Unusual Wine-Producing Areas

unusual wine producing areasWhen you think about wine, California and France probably populate the first and second place venues for wine production; however, there are plenty of unusual wine-producing areas that are delivering great bottles of wine.

The basics of a good wine-producing region are water, sun, and soil. While California and France may be naturally blessed with these attributes in the right combinations, technology is changing the playing field. In Newsweek’s “The World’s Most Unusual Wine Regions,” author Alice Feiring notes that irrigation, disease and extreme-weather-resistant grapes, and soil replacement techniques mean that great wines can be produced almost anywhere.

Under-the-Radar Wine Regions

If you can grow grapes in a region, you can produce wine, and there are plenty of locations around the globe that have been fermenting grapes for centuries. Take Croatia, for example. According to Wine Enthusiast’sCroatian Wine on the Rise,” winemaking there started about 2200 B.C., and the industry flourished until more modern times when assorted wars (Ottoman invasions, World Wars I and II, the Cold War, and recent wars between the Yugoslav republics) disrupted the focus of wine production.

Although Croatian wines originally had two designations (Costal and Continental), now there are four highlighted regions that are then divided into 12 sub-regions. Over 59,000 acres are dedicated to grapes with over 800 wineries fermenting them.

The Finger Lake region in New York has been a long-established wine-producing area, but how about Long Island? Yes, that Long Island. At least two dozen wineries dot the tip of Long Island stretching into Long Island Sound.

Across the state and just over the border, the Niagara region of Ontario is now home to 70 wineries. Lake Ontario helps moderate temperatures in both winter and summer. Similarly, Lake Michigan’s effect on the surrounding region helps boost wine production in that state.

Texas is a big state geographically and is gaining ground as a large wine-producing state. It’s currently the fifth largest (according to the Wine Enthusiast article) and the second most visited wine region behind Napa Valley. And Idaho’s not just for potatoes any more. Its Snake River Valley is an up-and-coming wine producer.

The Huffington Post (“8 Unexpectedly Awesome Wine Regions”) adds Nashik, India; Guadalupe Valley, Mexico; and Bekaa Valley, Lebanon to its list of unusual areas around the globe that you would not typically imagine as wine-producing areas. Like Croatia, many of these areas have been producing wine for centuries, so they just might be worth a taste.