Four Ob­scure Wine Re­gions To Try

GQ (Australia) - - TASTE + TRAVEL -

Great South­ern, West­ern Aus­tralia

You can al­most taste the iso­la­tion in the wines of the wild South West. Vines take root in an­cient soils un­der end­less skies in one of the largest and most sparsely pop­u­lated wine re­gions on earth. Com­pris­ing five sub-re­gions – Fran­k­land River, Den­mark, Mount Barker, Porongu­rup and Albany – it’s a place where sheep farm­ers pro­duce el­e­gantly framed reds and thrilling ries­lings are born in the shadow of an­cient rocky out­crops that echo with the songs of mil­len­nia of dream­ing.

WINES TO TRY :FRAN­K­LAND

ES­TATE ISO­LA­TION RIDGE SHIRAZ; CHERUB I NO PO RON GURU P RIES­LING

San­torini, Greece

It’s hardly sur­pris­ing an is­land de­signed by God, for the sole pur­pose of long, seafood-laden, sun-drenched lunches, has de­vel­oped its own sig­na­ture wine style to lu­bri­cate them. Assyr­tiko is the va­ri­ety dom­i­nat­ing the sandy vine­yards of San­torini, the vines pruned into low bas­ket shapes to pro­tect the del­i­cate grapes from the Aegean winds that have car­ried the sailors of myth and his­tory. It pro­duces a wine that is crisp, crunchy, hum­ming with lemony acid­ity and is the great­est part­ner for a grilled sar­dine ever de­vised.

WINES TO TRY: GAIA THALASSITIS

ASS YR TI K O; JIM BARRY ASS YR TIKO

(AUS­TRALIA’S FIRST ASSYR­TIKO, FROM

VINE CUT­TINGS TAKEN FROM SAN TOR IN I)

Ge­or­gia

Not the south­ern US state, rather, the for­mer Soviet re­pub­lic with the long­est con­tin­u­ous wine­mak­ing tra­di­tion in the world. With its own unique va­ri­eties like saper­avi and rkat­siteli, as well as the dis­tinc­tively dif­fer­ent prac­tice of fer­ment­ing white wines on their skins in large clay ves­sels buried in the earth, Ge­or­gia pro­duces some of the world’s most idio­syn­cratic and de­li­cious wines in much the same way to­day as it did 8000 years ago.

WINE TO TRY: PHEAS­ANT’S

TEARS RKAT­SITELI

Pri­o­rat, Spain

The black slate and quartz rich soils known to the lo­cals of Cat­alo­nia’s Pri­o­rat re­gion as ‘llicorella’, pro­duce red wines of great con­cen­tra­tion and power. The steeply ter­raced vine­yards rise as high as 700 me­tres above sea level and are planted mainly to red va­ri­eties like grenache and carig­nan, though a hand­ful of white va­ri­eties such as macabeo are per­mit­ted. The wines are savoury and spicy, firmly struc­tured and des­per­ate for the com­pany of wood-grilled meats.

WINES TO TRY: C LO S FIG UER AS

C LOS FIGUERAS; ALVA R OPAL AC I OS

CAMINS DEL PRI­O­RAT

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