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.
The wine regions surrounding the town of Geelong are varied and diverse, from the subregions of the Surf Coast and Otways to the Bellarine Peninsula and Moorabool Valley.
Historically, Geelong was the largest grape-growing region in Victoria (in the 1800s) and in more recent times has undergone somewhat of a renaissance. In the last few decades, winemakers have been rediscovering the rich soils and a climate that is somewhere (some say halfway) between France's Bordeaux and Burgundy regions.
The region is known for boutique, family owned winegrowers producing quality hand crafted wines, more so than any bigger winery operations. Varietally speaking, Geelong is renowned for its superior Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Whilst these 3 are the staple of most winegrowers and makers, the more adventurous have been known to grow and make Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Merlot and even some of the more left-field types like Primitivo, Gamay, Carmenere and Langrein.
A mix of 3 exceptional wines that will be the perfect gift for even the hardest person to find something for! Showcasing wines from some of the best wine regions in the world, this is sure to make any true ... Learn More