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austria, champagne, crémant, england, germany, oregon, prosecco -

I’ve been travelling quite a bit recently, taking in England, Germany, Australia, and the Pacific North-West. As I tasted my way through these different regions, I realised just how much good sparkling wine I had been enjoying, and that many of these wines weren’t simply carbon copies of champagne but entirely their own thing. I was reflecting on all this as I drove to Syncline, a producer in Columbia Gorge, Washington. I had no idea they even made sparkling wine (I was there for their superb Gamay), but as I was enjoying the 2014 Blanc de Noirs owner and winemaker...

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austria, blaufränkisch, burgenland, finger lakes, germany, lemberger, new york, württemberg -

Blaufränkisch is one of Austria's most important black grapes. Its historic reputation can be seen in its name: Fränkisch is a traditional term for a high-quality grape, in contrast to inferior varieties which were called Heunisch. It produces spicy, meaty wines not dissimilar to Syrah, though not as tannic, and is more suited to a cooler climate. Its origins lie somewhere between the modern Austrian and Hungarian borders. In Hungary, it's called Kékfrankos (a literal translation of Blaufränkisch) where the wines are particularly bloody. There are around 1,800ha planted in Germany, where the grape is called Lemberger, named after the southern...

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