True wine lovers and aficionados know what the world has to offer. Countries such as Spain, France, California, Australia, Argentina and Chile are just some of the largest wine producers and exporters in the world. These areas have the perfect grape-growing climate and long traditions in winemaking, with billions of liters produced each year. Other countries, unlike these traditional produces, are able to provide only small supplies of domestic wines, not enough to quench the world’s thirst. If you find yourself in a local retailer’s wine cellar, or travelling abroad, these are the wine capitals that have given, and continue to give the best wines, consistent in quality and flavor.
Bilbao, located in the province of Biscay (autonomous community of the Basque Country), is the tenth largest municipality in Spain. Founded in the year 1300, Bilbao is a well-known industrial and cultural center and tourist destination, famous for its natural resources, geography, cooking and wine. Rioja is the famous wine region in Spain, located about 100 km south of Bilbao. It is divided into three major regions – Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja. About 250 million liters of wine are produced annually in Rioja (of which 85% are red (tinto), while the rest are white (blanco) and rosé (rosado). “The land of wines” has over 57 thousand hectares of cultivated land, producing a variety of delicate wines. Spain has over 250 wine regions, with Rioja and Priorat that produce wine of most lauded quality.
The land of Aborigines, rich in rainforests, deserts, beautiful coral reefs, beaches and national parts, is the fourth largest exporter of wine in the world. Governor Phillip brought the first vine cuttings from the Cape of Good Hope to the colony of New South Wales in 1788. Thirty five years later, Australian wine was exported for the first time. Today, over a billion liters of wine is made in 6 major wine regions of Australia each year. New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia are areas with an astonishing array of diverse climates and about 130 different grape varieties, allowing winemakers to produce well-reviewed Australian wines with unique and distinct flavors.
The sunny California is regarded as a top tourist destination, culturally diverse, with great nature preserves, relaxing resorts, shopping places, best cuisine, and the Sunset Strip. Napa Valley (Napa County, northern California) is one of the best American viticultural Areas (wine grape-growing region) in the North Coast wine region. Central Coast, South Coast and Central Valley are areas consisted of 12 most notable wine regions. The first commercial winery in California was opened in 1859 by John Patchett. California is a top wine and food destination in the US, with a wide range of world class wines offered for the enjoyment of your palate.
French wine has a worldwide reputation. About 8 million bottles are produced each year, all throughout France. There are 17 wine regions, with Bordeaux being the largest one, with the longest history in wine exporting. The city of Bordeaux mesmerizes with its beautiful architecture (cathedrals, gothic and baroque churches, museums), parks, squares, gardens, seaside resorts, restaurants and shopping centers. The wine is categorized into 6 main families with 60 different appellations. Consistent in quality, tasting Bordeaux wines is a must for every wine aficionado out there.