Central & Eastern European
...However if there is a similarity they share, it is in the quality that can be found with a little searching and the individual character of the wines that each produce. Austria has now recovered from the troubles of the eighties where chemical manipulation blighted their reputation for a generation. Now with its indigenous variety Gruner Veltliner, it produces on its beautifully situated high altitude vineyards, some of the worlds most fascinating, elegant and delicate white wines.
Greece can blame mass tourism for is ability to produce mass volumes of poor wine and still manage to sell it, and therefore its ability to shout about quality has been hampered. However, Greece has much more to offer in terms of climatic variety than the images of beach covered Islands that we have in our heads. On its mainland and on some of the higher altitude Islands, fascinating wines, both red and white are produced.
Lebanon has for decades now based its quality reputation on the outstanding Chateau Musar and its inspirational wine maker Serge Hochar. In war-zone situated vineyards, the pests and diseases that blight most of the worlds vineyards, seem almost irrelevant in their danger. Serge has not only made great wine though, he has inspired others to do the same; and the wines of Chateau Massaya are also quite brilliant.