Appellation Articles

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Appellation: Shenandoah Valley

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 10/12/2018

Appellation: Cornwall

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 10/10/2018

Revision 1; edited by KVM on 9/9/2018

As of 2011 Coteaux Bourguignons is a regional-level appellation, covering the entire Burgundy region from the area around Auxerre down to Beaujolais.

Grape varieties
Coteaux Bourguignons can be produced from Pinot noir, Gamay, Chardonnay, Aligoté, Tressot, and César, either as varietal wines or as blends.

Appellation: Texas

Revision 1; edited by Kpetersen on 8/13/2018

Texas High Plains

Appellation: Tavel

Revision 4; edited by joraesque on 7/30/2018

Wiki article on Tavel AOC.
Grenache and Cinsault are the main grapes used in the appellation's wines, along with Syrah and Mourvedre, although the latter two were not permitted until 1969. Tavel wines are dry and tend to have more body and structure than most rosés. They can be cellared, but are usually drunk young.

Appellation: Saint-Bris

Revision 2; edited by charlie11 on 7/23/2018

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 7/23/2018

Appellation: Saint-Aubin 1er Cru

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 7/23/2018

Appellation: Irancy

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 7/10/2018

Appellation: Maranges 1er Cru

Revision 2; edited by MidLifeVices on 7/4/2018


Appellation: Brouilly

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 6/28/2018

Appellation: Cesanese del Piglio

Revision 1; edited by Nico P. on 5/30/2018

Appellation: Maienfeld

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 5/25/2018

Is a vilage in Graubünden, Switzerland. Vineyards on weinlagen-info

Appellation: Fläsch

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 5/25/2018

Is a vilage in Switzerland. Vineyards on weinlagen-info

Appellation: Tokaji

Revision 10; edited by sweetstuff on 5/21/2018

The Tokaj lies 240 kms north-east of Budapest, Hungary, situated in the Zemplen Mountains at the confluence of the Tisza and Bodrog rivers. Currently the border between Hungary and Slovakia runs through the region, so there are Slovakian wines labeled 'Tokai'. The soil is largely clay or loess with a volcanic substratum. Tokaj enjoys long sunny summers, while dry autumns and the early morning mists, created by the meeting of the two rivers, encourage the development of noble rot on aszu berries.

The noble rot, known as Botrytis cinerea, makes the berries dry and shrivel, thus concentrating the flavor compounds and developing the Aszu berries. All of these characteristic elements give the Tokaj wineries their own distinctive and unique terroir

* Aszú: This is the formerly world-famous white wine that is proudly cited in the Hungarian national anthem. It is a naturally sweet and topaz-colored that was formerly known throughout the English-speaking world as Tokay (Tow-KAY, rhimes with WAY), which of course is an orthographic variant of the spelling 'Tokaj'('tow-KIE, rhymes with PIE).

The original meaning of the Hungarian word aszú was "dried", but the term came to be associated with the type of wine made with botrytised (i.e. "nobly rotten') grapes, so now it is thought of as meaning 'infected', or similar to the German word "Auslese", meaning 'a selection'. The process of making Aszú wine is as follows.
o Aszú berries are individually picked, then collected in huge vats and crushed into the consistency of paste (known as aszú dough).
o Through-fermented wine or unmanipulated must is poured on the aszú dough and left for 24–48 hours, being stirred occasionally.
o The wine is racked off into wooden casks or vats where fermentation is completed and the aszú wine is to mature. The casks are stored in a cool environment, and are not tightly closed, so a slow fermentation process continues in the cask, usually for several years.

