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SPECIAL REPORT: Emerging regions

As is true with any kind of product, food or drink, wine has changed over the years, both in what is supplied and what is in demand

Most consumers are familiar with what are considered to be the best wine producing regions of the world: France, Italy, California, New Zealand, and in many people’s opinions Chile and South Africa are also leading producers of fine wines. This has by no means changed, as wine connoisseurs and those in the wine trade will still sing the praises of these regions. However, due to a number of factors, there are additional regions emerging in recent years as viable producers of very good wine.

In some cases, climate change has warmed certain areas in the world that were previously too cold to have many good vineyards. In other cases, people are merely discovering the potential of countries not necessarily known for their wine production. Either way, whether they are used to buying wine from Marks and Spencer or other wine retailers, or importing them directly from their source, there are a number of options to consider for someone looking to experiment or try something new in the world of wine:

Greece – For whatever reason, Greece seems to be a somewhat overlooked country with regard to wine suppliers. Perhaps it is because of the country’s geographical proximity to Italy, which produces what many people consider the world’s finest wine. However, Greece has an extremely long history of wine production, and utilises grapes that are unique to its own land, and make interesting and tasty wines.

Brazil – South America already has some well-regarded wine countries, most notably in Chile and Argentina, but in recent years certain regions of Brazil have made strides to join the ranks of good South American wine producers.

Switzerland – Geographically close to more well-known wine countries like France, Italy, and even Germany, Switzerland is often overlooked simply because it does not seem to export its wines as broadly or constantly as some of its neighbours. But within Switzerland’s borders there are some great wines similar to those offered in France or Italy.

Southern England/Southern Canada – Many would consider England and Canada to be too cold (or in England’s case, too wet) to produce much wine. However, bringing up climate change again, some of the southernmost regions of these countries have warmed enough to produce quality new wines.

These are just a few regions to consider if you are looking for something new, or, as a consumer, trying to experiment with something different.

The world will always have a high demand for wines, as they are a product that can be studied and enjoyed to no end. Trying something new, like wine from an emerging region, can open up a whole new range of wines to taste and potentially love. Indeed, retailers, such as Marks and Spencer, are actively trying to encourage more consumers to try wines from some of the world's lesser known or understood regions.

Pictured: Denbies vineyard in southern England


1 June 2011 - Felicity Murray