Australia has rapidly become a world leader in not only the quantity but the quality of wines it produces. There are over 60 designated wine regions covering every state, although the majority favour the cooler areas in the Southern part of the country.
The main varieties produced include Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Riesling. However with no native grapes Australian producers are very open to trailing more alternative varieties and recent years have seen an increase in those usually associated with old world European countries such as Pinot Grigio, Tempranillo and Voignier.
Other than the making of communion wine when the Romans introduced wine making to the United Kingdom, there is very little history of vineyards in England. The climate was too cold and too wet to successfully grow grapes. However recent years have seen much warmer, drier summers, enabling makers to produce high quality grapes.
In particular, English wine producers have seen great success with sparkling wines, being judged most favourably even among champagnes.
Germany is most well known for it's white wines, primarily using the Riesling grape variety. Contrary to popular belief outside the country, much of the wine is elegant, crisp and dry to taste.
With Germany's cooler northern climate, producing red wine has often been more of a challenge, though increased demand in recent years for richer, darker reds has led to more makers producing wine from varieties such as Pinot Noir, or Spätburgunder to use it's German name.
A country with a very disrupted political history, Hungary's wine production has been influenced / dictated by a range of other countries and cultures. It is best known for it's white dessert wines, in particular, Tokaji.
Thought to be one of the most ancient areas for wine production in the world, Lebanon also played a vital role in introducing and spreading wine and viticulture throughout the Mediterranean. It has a number of native grape varieties which are growing in popularity such as Obaideh and Merwah which are used to produce Musar White. Although traditionally Lebanese winemakers have preferred French grapes such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsaut and Grenache.
Although vineyards and wine making were first introduced to New Zealand during the colonial period it has only been in the last few decades that it has become successful and popular. In particular New Zealand has become renowned world wide for it's Sauvignon Blanc, considered by many to be the best in the world.
Portuguese wine has quite a range of characteristics and styles, influenced by the traditions of several ancient civilisations including the Romans, Greeks and Carthaginians. The country also has a plentiful array of native grape varieties and distinctive regional terroirs that give the wines their individual styles.
Also the home of Porto, or Port, the vines used to produce it require quite specific soil types and micro climate to be grown successfully. Luckily the climate of the Douro Valley in Alto Douro suits the needs perfectly.