Massandra – Wine of the Tsars

© photochur Pixabay

In Massandra, a town near Yalta in the Crimea, wine is produced for more than 240 years, especially sweet wine, in a variety of styles, many of them copies of well known wine styles like Madeira, port, sherry or Tokay and Sauternes. The Winery Massandra, in its present form was commissioned by Tsar Nicholas II at the end of the 19th century in order to provide his royal hosehold, especially in his nearby summer palace Livadia with wine and sparkling wine.

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Malvasia – Aromas from Sicily


There are more than 20 different varieties of Malvasia – white, red and reddish, the last called gris or pink. In Sicily and its islands, the two varieties Malvasia Bianca Siciliana and Malvasia delle Lipari are the most common. The Malvasia Terre Sicilia Vino Liquoroso IGP of Cantine Pellegrino, which we have tasted, is produced to 100% with Malvasia Bianca. The grapes for the wine originate from vines that grow in the province of Trapani, from sea level up to 300 meters above sea level, on sandy and partly clayey soils.

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Macvin – Tradition of the French Jura


Macvin Blanc du Jura Château d'Arlay

The name Macvin is more reminiscent of Scotland than the French wine-growing region of Jura, where the Macvin production has a long tradition. It is said that there has been a wine named Maquevin or Marc-vin already in the ninth century. The name Marc-vin indicates that Macvin consists of the french brandy Marc and wine, which means that it is a alcohol-fortified wine.

However, this is only partially true, because the Macvin is made from must according to the AOP rules. This does not exclude that the must already may have started fermentation. The Macvin may be red, rosé or white. In the red and rosé versions, only the … Read more ...

Australian Semillon – “Special sale dessert wine”

The winery De Bortoli was founded 90 years ago by Vittorio De Bortoli, who emigrated from the Italian Treviso to Australia. The winery became known beyond Australia only in the 1980 years with the Noble One Botrytis Semillon, produced in the family-owned winery Bibul in Riverina. Today, the De Bortoli family own wineries with around 820 hectares of vineyards in the Heathcote, Hunter Valley, King Valley, Riverina, Rutherglen and Yarra Valley.

The tasted wine, the Family Reserve Semillon 2016 by De Bortoli, I had discovered at Aldi as an special sale gourmet wine for Christmas and taken away. The Semillon variety, the backbone of Sauternes, … Read more ...

Matured by the Foehn – Jurançon


© La Cave de Gan Jurançon
© La Cave de Gan Jurançon

Around 1,500 km separate the foothills of the Alps south of Munich and Jurançon in France, but despite this distance, both have a climatic similarity: the Foehn, a dry warm wind from the mountains, always blowing from the south. In wine-growing areas north of the Alps, in the autumn, the grapes intended for the production of a sweet wine can dry and rosinate in the vineyard on the vine, naturally concentrating the sugars. A well-known example of a sweet wine that benefits from the Foehn is a Flétri from Valais.

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Apulian surprise – Moscato di Trani

Puglia, which competes against Sicily for the second largest wine-producing region in Italy, is known for its high yields in viticulture, even in DOC areas. There are nearly a dozen sweet types of wine in Puglia, including the sweet specimen of the otherwise dry Apulian Primitivo di Manduria and, almost inevitably in Italy, a sweet Moscato.

The tasted wine, the Moscato di Trani DOC Piani di Tufara 2015 from the winery Rivera is made from Moscato Reale, as Moscato Bianco (Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains) is called in Apulia. The grapes grow on tufa soils in the Murgia near Castel Monte, a castle of the Hohenstaufen Emperor Frederick II, not … Read more ...

Sweet Viognier from down under

There are more than 60 wine growing regions in Australia, I suppose in this country only few fans of Australian wines know more than a handful of these regions: for example Shiraz from McLaren Vale or Barossa Valley or Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra.

In addition to the well-known sweet, alcohol-fortified Rutherglen wines, there are also wines, whose grapes are harvested with Botrytis. We have a sweet Viognier wine from South Australia, whose name FSW8B Botrytis Viognier 2015 already reveals the noble rot.
Founded in 1849, Yalumba is Australia’s oldest family owned wine company and is one of those Australian producers that not only produce Viognier as a varietal … Read more ...

Expressive Málaga PX Añejo

A round trip in Andalusia was on the program of our friends and neighbors, including some days were planned in Málaga. So I asked Heinz and Mausi to bring me a sweet Málaga wine, emphasizing that type, age, sweetness and style are not important at all, just the first sweet Málaga wine they see.

For sweet Málaga wines it is not easy to reconcile the manifold nomenclatures. There is Vino de licor, Vino de uvas sobremaduradas and Vino de uvas pasificadas, the still well-comprehensible classification according to the duration ripening Noble (2-3 years), Añejo (3-5 years) and Transañejo (over 5 years), but beyond there are many others … Read more ...

Molino Real – fruity sweet Málaga

When speaking of Málaga,usually it is meant a sweet alcoholic wine known since antiquity. This wine is rich in alcohol because pur alcohol has been added and sweet, because the alcohol stopped the fermentation and thus preserved the sugar of the grapes.

The tourists in Malaga who wants to buy a sweet Málaga wine usually is totally confused by the variety offered. Pálido, Cream Añejo, Rojo Dorado, Parajete or one of the more than 20 allowed other names can be found on the bottles, in which the sweet wine made from the grape varieties Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel (Muscat d’Alexandrie) is offered. The used terms may refer … Read more ...

Verduzzo – typically Friulan

Zitronen-Ricotta-Mandel-KuchenIt is said in Friuli that the Verduzzo was drunk by the farmers at the time of the fiefs, while the landed gentry drank the aristocratic sweet Picolit. Even today, the Picolit coming from the Collio orientale del Friuli, outside Friuli, the better known of the two. The Verduzzo is however the typical sweet wine from Friuli. It is made from the grape Verduzzo Friulano as a sweet (amabile or dolce) DOC wine in the Friulian wine regions Collio Orientale, Friuli Annia, Friuli Aquileia, Grave and Isonzo. In Carso, Collio and Latisana the Verduzzo is not pruduced as DOC wine. There is also a sweet Verduzzo RiservaRead more ...