Wine in Europe
There are hundreds of wine regions in Europe and there is no doubt that the continent is the true home of winemaking. The history, culture, climate and soil of each area is instilled in the flavours, methods and customs unique to each wine region. It is these qualities that put the wine of Europe head and shoulders above the rest of the wine-making world.
When you think of wine producers you immediately think of France, but great wines are being produced in Germany, Belgium and even Holland. With DFDS it’s easy to jump on one of our ferries and take in some of the biggest and smallest vineyards in Europe. From wine tasting and history courses to having a go at making your own wine, there’s so much on offer you won’t know where to start. There are also some great festivals where you can relax and enjoy some of the greatest wines you can’t buy in your local supermarket.
French wines are famous the world over and for hundreds of years, France has basked in the reputation of being one of the world's greatest producers.
French wine encompasses all the famous regions and names in old world winemaking; Chablis, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, The Loire Valley and Sancerre to name but a few. There are many vineyards all over France that open their doors to tours and tastings and you can even go on wine courses, where you can learn about the history of wine, winegrowing methods, the theory of wine-tasting and making your own wine at home.
German wine is primarily produced in the west of Germany, along the river Rhine and its tributaries, with the oldest vineyards going back to the Roman era.
When holidaying in Germany it’s pretty hard not to incorporate its light, fruity wine, as there are over 1000 wine festivals across the country every year. So, strike out and experience the wonders of German wines, in all there wonderful varieties.
Belgium is famous for its great beers but it also produces some fantastic, award-winning wines. The Belgian wine industry is tiny in comparison with its French, Italian, and Spanish counterparts.
In fact, it produces just over 500,000 bottles every year. And because only a small amount of wine is produced in Belgium, very little is exported, so a tour around its vineyards is really the only way to sample its superb produce.
When you think of major wine regions around the world, Holland isn’t at the forefront of your mind. In fact, you probably didn’t even know they made wine at all. It may be a small producer but there are over 180 vineyards across the country that produce around 900,000 litres of red and white wines.
However, because the climate is cool it isn’t suitable for traditional grape varieties, such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon but they do grow classic varieties such as Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay as well as younger varieties like the Regent, Cabernet Cantor, Pinotin, Riesel and Cabernet Blanc.
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