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Does anyone have any go-to wine regions that aren’t among the famous ones?  For me, it is Slovenian wines. These seem consistently to punch above their pay grade and the whites are usually very interesting. My favorite producer from the area Is Batic, though the wines are sometimes hard to come by. 

Original Post

Quite a few, althought I'm not sutre they really qualify as 'lesser known' - under appreciated may be a better term.  The common element throughout them is a long history of winemaking that in some cases lost its direction in the not-too distant past.  A lot of them have their own traditions and the best are often made from historic local varities rather than the standard international ones.

I've been a fan of Chile's Maule valley for some time now - old vine carignan, pais etc planted by spanish missionaires, no phylloxera, typically 200+ year old vines make great field blends.  If you are a fan of Ridge, or Bedrock, these check similar boxes.  I reccomend Garage Wine Co., Demartino & Garcia Schwaderer amongst others.

Do the Canary islands still count?  some fascinating winemaking, grape production,  grape varietals etc.  

Greece - again - if it has any grape i know i pass.  There seem to be some great wines from native grapes coming out of Greece that are overlooked but finding good ones can be a bit of a crapshoot.  When in doubt - go Hatzidakis.  I'm sure Mim could provide some insight.

Love a good Hungarian Kekfrankos - J&J Eger and Tuzko make good bottlings.

Pretty much all of Spain and Portugal that you dont already know about. Sierra Gredos, Ribera Sacra, Azores etc.  There are a lot of old vineyards with a younger generation of more quality focused vintners attending to them turning out some great wines. Luis Seabra, Luis Pato, Antonio Macanita are all doing great things in portugal and Envinate, Comando G, Bernebeleva, Dominio di Bibei, 4Kilos etc etc in Spain.

OTW mentioned that in his last visit to Tuscany that one consulting eneologist is doing half his work in Georgia these days.  I'm a fan of some of the wines I've had, in particular the rkatsiteli's done in amphora.  Koncho Wine Co. does an outstanding one that ~$20CAD i bought a case of.  Pheasant's tears is a bigger company but what i've had from them i've enjoyed.

and I still feel like the world is sleeping on Montefalco.

 

@jcocktosten posted:

We have had some really good wines from Macedonia

Also agree on Slovenia - that was going to be my first response.

Best wine from a strange region was probably a Mexican wine Redknife brought to an offline 

Slovenia for sure, Greece is in between-not lesser known but not a big name region either. Whites from Santorini are great but some entry level reds from Naoussa or Nemea are really stunning values, especially from Kir-Yianni or Thymioupoulos estates.

Germany also makes some good reds and I've had really good wines from Croatia and Serbia as well as some interesting stuff coming out of Uruguay. Georgian wines should also be on everyone's radar.

PS I assume you meant Macedonia in Greece, otherwise the other country is now officiallly North Macedonia

And vinoevelo, absolutely right about Montefalco. It's the next Sangiovese in my opinion. Canary island wines are quite interestjng(assuming you are referring to the wines by Envinate) but I would much prefer Raul Perez's stuff from Bierzo, which is HUGELY underrated in terms of quality in my opinion.

 

Last edited by mimik

I like Greek reds. I have a Mavroudi in my pantry calling my name right now. Also I had a Limnio a while back. I think those grapes are exclusive to Greece. I also like xinomavro and agoritikio. The wines are well made and they drink well young but also seem like they can age. 

Also Corsican reds.

I don't think Sicily or Lebanon counts but I think they are a little off the beaten path and rewarding. After that just any indigenous Italian grapes that are not Sangiovese or Nebbiolo have my interest.

Last edited by spo
@winetarelli posted:

Does anyone have any go-to wine regions that aren’t among the famous ones?  For me, it is Slovenian wines. These seem consistently to punch above their pay grade and the whites are usually very interesting. My favorite producer from the area Is Batic, though the wines are sometimes hard to come by. 

I think kl used to offer the Batic cab franc. 

Do you think Slovenian wines are similar to FrIuli?

@spo posted:

I think kl used to offer the Batic cab franc. 

Do you think Slovenian wines are similar to FrIuli?

K&L used to be my Batic supplier.  They don't seem to have them anymore.

I do think Friuli is probably the most similar, especially for whites.  Lots of skin contact whites; lots of the same grapes; some amphora.  I do see more variety coming from Slovenia* in the sense that, for example, I find Gravner Breg and  Damijan Kaplija to be far more similar than different; whereas the house blends in Slovenia do vary pretty widely in style, though I have found myself enjoying the vast majority of $30+ Slovenian house blend whites I try.  I find the Slovenian red wines often to be a bit more forward and maybe a bit more oaked than some in Friuli, but the good ones -- like the Batic Cab Franc, which I love -- integrate it well and don't come off as New World at all.

*Regarding what Friuli is known for.  Obviously, one way in which Friuli whites are more diverse is that there are also excellent non-skin-contact whites (eg. Miani Sauvignon Blancs) whereas I think most of the best whites coming out of Slovenia do see skin contact.

Last edited by winetarelli
@winetarelli posted:

K&L used to be my Batic supplier.  They don't seem to have them anymore.

I do think Friuli is probably the most similar, especially for whites.  Lots of skin contact whites; lots of the same grapes; some amphora.  I do see more variety coming from Slovenia* in the sense that, for example, I find Gravner Breg and  Damijan Kaplija to be far more similar than different; whereas the house blends in Slovenia do vary pretty widely in style, though I have found myself enjoying the vast majority of $30+ Slovenian house blend whites I try.  I find the Slovenian red wines often to be a bit more forward and maybe a bit more oaked than some in Friuli, but the good ones -- like the Batic Cab Franc, which I love -- integrate it well and don't come off as New World at all.

*Regarding what Friuli is known for.  Obviously, one way in which Friuli whites are more diverse is that there are also excellent non-skin-contact whites (eg. Miani Sauvignon Blancs) whereas I think most of the best whites coming out of Slovenia do see skin contact.

We have been enjoying the 2013 Klet Ribolla Gialla Bagueri

 

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