The concentration of Aszú was traditionally defined by the number of puttonyos hods (containing about 30 liters) of dough added to a Gönc cask (136 liter barrel) of must. Nowadays the puttony number is based on the equivalent content of sugar and sugar-free extract in the mature wine. Aszú ranges from 3 puttonyos to 6 puttonyos, with a further category called Aszú Eszencia or Essencia (not to be confused with Tokaji Eszencia or Essencia without the Aszú) representing wines above 6 puttonyos. Unlike most other wines, potential alcohol content of Aszú typically runs quite a bit higher than 14% even though it is not fortified with alcohol or extra sugar. The sugar equivalent remaining in the wine will of course reduce the labeled alcohol content, usually something in between the ripest late-harvest dessert wines of Austria and Germany and that of dry white wines. Annual production of aszú is less than one percent of the region's total output. Tokaji Eszencia or Essencia is a different, richer product made from the pressure of Aszú grapes as they sit in containers after being collected. In this situation very concentrated juice, derived from the ripest layer of the grape fllesh immediately under the skins, collects without being pressed in the bottom of the container. This most concentrated must, often containing well over 50 percent sugars, is collected and allowed to spontaneously ferment, although it does so so reluctantly that it often contains less than the 5 percent minimum alcohol needed to call it wine. It is sold in tiny amounts, usually with a small spoon which allows sipping it in the tiny amounts that render its immense flavors and scents it possesses. This enormously expensive elixir was thought to possess very strong medicinal properties, and was thought to be kept in royal courts to allow revival of a dying monarch who had neglected to name a successor.

Because this dessert-style wine is not popular or easy to sell, is expensive to make, and whose high quality is not understood, it is not easy for producers in the region to remain in business, much less make a profit so that their vineyards and equipment can be kept in good condition. Since that is the case, dry (non-dessert)-style wines are now being made, and also wines that are made more like the simpler late-harvest wines from other areas of Europe. Such experiments are ongoing and their successfulness is unknown as of this point.

The wines of Tokaj are made from severa whitel grapes, individual or as a blend, that are indigenous to Hungary, and rarely or ever found outside this region, plus small amounts of 'tolerated' varieties. These grapes are the Furmint, the Harsevelu (Linden-leaf), and the more widely employed Muscat. edited jht

Appellation: Barolo

Revision 6; edited by benny-g on 5/18/2018

Regional History:
The wines of Piedmont are noted as far back as Pliny's Natural History. Due to geographic and political isolation, Piedmont was without a natural port for most of its history, which made exportation treacherous and expensive. This left the Piedmontese with little incentive to expand production. Sixteenth-century records show a mere 14% of the Bassa Langa under vine -- most of that low-lying and farmed polyculturally. In the nineteenth century the Marchesa Falletti, a frenchwoman by birth, brought eonologist Louis Oudart from Champagne to create the first dry wines in Piemonte. Along with work in experimental vineyards at Castello Grinzane conducted by Camilo Cavour -- later Conte di Cavour, leader of the Risorgimento and first Prime Minister of Italy -- this was the birth of modern wine in the Piedmont. At the heart of the region and her reputation are Alba and the Langhe Hills. This series of weathered outcroppings south of the Tanaro River is of maritime origin and composed mainly of limestone, sand and clay, known as terra bianca. In these soils -located mainly around the towns of Barolo and Barbaresco -- the ancient allobrogica, now Nebbiolo, achieves its renowned fineness and power.

map of Barolo DOCG

Revision 10; edited by joraesque on 5/7/2018

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Appellation - Read more about Chateauneuf du Pape

Another site on this appellation
Vineyards on weinlagen-info

"As I have written many times in the past, the sweet spot for drinking Châteauneuf du Papes is usually the first 5-6 years after the vintage. Then they seem to go through an adolescent, awkward, and sometimes dormant stage, only to re-emerge around year 10-12, where the majority of wines are often fully mature. The best of them will continue to hold on to life (but rarely improving) beyond 15-20 years. It is only the exceptional Châteauneuf du Papes that will evolve for 20-25+ years, and those are indeed a rarity. However, things may be improving dramatically in terms of the longevity of Châteauneuf du Pape, although Grenache-dominated wines, the vast majority of wines produced in the appellation, are wines that do not have the polyphenol (extract and tannin) content of top Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots, or Syrah-based wines. Nevertheless, the younger generation in Châteauneuf du Pape has taken seriously the farming in the vineyards. There are more organic and biodynamically run vineyards here than in any other appellation of France. The yields, which were already low, are even lower today (20-35 hectoliters per hectare), and of course, the proliferation of top luxury and/or old-vine cuvées gives a significant boost to the number of wines that will evolve past 25 or 30 years. The advantage of these wines is their broad window of drinkability." - Robert Parker

Appellation: Yamhill-Carlton

Revision 3; edited by charlie11 on 4/25/2018

The vineyards of the Yamhill-Carlton District were planted mostly in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. The primary soil of this area is called Willakenzie, named after the Willamette and McKenzie rivers. It is a sedimentary soil with a sandstone base rock. The sand content is quite high and the soil therefore very well drained. The sites are generally on the lower slopes of a volcanic ridge. Wines of the area possess aromas of red and black fruits, with added elements of cocoa, leather and fresh-turned earth. Acidity levels are generally lower than other regions, prompting these wines to be lush and agreeable in their youth.

