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Viognier (“Vee-own-yay”) is a full-bodied white wine that originated in southern France. Most loved for its perfumed aromas of peach, tangerine and honeysuckle, Viognier can also be oak-aged to add a rich creamy taste with hints of vanilla. If you love to brood over bolder white wines like Chardonnay, Viognier is definitely something you’ll like to swirl. The origin of the Viognier grape is unknown; it is presumed to be an ancient grape, possibly originating in Dalmatia (present day Croatia) and then brought to Rhône by the Romans. One legend...

Columbus Day is a national holiday celebrated on the second Sunday of October. In addition to being celebrated in the United States, Puerto Rico, Italy and Spain also celebrate Columbus Day. The purpose of the day is to celebrate Christopher Columbus discovering America in 1492. Christopher Columbus is responsible for the introduction of European culture into the Americas. When he discovered the Americas in 1492, he spread the word of a new land and thus began the migration of Europeans into the Americas. Italian-Americans, especially, are proud that an Italian...

After fermentation is completed and wine is racked several times to remove the largest solids, the young wine is usually rough, raw and “green” and needs to settle for a period of time. This aging can be done in neutral containers such as stainless steel, cement lined vats, old large casks, etc. or it can be done in small relatively new wood barrels which are not neutral, but which will influence the developing wine. The oak wine barrel is one of the most recognizable symbols associated with wine. We have...

  Tannat is a red-wine grape whose origins lie in the Basque country, on the border between France and Spain. Here, in the shadow of the Pyrenees Mountains, the terrain is rough and rugged, so it is only fitting that Tannat should create wines which are equally deep, dark, dry and rustic. Although Tannat is still used among the foothills here, the most famous Tannat wine is made a little way to the north, in Madiran. The name of this tiny village, which is also home to the less-famous white Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh, is virtually synonymous...

Nebbiolo (Italian), or Nebieul (Piedmontese) is an Italian red wine grape variety predominantly associated with its native Piedmont region, where it makes the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) wines of Barolo, Barbaresco, Roero, Gattinara and Ghemme. Nebbiolo is thought to derive its name from the Italian word nebbia which means "fog." During harvest, which generally takes place late in October, a deep, intense fog sets into the Langhe region where many Nebbiolo vineyards are located. Alternative explanations refers to the fog-like milky veil that forms over the berries...

Vinification or winemaking is a term used to describe the winemaking process. Vinification will vary depending on the type of wine being produced, such as reds, whites, sparkling or sweet. Although the vinification process is fairly consistent, winemakers have considerable latitude to experiment with their talents to produce newer, more innovative wines that showcase each vineyard’s unique qualities. The vinification process includes all the steps necessary to get the grapes from harvest to bottling. Some variations occur depending on the type of wine being made. Central to the process is...

Any wine enthusiast would know that an understanding of the difference between the old world and new world wine varieties is essential in maximizing the wine-tasting experience. This is because these two varieties have general differences between them that affect their taste, price, and availability When someone uses the term Old World they are referring to wines made in countries that are considered the birthplaces of wine, basically that’s Europe and the Middle East. Some of the countries that are Old World include: France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Austria, Greece, Lebanon, Israel, Croatia,...

The Carménère grape is a wine grape variety originally planted in the Médoc region of Bordeaux, France, where it was used to produce deep red wines and occasionally used for blending purposes in the same manner as Petit Verdot. A member of the Cabernet family of grapes, the name "Carménère" originates from the French word for crimson (carmin) which refers to the brilliant crimson colour of the autumn foliage prior to leaf-fall. The grape is also known as Grande Vidure, a historic Bordeaux synonym, although current European Union regulations prohibit Chilean imports under this name into the European Union. Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot, Carménère is considered part of the original six...

A large part of the science, and the art, of winemaking has to do with managing exposure to oxygen. The detrimental effects of excessive oxygen - in the form of browning, development of aldehyde aromas, and the loss of fruit flavour - have been recognised since Pasteur (Halliday and Johnson, 2003). Preventing oxygen contact is the primary concern of modern reductive methods for making wine. This is especially true of most contemporary white winemaking in the New World. On the other hand, winemakers deliberately encourage oxygen exposure at certain steps...