On the occasion of the Europe Day this May 9th, we invite you to escape for a small tour of Europe’s wines. Through this article, we will discover four countries producing quality wines. These countries are not the best known when one thinks of wine production in Europe. Yet their importance is not to be overlooked!
Before embarking on our first destination, let’s remember that Europe has more than 3.2 million hectares of vineyards. It alone represents 43% of the world’s vineyards in surface area. It is the first wine producing continent in the world. Enough to satisfy the tastes and expectations of all wine lovers!
The Greek wines
Our tour of Europe’s wines starts in Greece. Greek wines are still very little known abroad. However, the country’s vineyards represent no less than 70 000 hectares of wine grapes.
Due to the variety of soils and the diversity of the land, Greece has been producing wines with unique flavors for over 4000 years. Indeed, Greek wine has a historical dimension: it is an integral part of the myths and legends that characterize the country, of which Hercules is the central character.
Let’s discover the protected appellation Nemea. It is in the impressive region of Nemea, in the Greek Peloponnese between the cities of Athens and Tripoli that we find a vineyard in altitude composed of the Agiorgitiko grape variety. The name of this variety literally means the grape of Saint George (Agios Georgios).
The range of Nemea Agiorgitiko wines is very wide. It has three types of red wines, namely dry red, semi-sweet and sweet red. It is characterized by its color: a dark and deep ruby. This is combined with delicate aromas of red fruits, which makes it a delicate and pleasant product.
So don’t wait any longer and enjoy a glass of a bottle of Saint George Nemea dry red from 2015. Immerse yourself in the Greek atmosphere!
The Croatian wines
Let’s continue our journey through Europe’s wines. Here we are in Croatia.
Croatia is unique in its geographical and climatic diversity. There are more than 130 indigenous varieties of grapes growing here. Even though it is a small territory, the country occupies an increasingly important place in the production of wine in Europe. Croatian wines represent a majority of white wines at 67%. Red wines represent 32% of the country’s production.
We are going to discover the Dalmatian region. This is where Croatian viticulture began. This region with its Mediterranean climate is suitable for the production of quality wine.
Let’s go and discover the Croatian white wines. We are in a vineyard of 75 hectares located between 30 and 400m above sea level. The domain Zlatan Otok (“the golden island” in Croatian) grows two grape varieties: the Plavac Mali in red and the Pošip in white. Other white grape varieties, all autochthonous, are present there like Žuti Muškat or Žilavka.
We suggest you to enjoy a glass of white wine Zlatan Otok on a sunny terrace to feel the Croatian atmosphere. This wine has been awarded the Croatian organic certification. It is distinguished by its straw-gold color and its unique flavor of fresh apricots and figs. Enjoy!
The Slovak wines
Our journey continues in Slovakia. When we think of this country, it is not the image of wine that comes first in mind. However, wine production is booming in Slovakia. The country produces more than 34 million liters of wine per year, mainly for domestic consumption. You can buy a bottle of Slovak wine outside of the country in specialized stores or in great restaurants.
Focus on the smallest wine region of the Slovak Republic: the Tokay region (also known as Tokaji). Indeed, this region straddles the border between Slovakia and Hungary. This is why the wine is produced in both countries.
The Tokaj region is characterized by a volcanic soil that allows the cultivation of unusual grapes. There are several grape varieties such as Furmint, which is a white grape variety. It represents up to 70% of the production of Tokaj wines.
So why not try a Slovakian white wine as an aperitif like a Mono Furmint Tokaj from Macik Winery? We love its bottle with a revisited design in addition to its nutmeg aromas and its fruity and floral notes.
The Bulgarian wines
Finally, our tour of Europe’s wines ends in Bulgaria. The country where the viticulture dates back to at least 3000 years ago. Thanks to the diversity of the landscape and the climate, there are many different types of wine from different grape varieties. However, we should not forget that it is in Bulgaria that the Greek god of vine and wine, Dionysus, grew up!
It is in the Melnik, Sandanski and Petrich regions that a local red grape variety is found: Mělník (or Shiroka Melnishka Loza). Many say that this variety is one of the oldest in the world. It is impossible to find this grape variety anywhere but in Bulgaria.
We invite you to discover a Bulgarian wine and offer you a glass of Explosion Mělník. This wine, with a ruby red color, gives off powerful aromas dominated by black fruits such as black cherry and plum. It will be perfect to pair with your red meats and charcuterie, but you can also enjoy it on its own. Let yourself be tempted!
Don’t forget your Aveine aerator to get the best of these great wines!