The single vineyards on weinlagen-info

Appellation: Trento

Revision 2; edited by benny-g on 4/2/2018

Appellation: Napa Valley

Revision 14; edited by joraesque on 3/25/2018


Appellation: Alta Langa

Revision 1; edited by benny-g on 3/13/2018

Alta Langa DOCG – white or rosé – is a dry, vintage spumante (zero dosage and extra dry can also be found). It is a highly prestigious artisan wine. Approximately 650,000 bottles are produced from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes that are hand-picked and then whole-cluster pressed. Consorzio di Tutela Alta Langa Classical Method

Appellation: Conca de Barberà

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 2/28/2018

Appellation: Oregon

Revision 2; edited by joraesque on 2/2/2018


Appellation: Côte Roannaise

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 1/30/2018

Appellation: Savennières

Revision 3; edited by charlie11 on 1/30/2018

Savennières is a small, relatively well-known Loire Valley region producing wines made from the chenin blanc grape.

They are not conventionally fruity, and benefit from extensive aging.

Savennieres often have smells like white truffles and animal notes, even when young. They can last for a tremendous amount of time, and some people mistake the evolved aromas after 10-20 years with oxidization, but I have yet to taste an oxidised chenin blanc, since the amount and type of acidity (many g/l and tartaric) preserve the fruit in a much more effective way than e.g. chardonnay.

Single vineyards on Weinlagen-info

Appellation: California

Revision 1; edited by HeidiWine on 1/18/2018

Russian River Valley

Appellation: Mâcon-Lugny

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 1/8/2018

Appellation: Cognac

Revision 1; edited by joraesque on 12/30/2017

Brandy from the Cognac region is distilled from specific grapes (98% of all Cognac use Ugni Blanc). Must be double-distilled to no higher than 72% abv. Minimum aging of 6 years in oak (traditionally Tronçais or Limousin), which in 2018 changed to 10 years.

Appellation: Colline Novaresi

Revision 2; edited by bacchus on 12/28/2017

The appellation Colline Novaresi was created as a DOC in 1994.

Appellation: Cava

Revision 1; edited by angelo1947 on 12/23/2017

Appellation: Madeira

Revision 10; edited by joraesque on 12/19/2017

From Mannie Burk@ Rare Wine Co :

When served in 1950, the wine was 158 years old, but in fine condition, still boasting Madeira’s trademark rich, sweet, velvety taste and roomfilling aromas of butterscotch, cocoa and coffee. Sir Winston insisted on serving the guests himself, asking each in turn, “Do you realize that when this wine was vintaged Marie Antoinette was alive?”
Madeira’s longevity earns it a special place in the realm of old wine. What other wine requires over a half century to mature? And what other wine, when a century old, still benefits from several hours of breathing and can stand up to weeks in a decanter, without losing its complexity or its richness? And how many wines can live for two centuries and still offer not only the pleasure of their antiquity, but also the enjoyment of drinking?

The robustness and longevity of Madeira, even once opened, allows for endless experimentation with food pairings and drinking occasions.

Madeira’s Mountain Vineyards:
Madeira is produced on a breathtakingly beautiful volcanic island of the same name which surges from the sea at a point 360 miles west of Morocco and 700 miles south of Portugal, which governs it. The history of Madeira’s wine is nearly as old as that of the island. The island was first settled by Europeans—led by the Portuguese explorer Zarco—in 1419. By 1455 a visitor from Venice wrote that Madeira’s vineyards were the world's most beautiful. Within a century, the wine from these vineyards was well established in markets throughout Europe and by the 1600’s it had become the most popular wine in Britain’s North American colonies.

America’s First Wine:
The popularity of Madeira in the American colonies got a huge boost in 1665 when the British authorities banned the importation of products made or grown in Europe, unless shipped on British vessels from British ports. Products from Madeira were specifically exempted. British merchants in Madeira took full advantage of this by establishing close ties with merchants in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charleston and Savannah. A steady trade developed in which wine from Madeira was traded for such American products as indigo, corn and cotton. This trade continued unabated until the early 1800’s, except when politics and war interfered in the 1770’s.

