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Skip the Loire Valley this year and head to these lesser-known wine regions
Posted on 30/10/2018

SocietyLebanon

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If you're tired of the same old scenery and middle-of-the-road grape varieties, try some of these other wine-growing regions. From Thailand to Ethiopia, vines are being planted and revived all over the world, and there's no time like the present to try them all.

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  • Beqaa Valley, Lebanon
    Beqaa Valley, Lebanon

    This region isn't just home to incredible ruins, but it also boasts some incredibly fine wines. While much of Lebanon is at the wrong altitude for grape-growing, the Beqaa Valley is at just the right spot, yielding spicy, bold reds, floral, aromatic whites and dry but fruity rosés. Wine has been made in present-day Lebanon since around 7000 BC, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that the country's wines are delectable.

  • Kakheti, Georgia
    Kakheti, Georgia

    Here's another spot that's been making wine since ancient times. Grape seeds from 6000-5000 BC have been found on archaeological digs, making it the oldest known winemaking region in the world. Not only that, but Kakheti has a lot to show for its work. Wine is made in large clay jugs called qveri, using a traditional Georgian method that dates back thousands of years. The region's unique soil gives its wines distinctive earthy notes, growing a mix of both local and French grapes.

  • Cha das Caldeiras, Fogo, Cape Verde
    Cha das Caldeiras, Fogo, Cape Verde

    The ground here may look inhospitable, but the volcanic soil is rich in minerals and ideal for growing. A plethora of fruits and vegetables are cultivated in the town of Cha das Caldeiras, and the community also sports a 120-year-old wine making tradition. While the selection may be modest, the vines grown here at the foot of an active volcano yield reds, whites and even a lively rose with sweet berry notes.

  • Nistreana, Moldova
    Nistreana, Moldova

    For home-grown, rustic fare, try Moldova's Nistreana region. Purcari, the most well-known winery in Moldova, produces mostly robust reds, but its roses and whites shouldn't be ignored. It's also easy to find other producers in this small country of 3.5 million people. Local grapes such as Feteasca Neagra, Feteasca Alba, and Rara Neagra are spread all over the southern half of the country, and small-scale producers are more than happy to let you sample their wares.

  • Inle Lake Region, Myanmar
    Inle Lake Region, Myanmar

    Although Myanmar's tropical climate doesn't lend itself to grape growing, the high mountain air near the Inle Lake region is yielding some interesting grapes. Using imported plants, Myanmar has been growing wine since the early 2000s and is working on making a name for itself internationally. The vintiners at Red Mountain Estate and Aythaya Vineyard are the only producers in Myanmar. But with incredibly scenery and a cutting-edge feel, wine tastings here are catching on.

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Wine is almost as old as the act of drinking itself, so why stick to the same two or three countries when seeking out fermented grape juice? There's a whole host of regions outside France and Italy just waiting to be visited. From Lebanon to Georgia, here are 15 wine regions worth planning a detour to.

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