The Southern Alps

With its 10 wine regions lying between the 36th and 45th parallels south, New Zealand is the most southerly wine-producing country in the world. Representing merely 1% of global wine

The Czech Enigma III

(Continued from “The Czech Enigma II” on 16 January 2014) While Austria and Germany have left an indelible mark on Czech history, France might be the kindred spirit of the Czech

The Franco-Iberian Enclave

Located in northern Spain, immediately north of Rioja and east of the País Vasco (Basque Country), Navarra is both a Denominación de Origen (since 1933) and Comunidad Autónoma (first-level administrative

The Portuguese Guardian

Of the various wine regions in Portugal, Douro is no doubt the jewel in the crown. It is one of the very few wine-producing UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the

The Franco-German Crossroads

Alsace (or Elsass in German) is perhaps the focal point of Franco-German relations, itself having changed hands for no less than 6 times in history, a unique record unmatched by

The Czech Enigma II

For more than a millennium, the Czech lands were part of the mainly German-speaking Holy Roman Empire, Austrian Empire and Austro-Hungarian Empire. If there was one country that influenced the

The Shades of Green II

The term “Vinho Verde” not only refers to the particular style of refreshing and often slightly petillant whites produced in northwestern Portugal, but it also indicates the wine region, indeed

The Pastoral Symphony

Sandwiched between Wachau to its southwest and Kamptal to its northeast, Kremstal (literally: Krems Valley) is one of the top wine regions of Austria, producing some of the finest Grüner

The Hope Against Hope

Detractors of Bordeaux wine often point to the fact that many bordelais estates have in the last decades become quasi-investment instruments, that vineyards have become akin to real estate in

The Czech Enigma

If Belgium is the amalgamation of Germanic and Latin cultures, Czech Republic would be one of Germanic and Slavic cultures. Situated in the heart of Europe, Czech Republic actually shares

The Lusitanian Nobility

Known as Ribatejo (literally: banks of Tagus) until 2009, the wine region of Tejo takes its name directly from the all-important Tagus River, meandering more than 1,000km from Aragon in

The Atlantic Soul

Situated in the westernmost of the European continent, Portugal is less of a Mediterranean or southern European country than an Atlantic one. Sharing – if uncomfortably – the Iberian Peninsula

The Wildness of Beauty

United and indivisible as the republic proclaims to be, France is a country of irrepressible diversity, especially in its limitrophe regions such as Alsace, Brittany, Savoie, the Basque and Catalan

The Spirit of Japan III

Cognoscenti of wine, brandy and whisky would often find shochu both intriguing and confusing. For starters, the lack of established glossary makes it difficult for foreigners to approach

The Conservative Innovation

So renowned is the Alpine nature of Austria, that it not only appears on postcards, but also is referred to in the national anthem, sung to the melody of Wolfgang

The Southern Charm

Occupying almost a third of Portugal, the southern province of Alentejo is renowned for producing wines combining complexity, fruitiness and richness. Although the region traditionally focused on agriculture, especially cork

The Prussian Crown

As per traditional wisdom, Mosel collocates with femininity whereas Rheingau masculinity. Situated geographically – and stylistically – between the two, Nahe is often referred to as the middle child of

The Spirit of Japan II

(Continued from “The Spirit of Japan” on 5 September 2014) Although its history can be traced back to the 16th century, shochu was in a downward spiral in much of the

The Biodynamic Renaissance

The heritage of Château Durfort-Vivens (Deuxième Cru) can be traced back to the 12th century, and for 7 centuries it was continuously owned by the Durfort de Duras family, which

The Classicism of Modernity II

(Continued from “The Classicism of Modernity” on 20 June 2014) The birthplace of Dionysian legends, Greece is rightly proud of its ancient roots and rich heritage. Whereas during the

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