My first four learnings of 2013 were due to the exciting DNA work by scientists studying the origin of grapes. However, there are several other cogent details I’ve picked up in the last 12 months. Here’s my top 10 list, checked it twice…and yes, I’ve been both naughty and nice.
1. Cabernet Sauvignon is a cross between two grapes; Cabernet Franc is the father, Sauvignon Blanc is the mother.
2. Chardonnay is a cross between two grapes: Pinot Noir is the father; Gouais Blanc is the mother.
3. The first Chardonnay grapes came from the Burgundy district in France.
4. The origin of wine grapes is actually Turkey---9000 BC!
5. New Zealand, while known for Sauvignon Blanc, is now focusing on Pinot Noir…and they are excellent.
6. Argentina, which holds the record for the highest vineyards in the world (5,000 ft), is now planting grapes in the Andes at >10,000 ft.
7. While blending is the hallmark of Champagne, there are >400 cuvees blended to create Veuve Cliquot.
8. China will be the world’s largest wine consumer by 2016.
9. Wine consumption by the French has dropped >50% since 1975.
10. Saltiness in wine is due to the minerality of the soil
in which the grapes are grown.