When people think of wine, they often think of the wine-producing giants, Italy, France and Spain. Of course, there are other countries around the Mediterranean that also make great wines that appear on many lists. With all these wine-making countries, it seems odd that there are too many other countries making wine while flying under the radar.
We hope wine for production outside traditional areas there’s a large market for Australian and even Argentinian wines these days. However, some areas seem very uncommon. Even very strange. In this article, we will show you some wine-producing countries you may not have thought of before.
1 – Morocco
Not many people think of a Muslim country as one of the world’s wine producers. However, Morocco is among the great wine producers. In fact, they’ve a winemaking tradition that dates back to the historical Phoenicians more than 2,000 years ago. The Romans continued the tradition until it faded after becoming part of the Muslim Caliphate in the 8th century.
The French restored tradition under their occupation and now Morocco is back on the game and like its producers Dune wine makes some awesome reds like Syrah and Grenache.
The high altitude with cool nights and the Atlas mountains blocking moisture from the Atlantic make ideal winemaking conditions akin to Rhone Valley.
2 – Sweden
This chilly Scandinavian country has never had a winemaking tradition. It was far above the northern limits where grape vines could grow in adequate quantities to make wine. However, that has changed with some very tough strains from Austria and Germany which have adapted well to Sweden’s harsh conditions.
These wines are called Solaris for white, and Rondo for red and are growing in popularity amongst locals. There will likely be more cultivated but Sweden has some outdated laws with regards to wine production so vineyards must sell grapes in their own restaurants and not in wine shops.
3 – Cape Verde
Cape Verde is an archipelago off the West coast of Africa that was once a Portuguese colony. They brought winemaking expertise to grow some of the varieties in the lunar landscape that’s so prominent there.
One of the main areas is an active volcano which looks extreme but in fact provides ideal conditions for growing grape vines. The slopes of the volcano are very rich in minerals as a result of volcanic activity. Add in the cool evenings and humid air from the coast and it equals excellent wines from unconventional regions.
4 – Japan
Once again the Portuguese were responsible for taking the wine tradition to where nobody expected it to go. Portuguese traders arriving in Japan in the 16th century grew grapes for the wine there and a cottage industry grew.
After the Portuguese left, the Japanese continued the tradition, but their wine was not appropriate for consumption outside the region. They are particularly sweet like dessert wine which the locals crave.
Lately, there has been a return to the making of more refined wines traditionally grown by the Portuguese.