Wine Regions to Get to Know in 2022
Perhaps you’re familiar with the rich Cabernet Sauvignon of California’s Napa Valley, the crisp Sauvignon Blanc of New Zealand, or the mouth-watering Malbec from Argentina. Are you ready to learn what other parts of the world have stunning wines to offer? Here are some of the many wine regions you should get to know in 2022.
Happy New Year!
Anderson Valley (California, USA)
The Anderson Valley AVA is located 100 miles from San Francisco in Northern California’s Mendocino County. Pinot Noir put this region on the map: Pinot grapes thrive in the region’s warm days (summer temperatures easily reach the 100s) and cool nights (thanks to the region’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean). California Wine Advisors deemed Anderson Valley “one of the lesser-known gems of California” for good reason: the textured, velvety Pinot Noir from this region is second to none.
This 100% Pinot Noir hails from a tiny, one-acre Frattey Shams Vineyard in the Anderson Valley. Owner Ron Verdier organically farms all grapes, including Pinot Noir vines which come from the prestigious Dijon clone 115. Just 191 cases were made of this wine, which was fermented in open top French oak barrels.
It’s easy to think of big-name regions such as Burgundy and Bordeaux when one mentions French reds, but Collioure––a tiny appellation within the Roussillon region of southeastern France––also produces bold, rich red wines that are worthy of note. The Collioure AOC includes Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre grapes that thrive on the steep, terraced vines overlooking the Mediterranean.
Fewer than 400 cases were made of this 90% Grenache, 10% Carignan blend made from grapes that average 75 years in age. Wines were aged for 12 months in new French oak to produce wild blackberry and dried floral notes alongside cacao and toasted oak.
Rioja may be the most well-known red wine producing region in Spain, but wine lovers have fallen for the rich, concentrated reds from the Priorat region of Catalonia. Perhaps this comes as no surprise: only Priorat and Rioja hold the esteemed Spanish designation DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada).
57% Grenache, 34% Carignan, and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon comprise this wine, which was barrel-fermented and then aged for 12 months in a combination of 80% French and 20% American oak barrels. The result is an inky, dark violet wine with aromas of sweet blackberry, crushed slate, and wildflowers; these notes lead to flavors of blueberry, vanilla, and tobacco.
Rías Baixas (Spain)
Do you love Albariño? Then you should love Rías Baixas. Rías Baixas is a Spanish Denominación de Origen (DO) in the northwestern region of Galicia. It is known for its crisp and light Albariño wine. Albariño’s acidity and citrus notes make it a perfect pairing with Mediterranean fare. It is a true crowd-pleaser!
The Castro family has been growing grapes in the Rias Baixas for more than 100 years. In 1998, they founded Bodegas Tomado de Castro with the aim of specializing in Albariño. (Winemaking duo Carlos Castro and his daughter Elizabeth make six different Albariños!) Grapes are organically farmed, hand-harvested, and sorted before undergoing fermentation with native yeasts. The 2019 Silfide Albariño exudes yellow nectarine, lemon, and kiwi notes and has a crisp, saline finish.