be seen outside that country, it is interesting to know that they exist and are thriving. And who knows – remember English wine back in the 1980s and 1990s? The same explosive proliferation may happen one day with Danish wines, perhaps in the second half of this century, long after I have shuffled off this mortal coil.

Well that’s it for this week! Have a great week, stay safe and enjoy excellent Australian wines. Where possible choose #emergingvarieties. Cheers!

This Week's Wine Review:

This week I am talking about a very rare French red variety called, TROUSSEAU, which is also known as BASTARDO in Portugal where it is one of several varieties used in the making of Port. Originating in Eastern France it is a sibling to the white varieties Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc. Once quite widely planted, today there are only around 150 hectares left in Jura, where it is one of the five varieties permitted under the Jura Appellation. It is slightly more widely grown in Spain where it is also known as BASTARDO and the bulk of the world’s plantings are in Portugal where they have around 1,200 hectares. In both countries it is mainly used in blending and there are very few varietal BASTARDO wines released. There are small quantities grown in the USA, where again it is used in the production of fortified wine.

It is scarce here in Australia, with only ten growers. The main plantings are in South Australia where it was traditionally used as a component in making fortified wines.

So on to today’s wine, being the exciting, lively, Tasmanian STONEY RISE 2021 TROUSSEAU. Made in an amphora, this wine was not fined. It is light, bright purple in colour, has an attractive bouquet of dark fruits, blackberry with a hint of star anise and a modicum of earthiness.

The palate is medium-bodied with a lovely mouthful of juicy flavours that are quite savoury and a tight but not very grippy, lingering finish.

This is a beautiful wine from an exciting emerging variety that is well worth keeping an eye out for under either name TROUSSEAU or BASTARDO.

Cheers! Have a great week, remember to #chooseaustralianwine and where possible drink #emergingvarieties.

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