Since the successful launch of Wine Bars in New York a few years ago, we have experienced a revolution in terms of wine consumption around the world. Wine is no longer just a traditional symbol of riches, power and luxury, for just a few. Nowadays, wine is considered a pleasurable drink for anyone who enjoys it. This new trend has also breached the generation gap and is now incorporated into a significant number of activities around tasting and enjoying wines.
You can visit specific "Wine Fairs", or enjoy "Gastronomical Activities" featuring gourmet food complemented by different types of wine, guided by experts. Or travel the "Wine Routes" which provide a rare opportunity to learn more about the drink, the history and culture of the region, as well as actually meeting the winemakers. Wine routes are special holidays as you can visit the best wineries and vineyards, and experience relaxing tasting opportunities, surrounded by stunning landscapes. A number of top wineries even offer accommodation, such as rooms or comfortable chalets, to help immerse yourself in the complete experience. A winning formula!
Wine “varietals” include the specific type of grape used, as well as the particular region where the wine was produced. These factors transform each bottle of wine into a captivating and special experience, as each has its own story to tell. You can also learn all about wines at our duty free stores, where you'll find a wide range of international wines. Hence, let's start this wine journey around the world here…
The most popular wine-producing regions and grapes
Each different wine-producing region will offer the same range of grape but in different expressions. For example, you could taste France’s Pinot Noir, and then compare it with a Pinot Noir from Argentina or the Napa Valley. There are so many surprising, and infinite combinations!
At the centre of the world’s viniculture, due to history and tradition, and to the high quality of the soil in French vineyards. The main wine-producing regions are Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Alsace, and the Loire Valley. These regions produce the most excellent reds, sweet wines, and of course, Champagne. The spectrum of grapes used in wine production varies across the regions. Among the red grape varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Franc all stand out. In terms of white grapes, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Semillon are rightly renowned as the best. At duty free, you'll find plenty of exclusive and award-winning French wines such as Mouton Cadet Rouge or Mouton Cadet Sauvignon Blanc.
The country with the largest surface of cultivated vineyards in the world. The Spanish regions of Rivera del Duero, La Rioja, Castilla-La Mancha, Navarra, Priorato, and of course Jerez all stand out. Classic wines include sherry, Cava, and the red wines made with black grape varieties such as Tempranillo, Garnacha, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon and Graciano. Spain’s famous white wines are made using Airén, Albariño, Pedro Ximénez, Xarel-lo, Palomino, Macabeo, Chardonnay, and Garnacha Blanca grape varieties. Or simply check at our Reserve & Collect websites to find your best option.
A nation of great wines, and boasts the internationally renowned regions of Piamonte, Toscana, Veneto, Calabria, and Lazio. Several Italian wines are catalogued as ‘trademark registered’. These include Marsala, Asti Espumante, Barolo, Chianti, and Prosecco. Black grape varieties used in the production of red wines include Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Barbera, Lambrusco, Carignan, Montepulciano, and Bonarda. Among the white grape varieties, we would highlight Chardonnay, Trebbiano, Pinot Grigio, Verdicchio Bianco, and Cortese.
Outside of Europe, is now the world’s largest wine producer. American wine started competing with the more established French wine industry in the 1960s, and since then have been producing quality varietal wines that have become truly fashionable. The strongest viniculture region of the USA is California, which has the Napa Valley at its epicentre. Black grape varieties such as Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha, Pinot Noir, and Merlot are recognised for their high quality and flavour. Equally distinguished are the wines produced with white grapes such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Colombard.
Often described as the “Malbec Region”, as in wine production terms the nation possesses a potential that has yet to be fully developed. Although rich in history, Argentina’s wine production is still in its infancy. The Mendoza province and surrounding regions are increasingly recognised for vineyard quality. San Juan, Salta, Neuquén, and Río Negro are also highlighted as rich wine production regions. Malbec, Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Franc are the most prominent black grape varieties in use. In terms of white grapes, you can find Chardonnay, Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc.
Another successful South American wine-producing country, due to the climatic influences of the Pacific Ocean. Key wine-producing areas include the Maipo, Maule, Casablanca, Aconcagua, and Colchagua Valleys. Additionally, Chile boasts three different climatic regions, namely the coast, the centre of the country, and of course, the Andes Mountains. Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Merlot are the most representative varieties of black grape. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Semillón are the distinguished white grape varieties.
Boasts a constantly developing viniculture tradition, featuring the following main regions: Stellenbosch, Constantia, Durbanville, Worcester, and Robertson. Highlights include the Pinotage black grape (locally bred as a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault), Cabernet Sauvignon, and Shiraz. The predominant white grape varieties are Chenin Blanc, Semillón, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Colombard.
It’s oldest vineyard date back to the late 1780s. The most prominent production regions include the Hunter Valley, Mudgee, Riverina, Barrosa Valley, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, and Yarra Valley. In terms of black grapes, the Shiraz variety is the most widely used, closely followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. Amongst the white grapes, find Chardonnay, as well as Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, and Semillón.
Germany’s signature wine production is characterised by special dry whites, alongside sweet white wines, with Eiswein (or Ice Wine) as the star. Rheingau, Rheinhessen, Württemberg, Pfalz, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, and Saale-Unstrut all stand out as quality wine-producing regions. Spätburgunder, Blauer Portugieser y Trollinger represent the black grape varieties used. Riesling, Sylvaner, Müller, and Gewürztraminer are representative of the white grape types.
The name Portugal is synonymous with some of the real icons of oenology: “Oporto”, “Madeira”, and “Vinho Verde”, The most emblematic Portuguese wine-producing regions are Porto, Dao, Colares, Madeira, and Vinhos Verdes. Amongst Portugal’s black grape varieties you will find Alfrocheiro, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, and Touriga Nacional (generally considered to be the best variety), as well as Touriga Francesa. In terms of white grapes, Verdelho (Madeira’s finest), Trajadura, Malmsey, Alvarinho, Arinto, and Avesso are internationally renowned.
Next time you travel, do not miss the opportunity to explore our exclusive range of international wines sourced from more than 11 countries, and available to purchase at duty free stores or Reserve & Collect. Find the perfect bottle of wine as an exclusive gift, or to drink with the exciting dinner you have planned for your next destination.