7 Underrated Wine Producing Nations
When speaking about wine in terms of the most famous or the most popular, we usually refer to the main European countries, like Spain, France, and Italy. However, because of technological advances and research done on climate affect, more countries around the world are producing beautiful and unique wines. Below is a list of seven underrated wine producing countries:
Australia happens to be the world’s fourth largest wine exporter, with over 750 million liters sent out to the international market. Australia is a fairly large nation and wine is produced in almost every state, totaling in about 60 different wine regions throughout the country. Because of the varying climates all over Australia, each region produces a slightly different wine, but the most popular are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot.
In reference to sweet dessert wines, we usually think of Germany, however, Austria is known for theirs as well. The two countries border each other which means they have similar climates, and therefore have the conditions to produce similar wines. The Gruner Veltliner grape is the most popular in Austria, which is used to create the dry white dessert wines that we are so familiar with.
When it comes to South American wine, we usually think of Argentina or Chile, but Brazil has a unique wine production as well. Because of the hot and humid climate, most of the country’s wine production comes out of the geographical center. The most interesting thing about Brazil’s vineyards is that, although there are a lot of them, only some are actually used for creating wine. The rest produce table grapes which are meant to just be consumed fresh off of the vine in their natural state.
Generally we know China for its rice wine or sake, but in fact, the country has been producing grape wine for centuries. It wasn’t until the late 1890s that the process of true grape winemaking became relevant in China and the country produced its first 15 varieties of red and white wine. Now, there are hundreds of varietals being made all over the country, with Cabernet being among the most popular.
Famous for many of the world’s oldest traditions and ways of life, Greece has also been in the wine producing business for thousands of years. The tropical climate of the islands and Mediterranean climate of the rest of the country make for dozens of interesting wine producing regions and grapes, resulting in wines that are unique only to Greece.
Although Israel is only about the size of New Jersey, it has five very busy wine regions, each very different than the next due to the varying climates throughout the country. Because most of the nation is warm and dry, it’s harder to maintain acid levels to balance the high sugar content of the grapes, so Israel’s most popular varietals tend to be sweet whites, like Riesling and Muscat.
Wine production in Portugal was heavily influenced by the Roman Empire when the country began its major wine exports to Rome. The appellation system of Portugal, or geographical designation of wine growth, was actually created two centuries before that of France. Each region produces unique and differing varietals because of the varying climates throughout the country.