The country of India conjures up thoughts of exotic spices; colorful fabrics, woven with golden thread; intricate hand-drawn henna hand art; elaborate gold jewelry; and beautiful temples; but did you know that it is a growing wine region? Grape growing in India dates back a couple of millennia, but modern-day winemaking in India saw its start around the 1980s, with the rise of the middle class and its demand for wine.
Originally, there were six noble grapes identified: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Merlot for the reds; and Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling for the whites. “Noble grapes” is a term that was coined to describe international grape varieties that were the most recognized for the top-quality wine they produce.
The term “Super Tuscan” has been used since the 1980s to describe a wine made from grapes indigenous to Tuscany, which may be blended with non-indigenous grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah. There is no legal definition for the term “Super Tuscan” in Italian wine law, and these blends fit only under a lower wine classification within the law, because the higher classifications restrict which grapes can be used.
Italy is the world’s largest producer of wine, representing about a quarter of the world’s production. According to Italy’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MIPAAF), there are 350 grapes that have been granted an authorized status plus at least an additional 500 documented, but not officially authorized local varieties. One of these documented grapes is the ancient Sicilian grape variety called “Frappato.”
On the twelve days of Christmas my wine love sent to me: