A few weeks ago I had the chance to spend a weekend in London with two of my favorite ladies, both of whom live in countries other than France. It was a much needed escape and in addition to spending some time with good friends, I had a little time to play by myself. So of course, because my life revolves around wine, I made my way over to Vinopolis.
The “London Wine Tasting Experience,” Vinopolis is perched in a prime location under the Victorian railway arches on London’s Bankside. On the steps of the famous foodie destination, Burough Market, Vinopolis has been bringing the world of wine to London for 16 years. Part educational tour, part tasting and part self-guided adventure, this London landmark is closing its doors at the end of the year. So I made may way down to the South Bank, while I still had the chance.
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When most of us think of wine, we think of the international varietals: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet. But there are over 6000 varieties of vitis vinifera grapes in the world. Native to the Mediterranean region, approximately 1500 of these grapes are used to make wine, with about 1000 of them being indigenous varietals. The other 500 are comprised of crossbred hybrids. Most wine drinkers will only be exposed to about 20 or 30 of these different varietals in their wine drinking lifetime. In fact, these 30 key varieties account for approximately 70% of the world wide wine production.
For those wine nerds out there among us there is Wine Mosaic. Founded in 2012, it is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving Vinodiversity. Continue reading →