For two centuries, Madeira was the wine of choice for most affluent Americans. Francis Scott Keyes is said to have penned the Star Spangled Banner, sipping from a glass of Madeira. George Washington's inauguration was toasted with Madeira, as was the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Wealthy families from Boston to Savannah established extensive collections of Madeiras. Madeira became high fashion, and“Madeira parties” (a forerunner of today’s wine tasting) became major social events.

How Madeira is Made:
Madeira is produced from grapes grown on terraces cut into the island's steep mountainsides. Like Port, Madeira is a “fortified” wine to which brandy has been added. But unlike other fortified wines, Madeira is also heated for several months, either in special vats or in the attic lofts of the Madeira lodges.
This heating (called “estufagem”) had its origins in the days when merchant ships called at Madeira on their way to the East and West Indies. Beginning in the late 1600's, wines from Madeira's vineyards were frequent cargo on ships sailing to the Americas, as well as to mainland Portugal, England and India. According to legend, the value of a trip to the tropics was learned when an orphan cask, forgotten in a ship's hold, returned to Madeira from a trip across the Equator. The wine was found to be rich and velvety, far better than when it left, and a tropical cruise became part of the Madeira winemaking tradition.
Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, producers continued to send casks of their wines on long voyages, for no other reason than to develop greater character. The ocean traveling wines were called vina da roda (“wines of the round voyage”) and those that crossed the Equator twice were considered the best. Some Madeiras were named for the vessels with which they sailed (Constitution, Balthazar, Red jacket, Hurricane, Comet) or the places they had been (East Indies, West Indies, Japan, Argentina). Although this practice ended in the first decade of the 20th century, heating is still a critical step in the making of all Madeiras.

A Century of Change:
While the majority of Madeiras are blends of vintages and grape varieties, it is the vintage wines, and the now-vanishing soleras that are Madeira’s claim to greatness. Vintage and solera Madeiras are not simply a selection of the best wines from the best years, they are made from particular “noble” grape varieties after which the wines are named. These names—Malmsey, Bual, Verdelho, Sercial—not only describe a grape variety; they also describe a style, with Malmsey being the sweetest and richest (and therefore the most like Vintage Port) and Sercial being the lightest and the driest.
There are other grape varieties whose names you may stumble across on old bottles of Madeira. Terrantez and Bastardo, in particular, are grapes that were widely grown up to the late 1800's and whose old wines can still be found on occasion. The virtual extinction of Terrantez and Bastardo grapevines in the late 1800's coincided with the decline of the Madeira wine trade and resulted from the same causes: two diseases of the vine, Oidium and Phylloxera, both of which also struck the vineyards of Europe, but in Madeira caused much greater, and more lasting, destruction.

The Oidium crisis began in 1852 and lasted about a decade; during this time some 90 percent of the island's vines were destroyed by powdery mildew, and the number of firms producing wine decreased by over 75 percent. There was a brief period of replanting and rebuilding in the 1860's, but then Phylloxera struck in 1872, reducing the island's vine acreage to about 1,000 by the early 1880’s.
The Phylloxera crisis, too, passed, and by the turn of the century production had been restored throughout the island, albeit at somewhat lower levels. But the costs had been heavy. Madeira had largely lost its traditional markets—America, England and the British East Indian colonies. Relatively less of the classic grape varieties were now grown, as they gave way to more prolific, but less distinguished, varieties. And, of course, stocks of older wines had been largely depleted, after a half century during which little young wine was being produced.
Today, the world's supply of fine Madeira is negligible. However, those few examples that have survived from the 19th and early 20th centuries are among the world's most majestic wines, which no wine lover should fail to experience.

Over the past twenty years, our passion for these noble wines has grown with each passing month. We believe that they are among the greatest, most individual wines this planet has ever produced. They possess a richness and grandeur shared by only a few wines.
And their ability to age makes them absolutely unique. Most wines are dead and gone at age 100; and at best they are barely drinkable. But after a century, a Madeira can be just reaching its prime, possessing the depth of great age, but also the vigor of youth.
The gradual depletion of the world’s stocks of these irreplaceable wines has only encouraged us to try harder to find the wines that remain.

