A tour of some of the lesser-known regions present at Vinexpo Paris – with some fresh and surprising product…
Meet Algeria’s first wine company…
La Société des Grands Crus de l’Ouest Algérien was Algeria’s first private wine company. It was founded in 2001 by Rachid Hamamouche, with the aim of producing wines of premium quality. Over the years, their serious approach and their expertise earned the SGCO a high reputation with the vine-growers, who brought their grapes in greater and greater numbers, resulting in new cellars being opened in the different regions, and more recently, the rehabilitation of the cellars and agricultural buildings, sealing of partnerships with the local vine-growers, recruitment and training of personnel, and the creation and distribution of a range of wine brands. Today, the company manages more than 300 personnel in Algeria.
> PAV 7.1 – STAND K25
Apple Ice Wine from Lithuania
Gintaro Sino wines from Lithuania are becoming renowned for their ice wine. But not any ice wine. They say a great deal of pride, love and work have gone into the making of their Apple Ice Wine, with a bouquet of aromas so rich that it seems you are tasting a “fairy tale of berries”. Several years of efforts in attempting to work on similar techniques to those used in Canada led to a number of disappointments, but now have finally given results. Gintaro Sino now has a wine which they believe is just good as its luxurious cousins across the Atlantic. The story is thus wrapped in legends of how winemakers leave grapes unpicked throughout the winter, await the cold that turns their fruit into ice crystals. Temperatures of around minus 15C° are required for the harvest, in the south region, resulting in very limited production quantities of such wine is so low.
> PAV 7.1 – STAND HK19
One brand – many origins
Generally, until now, a wine brand would tend to pertain to a region – or in some cases a country. Enter Tussock Jumper. Tussock Jumper is a premium wine brand created from the shared passion of wine specialists from eleven different countries around the world: South Africa, Germany, Argentina, Australia, Chile, Spain, France, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal and the USA. Their aim is to bring together the world’s very best wines under a single, distinctive, quality mark: the woolly red sweater of Tussock Jumper, so one can jump from wine to wine, jumper to jumper, all around the world. What makes them quite unique is that all their wines are bottled at source – in the same place where the grapes are grown. It’s a collection of individual stories each with a special character and totally unique pedigrees.
> PAV 7.1 – STAND A5
Age-old Georgian varieties to open the eyes… and surprise the palate
While Georgia has long been renowned as a wine growing region, many people still are unaware of the extraordinary richness of its 450 grape varieties, 29 of which are used in wine growing. High-quality Georgian wine grape varieties include: Rkatsiteli, Saperavi, Mtsvane, Khikhvi, Kisi, Chinese, Tsolikouri, Tsitska, Krakhuna, Leksandrouli, Ojaleshi, Chkhaveri, and Aladasturi.
In Georgia, the wine grape has long been considered as a sacred, divine plant and wine itself has a sacral function. On the basis of archaeological excavations, Georgia is now recognised as an historic homeland of wine-making and vine-growing. During archaeological excavations on the territory of Kvemo Kartli, grape seeds have been discovered dating back to the Aeneolithic Age. It is reported that during the early Neolithic period, both eastern and western Georgia were familiar with the culture of wine, and it had quite a big role in the economic life of the local population. More information is available from the Georgian Wine Corporation at Vinexpo Paris.
> PAV 7.1 – STAND H40