Europe’s major rivers (The Rhine, Danube, Loire, Douro, Rhone, Mosel) flow through some of the continent’s most beautiful, and bountiful wine regions.
Throughout centuries, European rivers have been transportation hugs, a source of food and water, wine, and tourism.
Travel to any of the innumerable rivers of Europe toady, and you will still see vineyards planted right up to the bank, boats, and barges full of goods, young and old trying to catch fish for dinner.
From the Douro to the Rioja, the steep landscapes of these wine regions, the soil seems to stay in place because of the vine. In the Douro Valley most vineyards are terraced. The work on these vineyards is arduous and dangerous, but the wines are divine.
In France, Romans planted the first vineyards along the Rhone, Garonne and Loire rivers.
To this day, these and many more harvest fruit that go into regional wines, and single vineyard bottlings.
The Loire travelling halfway across France until it finally joins the Atlantic Ocean has for centuries been the playground of the elite of Paris. Scores of castles are still popular vacation spots, and the vineyards and wineries will help you to understand the terroir of the region.
The left bank of the River Rhine is home to Alsace in France, justly famous for its delightful varietal wines, and cremant d’Alsace.
Germany’s Rhine River regions are many, starting with Rheingau, Palatinate, and Hessia. Mosel, Saar, Ruwer Rivers offer home to the extraordinary light, fragrant, and delicious white wines.
The Nahe River between the Rhine and Mosel Rivers constitutes another German wine region that requires more attention than it receives. Nahe wines taste not only great, but represent good value.
The Danube River starts in Germany, flows through Austria, Hungary, and Romania until it reaches the Black Sea.
In Austria’s Kamptal vineyards, concentration of vineyards is very high. Kamptal wines are light, fruity, acid-driven and balanced meant for food.
The Douro River that runs through Spain, and Portugal to reach the Atlantic Ocean is home to two wine regions – Ribera del Duero, Spanish red wine of world fame, and port wines from the Portuguese portion.
Port wines have been enjoying worldwide popularity for several centuries mainly due to British marketing efforts, and now wineries are more and more concentrating their efforts to producing still red wines with superb intensity, and depth of flavour.
Here are some European river wines you may want to try:
Qunita do Aciprestes, 2004, Real Comphania Velha, Portugal
Powerful, and flavourful red wine from the Douro Valley.
703561 $ 18.95
First Estate Port, Taylor
Superbly balanced, sweet, fortified wine, suitable for chocolate or enjoyment on its own after a meal
309401 $ 15.65
Reserve Late Bottled Vintage Port, Taylor
An excellent value for a deeply flavoured fortified port that will please even jaded palates.
46946 $ 17.80
Albarino, 2007, M. Codax, Rias Baixas, Spain
Fragrant, dry white wine from northeastern Spain.
984906 $ 17.95
Rioja Crianza, 2005, Ontanon, Spain
Medium bodied, balanced red wine from the Ebro River.
976910 $ 14.95
Belleruche, 2004, Chapoutier, Cotes du Rhone, France
A typical dark red, well extracted red wine to pair with beef stews, medium rare grilled steaks, game specialties.
665411 $ 12.40
Chateau Haut Vigneau, 2005, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
Mushroom, and meat aromas, mixed with silky tannins, makes this full bodied wine and excellent accompaniment to roasted rack of lamb or roasted leg of lamb.
029678 $ 27.95
Chateau de Sancerre, Marnier-Lapostolle, Loire
Produced entirely of sauvignon blanc, this dry white wine smells of flint stones, ripe fruit, and possesses a depth that other wines cannot match.
340893 $ 24.70
Chateau de Montguerre, Cremant de Loire Brut,
Champagne is not the only sparkling wine producer in France. Loire has a huge production using the same techniques as Champagne but locally grown grapes namely chenin blanc. This dry sparkling wine is vivacious, light and pleasant
621896 $ 19.80
Gewurztraminer, 2005, J. Hugel, Alsace
Is a textbook varietal that every wine enthusiast should try. It smells of tropical fruits including litchi nuts.
Contact Halpern Enterprises for more information.
Vintages offers from time to time this wine)
Pinot Blanc, Trimbach, Alsace
Fruity, lively, balanced, and light from a well-established and reputable winery in Alsace
89292 $ 13.95
Reisling, L. Beyer, Alsace
Fragrant, medium weight, good minerality and long aftertaste.
81471 $ 15.25
Pinot gris, L. Beyer, Alsace
Alsatian pinot gris as opposed to Italian pinot grigio tastes much better. It is intense, fuller bodied and possesses a long aftertaste.
165241 $ 16.25
Ockfener Bockstein Riesling, Kabinett 2002, Forstmeister Zilliken, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany
Light, fruity, fragrant, and easy to enjoy.
071241 $ 19.95
Gruner Veltliner, 2006, Rabl, Kamptal, Austria
Hints of apples and pear, clove and flowers. Dry, round and ripe.
078642 $ 19.95
|Writer – Hrayr Berberoglu – E-mail – Read his books?
Professor B offers seminars to companies and interested parties on any category of wine, chocolates, chocolates and wine, olive oils, vinegars and dressings, at a reasonable cost.