The Wildness of Beauty IV

(Continued from “The Wildness of Beauty III” on 24 April 2015) In the 16th century, Corsica became a major battleground for Habsburg Spain and Valois France over the control of the

The Southern Bastio

Due to economic and historic reasons, mighty Bordeaux often overshadows its neighbouring areas such as Bergerac, Buzet, Côtes-du-­Marmandais and Monbazillac. The one bastion that Bordeaux fails to conquer, it seems,

The Mediterranean Heart

Prior to the Age of Discovery, the Mediterranean area had for centuries remained the centre of Europe and its history. Owing to their geopolitical locations, if Crete and Cyprus were

The Catalonian Priory

Situated in southwestern Catalonia, Priorato (“Priorat” in Catalan) is, alongside Rioja, one of the only 2 DOCs (Denomenación de Origen Calificada) in Spain, occupying the pinnacle of Spanish wine legislation.

The English Connection

Partly due to its geographical location, the inland Alentejo region is by no means as heavily influenced by the English as the Douro region. However, in view of the Anglo-Portuguese

The Wildness of Beauty III

(Continued from “The Wildness of Beauty II” on 27 March 2015) For those who enjoy not only the sensual pleasure brought about by the vinous experience but also a sense of

The Latino-Slavic Crossroad II

(Continued from “The Latino-Slavic Crossroad” on 20 March 2015) By 1914, Moldavia had become the winery, indeed the largest wine production area, of the Russian Empire. Just as Moldavian viticulture seemed

The Heart of Oak

Located in northern Spain along the Ebro between the towns of Alfaro and Haro, Rioja is one of the only two DOCs (Denominación de Origen Calificada) of Spain, the other

The Shades of Green III

For its viticultural diversity and outstanding price-quality ratio, Vinho Verde is no doubt one of the most underrated regions in Portugal. Fans of Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon

The Wildness of Beauty II

Although similar in size, Alsace and Corsica could hardly be more different – the former is Germanic and continental with a French twist, the latter Mediterranean and insular with an

The Latino-Slavic Crossroad

Subsequent to the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (a.k.a. USSR or Soviet Union), the former Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (a.k.a. Moldavian SSR) became the independent Republic of

The Ascending Villages

Situated south of Côte Chalonnaise, Mâconnais is the southernmost subregion of Burgundy in oelonogical terms. Prior to the 20th century, Mâconnais used to be famed for its red wines, but

The Bavarian Royalty

Wine for aristocrats, prelates and officers; rum for pirates and seamen; beer for foot soldiers and workmen… This ultra-traditionalist perception, bordering on the feudal and held to be true for

The Burgundian Newcomer

With 100+ appellations, 600+ premier cru and 30+ grand cru climats, Burgundy is quite possibly the most intellectually demanding region to understand. The pleasure of studying its wine is akin

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

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