France, Clare Valley

Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More-so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.
Located 120km north of Adelaide, Clare Valley is one of the oldest wine regions in Australia. The region is set on softly undulating hills covering a length of some 35km and ranges from 5 to 10km in width. In fact, Clare Valley is also one of mainland Australia's coolest wine growing regions.

The five subregions of Clare Valley are - Sevenhill, Clare, Watervale, Polish Hill and Auburn, each influenced by the interweaving creeks and valleys and each with its unique soil types, climate and altitude. Throughout the region, the moderately continental climate, with its cool to cold nights and warm to hot summer days are ideal for producing its most important white, Riesling.

Whilst Riesling is no doubt the king white grape for the region, very elegant Shiraz with soft palates and Cabernet Sauvignons are produced there too. Lesser amounts of Sémillon are grown, though Grenache and blends like Shiraz/Cabernet or Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec can also be deliciously smooth and textural.

Grosset produces arguably Australia's finest Rieslings from his Clare Valley Winery. Atlas and Leo Buring too create nice Rieslings.
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  1. ONLINE TASTING PACK - SUMMER OF RIESLING

    **THIS ONLINE TASTING IS OVER, BUT PACK STILL AVAILABLE**

    This pack contains a bottle of 3 different wines to be opened during an online tasting held on Thursday the 22nd of October 2020. This event is all ... Learn More

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