|Photo by Pavlo Boyko|
1. Istria, Croatia
Matosevic Winery in Istria is the longest standing vineyard in its area. The peninsula where the vineyard is located is the largest along the Adriatic Sea. The climate is ideal for growing Malvasia, the most widely planted white grape in the region.
To Sip: Alba Antica 2008, a barrel-fermented Malvasia Istiana, nutty and perfumed with the acacia wood in which it’s aged ($20).
2. Guerouanne, Morocco
Within the five wine-producing regions of Morocco, there are 14 recognized appellations. Guerouanne, in the Meknes region, near the city of Fez, has an ideal climate for growing grapes, with cool winters, hot summers and nights that always dip down no matter what the daytime temperature is. The locals say wine has been produced here for some 2,000 years. The red grape Cinsault thrives in Morocco, accounting for 40% of vineyard plantations.
To Sip: Fresh and fruity Les Trois Domaines 2010 Guerrouane Rouge, filled with red berry flavors and just a hint of hot-weather spice ($11).
Yes, all 50 states make wine. But that doesn’t mean all 50 states produce good wine. The number of wineries producing decent bottles in Virginia, for one, is on the rise. The state has produced wine since the country was founded. Most recently, a wine that has been worth writing about is Barboursville Vineyards’ Octagon, which has earned praise from critics far and wide.
To Sip: Barboursville Vineyards 2006 Octagon, a blend of Merlot, Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot has such great body and balance, it could pass for a stylish Bordeaux ($40).
4. Montevideo, Uruguay
Chances are you’ve never had a wine from Uruguay, the fourth largest wine producer in South America. Winemakers there push Tannat the way Argentineans push Malbec, but the grape is still largely unknown in the U.S. Its climate is said to approximate that of Bordeaux more than any other South American country. And, being a New World region, it’s not beholden to any grapes in particular.
To Sip: Viñedo de los Vientos 2004 Angel’s Cuvée, a blend of Chardonnay, Trebbiano Romagnolo and Viognier, redolent of dandelion and marzipan, with a hint of sherry-like oxidation ($15).
5. Sopron, Hungary
Hungary isn’t exactly an emerging wine region, per se. The Tokaj area is famous for its late-harvest dessert wines. Sopron, on the other hand, is known for elegant reds, in particular those made from the Kékfrankos grape (a.k.a. Blaufränkisch). It’s one of the few regions in Hungary that specialize in red wine. While many wines from Hungary – and from emerging regions as a whole – tend to be made in the “international” style, tasting as though they could be made anywhere. Sisters Birgit and Katrin Pfneiszl are currently transitioning to organic farming.
To Sip: Their earthy Pfneiszl Kékfrankos 2009, an Old World-style wine with a wild, rustic persona ($16).