Wine Education and Volcanic Wine
The term volcanic wine is a relatively new one. The term was coined by Master Sommelier John Szabo who developed volcanic wine into an international movement.
Volcanic wine is not, of course, wine that pours from volcanoes, but wine derived from vineyards planted in volcanic soil. Though the term volcanic wine may be new, the product is not.
Volcanic Wine Regions:
Volcanic soil covers only about one percent of the earth's surface, but that amount of land provides for hundreds of wineries worldwide with more cropping up all the time. Often categorized by red soil and nearby lakes, vineyards that grow in volcanic regions boast a unique beauty and very distinctive wines.
Vineyards and wineries initially developed in volcanic regions out of practicality and necessity by the local populations. Though the terroir often produces excellent grapes for wine production, there is always the threat the volcano which created the earth enriching ash in the first place, may decide to erupt again resulting in a significant loss.
Even with the threat of a volcanic eruption looming, it turns out planting vines in volcanic soil is worth the risk. More and more vineyards are cropping up in volcanic regions than ever before, with the intent to produce sophisticated and distinctive wines.
Vineyards and wineries with a backdrop of a volcano and volcanic lakes exist throughout the globe. Some of the most notable are listed below:
o Mount Etna
o Canary Islands
• United States-California
o Napa Valley
o Lake County
Qualities of Volcanic Wine:
A well maintained vineyard provides for a scenic and often enchanting place. Vines planted in volcanic regions offer even more of a spectacular vista with its vibrant red or black soil often with a lake and mountains in the background. But it is the residue of the volcanic eruptions or the ash which leads to the uniqueness of the final product.
Loaded with life-giving minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium, volcanic ash influences the complexity of the wine. Additionally, the rock formations, lakes and surrounding mountains largely influence the impact weather, and climate change has on your eventual beverage.
The complexities of the volcanic region result in a sophisticated wine, often with high acidity, and a salty, earthy, and sometimes herbal flavors accompanying the various fruit essences. It is not a taste for a freshman fraternity party, but for a more developed palate. Once accustomed to the complexities of volcanic wine, true wine connoisseurs can't seem to get enough of it.
Volcanic Wines and Pairings:
Though volcanic wines may be millions of years in the making, you don't need to spend a fortune to enjoy a glass of this special vino. Paolo Palumbo Rosso Campania is very affordable. It stands on its own or pairs well with Italian cheese dishes, especially parmesan and manchego.
If you're looking for something to enjoy with white meat or shellfish Via Veneto Soave Classico represents the perfect choice.
Or, transport yourself to Greece with a glass of Santo Winery Assyrtiko Santorini 2016 also perfect with seafood, white meat, and fresh salads.
And, if you're looking for something to enjoy with that steak, try this Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa region. Round Pond Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 'Kith & Kin' comes from a small estate and boasts a very drinkable young wine.
If you can't make it to Italy, Greece, Portugal, or even Napa Valley, you can still experience the land and the culture through a bottle of wine which hails from one of these regions.
For more information about volcanic wines contact us.
- Adam Linet