There are classic wine regions like Napa Valley in California, Rioja in Spain, or Bordeaux in France, and sure, they’re magnificent and all, but why not try something new? All over the world, there are little pockets of wine magic being created that most people haven’t tried yet.
Here are three up and coming fantastic wine regions that you’ve probably never heard of:
Nestled in the northeastern corner of Hungary is a region called Tokaj, from which the sweet, delicious Tokaji wine hails from. What makes Tokaji wine so interesting and unique is that it’s actually made from a fruit fungus called gray mold, or botrytis, which develops on grapes in wet, foggy conditions and then dries when the sun comes out. It’s called “noble rot” because the result of this molding process is a lusciously sweet and rich juice that is considered the wine of kings. In fact, it is the wine of kings, considering that this region is the oldest defined wine region, established by royal decree in 1737.
We already know that Spain produces some of the world’s most beautiful wines but Toro is not usually among the names of the popular regions. Some of Spain’s best red wines are created in this little appellation in the northwestern part of the region, all of which are made with at least 75% Tinta de Toro grapes, a close cousin of the Tempranillo grape. Just 15 years ago, there were only about ten wineries in the area and now there are over fifty, each making their own robust and bold red wine.
Verde Valley, Arizona
Although Arizona is close to California, it certainly has never been anyone’s first thought when it comes to wine, however, this little subsection of the state has made a name for itself. The Verde Valley Wine Trail has over twenty wineries in the small town of Cottonwood which avoids the extreme temperatures of the Arizona desert because of the beautiful mountain ranges by which it’s surrounded. It’s also home to the Southwest Wine Center which is an educational hub for wine growers in the American Southwest, encouraging research and innovation within the region.
The next time you’re looking for something new and different to try, look to these up and coming wine regions and help support small winemakers!
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