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 use of oak in wine plays a significant role in winemaking and can have a profound effect on the resulting wine, affecting the color, flavor, tannin profile and texture of the wine. Oak can come into contact with wine in the form of a barrel during the fermentation or aging periods. It can be introduced to the wine in the form of free-floating oak chips or as wood staves (or sticks) added to wine in a fermentation vessel like stainless steel. Oak introduced in the form of a wine barrel can impart other qualities to the wine through the process of evaporation and low level exposure to oxygen.
B. April 9,1780 – d. January 17, 1862
Jean-Louis Vignes, or as he was known to his Spanish and Mexican neighbors, "Don Luis del Aliso", was a French settler to the Los Angeles area during the Mexican era. He was the first commercial wine maker in California and one of the first men to import and plant European Vitis vinifera grapes in the state. A skilled cooper by trade and an adventurer and entrepreneur by choice, he arrived in the Sandwich Islands on July 6, 1827 from Béguey, a village downriver from Cadillac, Gironde, France. After losing his business in Honolulu, he sailed to California and landed at El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles de la Porciúncula in 1831. Upon his arrival, he bought 104 acres of land located between the original Pueblo and the banks of the Los Angeles river. Vignes proceeded to plant vines and to build a winery. Unhappy with the quality of the local Mission grapes, he imported Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon blanc vines from Bordeaux In 1834, Vignes also planted one of the first orange groves in the Los Angeles area. By 1849, El Aliso, as Vignes' property was called, was the most extensive vineyard in California. Vignes owned over 40,000 vines and produced 150,000 bottles, or 1000 barrels, per year. In 1850, Vignes was the largest wine producer in California.
Château La Tour Blanche
, or La Tour-Blanche
, is a winery is located in the commune of Bommes
within the region of Graves
, which produces a sweet white wine ranked as Premier Cru
Classé (French, “First Growth”) of Sauternes wine
in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855
. Uniquely among classed growth wineries, the estate is the property of the French state, and the site of the La Tour Blanche School of Viticulture and Oenology.
Records date the estate's origins to the 18th century, and connect them to Jean Saint-Marc du Latourblanche, treasurer-general to Louis XIV. Following the French Revolution, the estate was owned by Pierre Pécherie, but a later owner, the German Frederic Focke raised the reputation of the winery, and was for a period credited with bringing the tradition of sweet white wine to Sauternes from his Rhine origins. After the rewarding outcome of the 1855 Classification and Focke's death, the estate was eventually acquired by Daniel "Osiris" Iffla who among several patrotic acts, left in his testament La Tour Blanche to the State upon his death in 1907, on the condition it would become an agricultural college. From 1911, the La Tour Blanche School of Viticulture and Oenology has been responsible for education and training of wine industry professionals, as well as running La Tour Blanche as a classed winery.
grape is a wine grape
variety originally planted in the Médoc
region of Bordeaux
, where it was used to produce deep red wines
and occasionally used for blending purposes in the same manner as Petit Verdot
A member of the Cabernet family of grapes, the name "Carménère" originates from the French word for crimson (carmin) after the hue of the grape in fall. The grape is also known as Grande Vidure, a historic Bordeaux synonym, although current European Union regulations prohibit Chilean imports under this name into the EU. Along with Cabernet sauvignon, Cabernet franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit verdot, Carménère is considered part of the original six noble grapes of Bordeaux, France.
Now rarely found in France, the world's largest area planted with this variety is in Chile in South America, with more than 4,000 Hectares (2006) cultivated in the Central Valley. As such, Chile produces the vast majority of Carménère wines available today and as the Chilean wine industry grows, more experimentation is being carried out on Carménère's potential as a blending grape, especially with Cabernet Sauvignon. Carménère is also grown in Italy's Eastern Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions and in smaller quantities in the California and Walla Walla regions of the United States.
In Australia, three cuttings of Carménère were imported from Chile by renowned viticultural expert Dr Richard Smart in the late 1990s. After two years in quarantine, only one cutting survived the heat treatment to eliminate viruses and was micro-propagated (segments of individual buds grown on nutrient gel) and field grown by Narromine Vine Nursery. The first vines from the nursery were planted in 2002 by Amietta Vineyard and Winery in the Moorabool Valley (Geelong, Victoria) who use Carménère in their Angels' Share blend.
||I have often wondered what the vintners buy, one half so precious as the goods they sell
||— Omar Khayyam
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