Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from fermentation of grape juice. The natural chemical balance of grapes is such that they can ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Although fruits other than grapes can also be fermented, the resultant wines are normally named after the fruit from which they are produced (for example, apple wine) and are known as fruit wine (or country wine). Others, such as barley wine and rice wine (e.g. sake), are made from starch-based materials and resemble beer more than wine; ginger wine is fortified with brandy. In these cases, the use of the term "wine" is a reference to the higher alcohol content, rather than the production process. The commercial use of the word "wine" (and its equivalent in other languages) is protected by law in many jurisdictions. Wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast which consume the sugars found in the grapes and convert them into alcohol. Various varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts are used depending on the types of wine produced.
Wine stems from an extended and rich history dating back about 8,000 years and is thought to have originated in present-day Georgia or Iran. Wine is thought to have appeared in Europe about 6,500 years ago in present-day Bulgaria and Greece and was very common in ancient Greece and Rome; the Greek god Dionysos, and his Roman counterpart Liber represented wine. Wine continues to play a role in religious ceremonies, such as Kiddush in Judaism and the Eucharist in Christianity.
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The Great French Wine Blight was a severe blight of the mid-19th century that destroyed many of the vineyards in France and laid to waste the wine industry. It was caused by an aphid (the actual genus of the aphid is still debated, although it is largely considered to have been a species of Daktulosphaira vitifoliae, commonly known as grape phylloxera) that originated in North America and was carried across the Atlantic sometime around the late 1850s. While France is considered to have been worst affected, the blight also did a great deal of damage to vineyards in other European countries.
How the Phylloxera aphid was introduced to Europe remains debated: American vines had been taken to Europe many times before, for reasons including experimentation and trials in grafting, without consideration of the possibility of the introduction of pestilence. While the Phylloxera was thought to have arrived sometime around 1858, it was first recorded in France in 1863, near the former province of Languedoc. It is argued by some that the introduction of such pests as phylloxera was only a problem after the invention of steamships, which allowed a faster journey across the ocean, and consequently allowed durable pests, such as the Phylloxera, to survive.
Eventually, following Jules-Emile Planchon's discovery of the Phylloxera as the cause of the blight, and Charles Valentine Riley's confirmation of Planchon's theory, Leo Laliman and Gaston Bazille, two French wine growers, proposed that the European vines be grafted to the resistant American rootstock that were not susceptible to the Phylloxera. While many of the French wine growers disliked this idea, many found themselves with no other option. The method proved to be an effective remedy. The following "Reconstitution" (as it was termed) of the many vineyards that had been lost was a slow process, but eventually the wine industry in France was able to return to relative normality.
|Romeo Alessandro Bragato
B. 1858 – d. 1913
Romeo Alessandro Bragato played a significant role in the early development of the wine industry in New Zealand.
Bragato was born in Austria-Hungary and educated in Italy. He studied at Conegliano’s Royal School of Viticulture and Oenology achieving a Diploma. He was appointed the Government Viticulturist for Victoria in Australia in 1889.
In New Zealand the 1894 Flax and Other Industries Committee recommended the establishment of a Department of Agriculture. The committee received considerable lobbying from the developing wine industry. As a consequence of this lobbying, Premier Richard Seddon requested the loan of the services of Romeo Bragato from the Victorian Government in 1895. Bragato arrived in Bluff, and was escorted by government officials to assess prospects for viticulture and wine making in New Zealand.
His resulting report, Prospects of Viticulture in New Zealand, submitted to the Premier on 10th Sept, was very positive and became important in promoting the development of the young wine industry.
Champagne Salon is a small producer of Champagne made in the blanc de blancs style, and therefore made from 100% Chardonnay. Salon, along with Delamotte, is part of the Laurent-Perrier group. It is regarded as one of the most expensive Champagnes on the market.
Champagne Salon was founded by Eugène Aimé Salon in the early 20th century. Salon was convinced that the Chardonnay grapes from the Le Mesnil-sur-Oger vineyards could produce wine with favorable levels of finesse and elegance without the need to add Pinot noir or Pinot Meunier. Around the turn of the 20th century, Salon began producing a Chardonnay-only cuvée that he shared privately with friends. Following Eugène Aimé Salon's death in 1943, his niece inherited the company which was eventually sold to Laurent-Perrier.
is one of the world's most widely recognized red wine grape varieties
. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country
among a diverse spectrum of climates from Canada's Okanagan Valley
to Lebanon's Beqaa Valley
. Cabernet Sauvignon became internationally recognized through its prominence in Bordeaux wines
where it is often blended with Merlot
and Cabernet Franc
. From France
, the grape spread across Europe
and to the New World
where it found new homes in places like California's Napa Valley
, Australia's Coonawarra region
and Chile's Maipo Valley
. For most of the 20th century, it was the world's most widely planted premium red wine grape until it was surpassed by Merlot
in the 1990s.
Despite its prominence in the industry, the grape is a relatively new variety, the product of a chance crossing between Cabernet franc and Sauvignon blanc during the 17th century in southwestern France. Its popularity is often attributed to its ease of cultivation—the grapes have thick skins and the vines are hardy and resistant to rot and frost—and to its consistent presentation of structure and flavours which express the typical character ("typicity") of the variety. Familiarity and ease of pronunciation have helped to sell Cabernet Sauvignon wines to consumers, even when from unfamiliar wine regions. Its widespread popularity has also contributed to criticism of the grape as a "colonizer" that takes over wine regions at the expense of native grape varieties.
||I have often wondered what the vintners buy, one half so precious as the goods they sell
||— Omar Khayyam
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