Yes, my friends. I filled my head with so much Wine Know in one week, that I petered out on W2WK posts!! But in case you are wondering, I did actually finish the course… and passed it! Even though I am a few days behind, I wanted to round out the wine fun fact sharing with some additional randomness I learned on days 5 and 6 at the International Wine Guild.
- Did you know that winemakers can fly!? It’s true. They just need the same silly jet engine machine that the rest of us do. But a “Flying Winemaker” is a person who travels to different regions of the world to make wine from multiple harvests in one year. Most winemakers (who stay in their home region) will make wine only one time each year (starting at harvest). A Flying Winemaker travels to different regions on different hemispheres or climates to be able to hit up multiple harvests and get to build their own Wine Know 2-3 times in one year.
- This will blow your mind. China is the #5 producer of wine in the world. Now that I think of it, it probably shouldn’t be all that mind blowing, but I think most of us do not consider China a big piece of the wine world. They don’t consume very much (they rank #125 in consumption), but #5 in production!? Who knew!?
- When most of us snag a Malbec from our local wine shop, we are usually looking at a bottle from South America – most likely Argentina or Chile. But did you know that the Malbec grape is actually native to France’s Cahors region? As discussed in the France Country Series posts, French wines are typically blends of various grapes, so you don’t often see the grape names on the wine bottles.
- In 1885, Australian Shiraz won 1st place at the Paris International Exhibition (or the Paris World Fair). This would ordinarily have been a huge deal (you know – placing above France in a wine contest). It’s just that it was a bit out-shadowed by that little thing we’ve come to refer to as the Eiffel Tower, which was revealed at the fair in the same year.
- This one is more of an un-fun fact. Phylloxera is a root-feeding aphid (nasty little insect) and is native to North America.
Vines that are native to North America live peacefully with this little bug. But guess what – phylloxera isn’t so keen on making international friends. Instead, it eats them. Through the late 1800s, phylloxera quickly spread across Europe to the point that by 1890, 99.9% of all European grape vines were completely destroyed. NINETY NINE point NINE percent! Can you believe that? Luckily, someone thought to graft together the European vines with vines native to North America. This basically means that the root of the plant is North American (and therefore living in peace with phylloxera) and the top of the plant is whatever you want it to be. (For more on grafting, check out one of my very early W2WK posts here…). And the replanting began. I just can’t imagine a world without European wine… but we came close to it.
So there it is, Winos. This concludes the fun fact sharing from my fantastic experience at the Wine Guild. Of course, I will be using my newly acquired Wine Know in future posts – hopefully in a bit more focused manner. But I hope you enjoyed these and like I said on Day 1 – I really hope someone wins some trivia game because of what they’ve read here!!