Located in the southerly region of Maconnaise, the largest of Burgundy's regions, is Vire-Clesse. The Maconnaise offers a virtual border between Northern and Southern France, and you can really notice it. Here the climate gets decidedly warmer and everything looks slightly more Mediterranean, even the houses take on the white walls and blues roofs usually associated with parts of Greece. Harvest begins a full two weeks earlier than in Chablis, the most northern part of Burgundy. Although Vire-Clesse is a relatively new appellation of south Burgundy, outstanding wines have been made here for centuries. The influence of the warmer climate shows in their wonderfully structured Chardonnays which display a freshness of soft apple and white peach aromas.
Champagne is the most northerly wine region in France and is situated north-east of Paris. Achieving true ripeness of the grapes can be a problem in this cool climate, which is one reason why a blend of grape varieties is used. Chardonnay provides fruit and elegance, while the Pinot Noir provides acidity and ‘backbone’. The area in which this Champagne is made reflects the specific landscape of the Côte des Bar, which lies on the extreme south east corner the region. The more southerly position, compared to the rest of Champagne, means that average temperatures are slightly higher, and with south-eastern facing slopes the grapes attain excellent maturity.
St Emilion is one of Bordeaux's largest producing appellations. It is also one of the prettiest of Bordeaux's wine towns, perched on top of the steep limestone slopes upon which many of the region's finest vineyards are situated. The variety of wines in St Emilion is the result of the remarkable geology and microclimate. Merlot vines tend to reign in Bordeaux’s Right Bank, and is blended with Cabernet Franc, the charming and aromatic relative of the Cabernet Sauvignon. St Emilion was first officially classified in 1954, and is the most meritocratic classification system in Bordeaux, as it is regularly amended. The most recent revision of the classification was in 2012. Saint-Emilion Grand Cru wines are produced under slightly tighter production restrictions than regular St-Emilion wines. As with other Grand Cru appellations, the intention behind this is to improve the quality, and to distinguish the area's finer wines from the more everyday wines.
The Cotes du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu appellation is located close to Les Dentelles de Montmirail. The cool Mediterranean climate of hot, dry summers and cool winters provide excellent ripening conditions, resulting in brilliantly rich wines. The gravel where the vines are grown rests partly on blue clay and partly on zaffre sandstone, which ensures moisture reaches the vine roots, protecting them from summer droughts. This helps produce wines that are high in colour, dense and concentrated. The aromas produced are reminiscent of the surrounding land with a scent of thyme.
Pouilly Fumé completes for top spot on the French Sauvignon Blanc ladder, but can often get over looked by its better-known neighbour – Sancerre. The local terroir is given the credit for Pouilly-Fume's very particular aroma and flavour. Its cool climate and proximity to the River Loire, allows the wine to maintain its acidity, while the key soil types limestone and flint, have excellent heat-retention and light-reflecting properties which help the vines to achieve optimal ripeness in the cool growing season. Usually it is red wines that are made from vineyards with limestone soils, but in this case the limestone gives Sauvignon intense but light-bodied flavour character.
Utiel Requena is a Spanish Denominación de Origen (DO) for wines located in the province of Valencia (Valencian Community). It takes its name from the two neighbouring towns of Utiel and Requena. With an altitude ranging 600/900 metres above sea level, Requena is located in a valley watered by the River Magro. This enables the high diurnal - temperature variation between day and night - allowing for great growing conditions. The Requena region is one of the largest in Spain and is the only region in which wine has been continuously produced for more than 2500 years. Grape growing is Utiel-Requena's driving economic force. The region has enjoyed fame and demand since, particularly during the late 19th Century when outbreaks of phylloxera devastated production in France – Utiel-Requena's wines helped to fill the void.
Rioja is in North Central Spain. The entire valley is moderated by the Sierra Cantabria, a small but jagged mountain range that impacts greatly the weather conditions of the Rioja valley. Rioja has three distinct areas: Rioja Baja, Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. Our wine is from Rioja Baja, where the wines are more fruit-forward and can be enjoyed right away. The vineyards are located in the southerly part of the Baja, where it is warmer and suitable to the demands of Garnacha.
The steep green hills of Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene are situated mid-way between Venice and the Alps, in the North East of Italy. Influenced in equal measures by Alpine breezes and the Adriatic Sea, the region delivers cool climate with an abundance of sunny days. The golden bunches of Glera grapes - the ancient name for Prosecco - are nourished by a soil called “caranto”, an ancient layering of rocks composed of dense clayey slimy ground with chalky bottom. The proximity to sea and its prevailing winds give the grapes a distinct flavour and freshness.
The vineyards of Chianti Classico appellation is the most ancient Chianti area in Tuscany. Chianti Classico is a leading Tuscan DOCG zone which covers approximately 7,000 hectares between Florence and Siena. Its vineyards stretch into the Apennine foothills at altitudes of between 150m and 500m, and encompass two distinct terroirs and styles. The sandy, alluvial soils of the lower sites yield fuller, meatier wines while the limestone and galestro rocks of the higher vineyards deliver finer, more ethereal examples.
Vermentino di Gallura is Sardinia's only DOCG appellation, and covers white Vermentino-based wines from a large area at the northern end of the island. The title held DOC status from 1975 until September 1996, when it became the island's first DOCG. The grapes for this particular wine come from Monti, Olbia, and are located 300/500 in altitude, a height that allows the grapes to retain their freshness. The subsoil is of granite origin and is rich in potassium. This characteristic, combined with this windy area and the warm temperate climate, determines a unique product.