Wine is one of those things that just seems to make life better sometimes, doesn’t it? Wine can be found all over the world in many nooks and crannies and even in some countries that you wouldn’t expect. But where are the lesser known wine regions where you can score some seriously delicious wine and have all your friends saying “Huh? I didn’t know they made wine there.” Here’s a roundup of our favourite wine making countries off the beaten trail.
Hang on, what? Yep, you read right. Burma (also known as Myanmar) is home to the famous inland Inle Lake, which is a gorgeous lake region about seven hours south east of Mandalay by road. This region is home to a regional population known as the Intha who make the lake their home and their gardens. Fishing is a primary source of sustenance and many have gardens physically floating on the river. The region has given rise to the production of grapes and subsequently, wine which is growing in popularity. When in the region check out the Red Mountain Estate Vineyard – a beautiful estate in rolling hills with their own sunset lookout from which to enjoy their rich and robust wines.
The Republic of Georgia on the doorstep between Europe and Asia is a beautiful country with a rich and storied winemaking tradition that can be traced back to 6000 BC. This has meant that Georgian winemaking has made it to UNESCO’s Intangible Culture list. The wine is stored in giant underground vats instead of in oak barrels to age has a different taste to western wines and is found throughout the country. The art of winemaking isn’t solely left to big name vineyards in the likes of Sighnaghi in the country’s east though, and many people make their own homemade wines which can sometimes be found on market stalls. As an added bonus, there is a delightful little addition to the winemaking tradition in Georgia, and its name is ChaCha. This vodka-strength wine resin is quite literally the dregs of the vats and is not only delicious but ridiculously strong – and after one burning sip, it literally tastes just like wine. Be careful with the ChaCha – it goes down way too easily.
Wait, what? Canada’s too cold for wine, right? Wrong! Three regions of Canada have ideal, albeit short, wine growing climates. British Columbia in the west, Ontario in the east-centre and Nova Scotia in the Maritimes all grow their own grapes and produce their own wines. As an added bonus, Canada is one of the world’s Ice wine regions. While Canadian wine is typically not exported very often, at least commercially, it’s some of the world’s most delicious and enjoyable and is popular throughout Canada (sometimes more so than Californian, Australian or South African wines). Be sure to try some Canadian produced wine on your next trip to Canada – we promise you won’t be disappointed.
So if you’re looking to explore lesser known wine producers, these three are excellent examples of how some of the world’s best wines are actually very much on the down low. Be sure to check them out when you find yourself in these regions – you won’t regret it.