The best wine regions in Europe (Unknown)
The best wine regions in Europe are still waiting to be discovered.
In this article, I want to speak about some of the best wine regions in Europe. It might surprise you that these are still undeveloped from the point of view of tourism, yet they have a great potential.
Everyone knows wine regions like Tuscany and its surroundings like Montalcino and Bolgheri. There’s also the well-known Rioja in Spain and the world famous Champagne area in France.
However, some of the best wine regions in Europe are still unknown, yet they are always improving the quality of their wines.
1. Romagna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Romagna is an area in the North of Italy well known for the entertainment on its coast but less well known for its wine. In the past few years, the quality of its wine has increased massively.
The landscape is enchanting: the Apennines go from Imola to Rimini, passing through Faenza, Forlì, and Cesena.
This region produces Sangiovese, with its denomination ‘Sangiovese di Romagna DOC’. It also gives birth to an excellent white wine, the Albana of Romagna, with its denomination ‘Albana di Romagna DOCG’.
One of the areas most dear to me personally is the area around the town of Brisighella with its ancient village of genuine beauty. I highly recommend visiting here. (See the main picture above)
Sangiovese here is a bit more rustic than the Tuscany one but, in recent years the mastery of its producers has made giant steps forward. As especially notable producers, I mention ‘Fattoria Zerbina’ in the Faenza area and ‘Tenuta la Viola’ in the Forlì area.
2. Bairrada and Dão, Portugal
In Portugal, almost everyone knows the famous area of the Douro, near the city of Porto. However, not far from there is another of the best wine regions not only of Portugal but of the whole of Europe.
Bairrada and Dão are becoming quite famous for the fabulous wines of Touriga National and Tinta Roriz. These vines are mainly red and are sometimes mixed with the international Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah to soften them a little.
In this region, we find the pure essence of traditional Portuguese wines: a lively, deep and spicy character that can evolve over several years. Here we find many hills of granite, clay, and limestone that make their wines rich in strong tannins.
3. Vulture, Basilicata, Italy
There is a small wine-growing area in the region of Basilicata in southern Italy named after the extinct volcano Vulture.
In the last few years, its wine development has exploded and has now become one of the best-undiscovered wine regions.
This area produces a fantastic red wine from Aglianico grapes.
‘Aglianico del Vulture Superiore DOCG’ is its most famous denomination. The character of this wine is strong, robust, with an elegant tannin and a strong minerality that lends itself well to aging. The soil is soaked with lava, from the previous eruptions of millions of years ago, which gives the wine a unique minerality.
An interesting fact is that the Aglianico is a late vine and is harvested between October and November.
4. Ribeira Sacra, Valdeorras e Bierzo. Spain, Galicia.
In the North-West of Spain, in Galicia, there is one of the best wine regions in Spain that remains unknown.
In recent years, producers in this area have grown considerably, so much as to arouse the attention of wine lovers.
This region is beautiful, located near the Atlantic Ocean: the hills are green and lush and the towns remain untouched by time.
The wines are mainly light, dry and fresh. The most important grape varieties are the Palomino, the Godello, and the Albarino for whites; and the Alicante Bouchet, and Tempranillo for reds.
Ribeira Sacra makes Galicia the most interesting area for reds that are fragrant and light.
Valdeorras is more famous for the whites of Godello which are also suitable for aging.
In Bierzio instead, we find the more fruity and aromatic wines of Spain. Here the most famous grape is the Mencia that creates red wines which are still good enough to drink when young.
Among the best producers. I’d like to mention Raul Perez and Valdesil.
5. South England, United Kingdom.
It might be surprising to discover that even the English produce wine. Very few know about this and I was surprised to discover this myself a few years ago.
In recent years the south of England has seen a real rise in temperature due to global warming. Yet, the climate is still fresh and the most common varieties are the Chardonnay, the Pinot Noir, and the Pinot Meunier.
Here, the best wines are made with the classic sparkling method, as the climate is like that found in Champagne in France.
The best wine regions of Southern England are Sussex, Surrey, and Kent. They are all located south of London where the climate is warmer.
It’s interesting to note here that, in 2015, the famous house of Champagne Taittinger bought a large area in the Kent region to produce sparkling wines (Domaine Evremond). Also in the Kent area, the producer Hush Heath produces some of the best classic method sparkling wines from England.
Obviously, the regions mentioned are not in order of importance and there are many others worthy of note. In any case, I am very interested in hearing your opinion about the best wine regions yet to be discovered. Leave a comment at the bottom of the page and share it with us.
Author Michele Orbolato.