A Note on Prices and Quality:
As they have grown in rarity, and the sources of supply diminish, the price of Madeira on the world market has skyrocketed. Though many of the older wines arguably are worth whatever you may be asked to pay, the rising tide—combined with Madeira’s mystique—has also raised the prices of mediocrities to the levels of the greats.

Appellation: Roero Superiore

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 11/30/2017

[Roero on weinlagen-info]

Appellation: Roero

Revision 3; edited by charlie11 on 11/27/2017

Roero DOCG was established in 2005 and includes the following wines:

Roero DOCG: Min 95% Nebbiolo, aged min 20 months with 6 months in barrel, min 12.5% abv.
Roero Riserva DOCG: 100% Nebbiolo, aged min 32 months with 6 months in barrel, min 12.5%abv.
Roero Arneis DOCG: Min 95% Arneis, min 11% abv.
Roero Arneis Spumante DOCG: Min 95% Arneis, can be made at any sweetness level, min 11.5% abv.

Roero is located in the northwest corner of the Langhe region of Piedmont next to the city of Alba in the province of Cuneo. The official winegrowing area runs from the north bank of Tanaro and runs along the river between the areas of Bra and Govone. There are 23 villages in Roero, with Canale being the largest. Each area may contain more or less sandy soils; not all areas are deemed suitable for winemaking.

In 2014, Roero was named a Unesco World Heritage site.

Soils: An ancient sea, called the Golfo Padano, once covered the area of Roero in its entirety. As a result, many fossilized marine creatures and large amounts of sediment are still found in the soils. The soils are primarily sand with limestone mixed in, in certain areas, and/or clay.

Climate: Roero has a cold and temperate climate with harsh, cold winters filled with snow and an unpredictable spring and autumn, which can be very wet. Summer is hot, but can be humid.

The vineyards on weinlagen-info

Appellation: Etna DOC

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 11/14/2017

Appellation: Somontano

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 11/9/2017

Appellation: Margaret River

Revision 4; edited by KonradGee on 10/27/2017

Appellation: Saint-Aubin

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 10/19/2017

Appellation: Marlborough

Revision 3; edited by on 10/10/2017

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 9/17/2017

Revision 2; edited by sweetstuff on 9/5/2017

a note from John Trombley, in part borrowed from a comment on Left Foot Charley Pinot Gris:

The general central region of the Old Mission Peninsula was earliest farmed (late 1970s) and is now intensely farmed for grapes since the first V. Vinifera plantation in this quite contoured area, perhaps the most contoured on the peninsula. Nearby are Tale Feathers vineyard, the home vineyards of Chateau Grand Traverse, the Shangri La, Too vineyard, the Prairie School vineyard, the Manigold vineyard of Gewurztraminer fame, and so forth; this is not exhaustive. For the whites, Riesling and the Pinots are predominant, in the region; for the reds, Pinot Noir, Gamay, and Dornfelder are found. We may guess the soils: reef and mostly igneous sands from the Canadian Shield in the form of glacial till; various clays, mostly alkaline; and some humus from Recent forestation and human use. These are almost universal in varying amounts here. The vineyards here are mostly West-facing, flowing down from Center Road M-37 and the scenic outlook at the top of the center ridge down to the water line, with secondary elevations and depressions. (Early on it was somewhat recontoured to change ground-water issues that might have been problematic just west of the outlook.)

In general, this means the regional vineyards are very fine for ripening grapes but are prone to weather-related accidents: spring frosts and hail, and as elsewhere, requite strict attention to vineyard hygiene and canopy management in the intense summer sun and fog/rain that tend to alternate here. The wines are bright, energetic in the citruc range, somewhat rustic, and resinous, with best Pekoe and Pu'er tea notes that remind one of opening a ream of pine wood -based Kraft paper. This may be the signature nose and palate (terroir) of the Up-North (northern Lower Peninsula) white wines.

Appellation: Carmignano

Revision 2; edited by Esme Taylor on 8/16/2017

Appellation: Prado de Irache

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 6/26/2017

Appellation: Pago de Otazu

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 6/26/2017

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 5/19/2017

Appellation: Torgiano

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 5/19/2017

Appellation: Rutherford

Revision 4; edited by ihavezinned on 5/18/2017

Appellation: Yvorne

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 5/17/2017

Village in Vaud. On weinlagen-info

Appellation: Vétroz

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 5/17/2017

Is a villlage in Valais. On weinlagen-info

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