We love the wines of California so much that we sometimes forget that there’s a big, beautiful “wine world” out there — from South America to Australia to Europe and beyond.
Here are a few fascinating facts about five of our favorite winemaking countries…
- ARGENTINA — Although considered a “New World” winemaking country, Argentina’s first grapevines were planted in the mid-16th century by Spanish missionaries. At that time, some of the more famous areas of Bordeaux in the “Old World” winemaking country of France had not yet been planted.
- AUSTRALIA — You want to talk about “old vine” vineyards? That term has no legal definition in the United States, and in California, is often is applied to vineyards that barely date back to the middle of the 20th century. But in Australia, there are a handful of still-producing vineyards that were planted in 1850. Now that is old!
- CHILE — With its beneficial natural barriers and its Mediterranean climate, it makes sense that Chile is home to some of the largest sustainably farmed, organic vineyards in the world. Those barriers? The Atacama Desert to the north, the Andes Mountains to the east, the Patagonian ice fields to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west — all of which help protect the vineyards against pests and disease.
- FRANCE — Although consumption has decreased somewhat in recent years, the people of France still consume more wine than residents of any other country on Earth — about 60 liters per person per year. What’s interesting is that a vast majority — 60% — of the wine sold in French supermarkets is red.
- ITALY — Whereas the French drink the most wine, the Italians make the most wine. In fact, is has been said that Italy is one giant vineyard, because you’ll find grapevines planted in all sectors of the country. It could simply be a matter of doing what you know; wine has been made in Italy for more than 2,800 years.