A quick glance at the shelves in a supermarket would make anyone think that wine was made all over the world.
However, this is not the case as grapes require warmth and water in order to thrive. Of course, there are many other factors affecting the final quality fo a wine. Different countries, and indeed different regions, have acquired reputation for certain types of wine. For years, France was regarded as the true home of quality wine but now Australian and Californian wintages are among the best regarded.
The first cultivated vines were probably planted by the Greeks around Marseille, although it was the Romans who, over the course of 500 years, introduced the wine making tradition throughout the country. Experimentation with vines and wine making techniques took place hundreds of years ago, and people now generally accept which area produce the best grapes, what varieties are most suited to them, how they should be trained and so on.
Today, France can boast more great wines than any other nation, and the grape varieties used to produce then have been exported around the globe setting the standards for others. Apart from the prestige region of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Rhone and the Loire, there are scores of other regions where the quality of wine has improved almost beyond recognition in the past two decades, and which have not been hit by the rocketing prices which have put many top-name wines out of the reach of most consumers.
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