I came across an interesting article on wine leather, which inspired me to look for other unusual wine stories. I found three more and will share all four of them in this article.
Unusual Wine Stories: #1) Wine Leather
Gianpiero Tessitore, an Italian entrepreneur in Milan, is working on launching a leather made from wine extracts. Tessitore says “the product is aimed at consumers who prefer to spend money on green and cruelty-free alternatives to animal and oil-based synthetic leathers.” He has patented the wine leather production process and named his company Vegea. I can’t wait to see his products! For vegetarians, this could be the answer to wearing leather shoes and carrying a leather handbag!
Unusual Wine Stories: #2) Wasps and Wine
According to listverse.com, even if you don’t like wasps, you should thank them for wine. Really? Really! Apparently, a fungus that grows on vineyard grapes called Saccharomyces cerevisiae is key to making wine. The problem is that it only grows during the summer and is killed off by the winter chill. Thankfully, wasps love grapes, eat them during the summer months, and fly back to their nests, “where they give the masticated mush to their larvae. When they eat the fruit, the insects ingest the yeast, and their stomachs provide the perfect environment for it to survive the frosty months. More importantly, when wasps feed their young, they pass the fungus to their babies. That way, when the larvae mature, they reintroduce S. cerevisiae to the vineyards and start the process all over again.”
Unusual Wine Stories: #3) Wine and Coke
Jancis Robinson, British wine journalist and Master of Wine highlighted that in China many people have started to drink wine “because it’s fashionable.” The problem is that few of these people have developed a taste for wine. So many of them buy very expensive wines and mix in Coke or Sprite. Wow.
Unusual Wine Stories: #4) High-altitude Vineyard in Salta, Argentina
You may have heard of the word terroir (pronounced tare wahr), which is a French term that represents the growing environment of the grapes. It encompasses everything from the soil content to the slant of the hill to the altitude of the vineyard, and it can make a tremendous different to the taste of the wine.
In Napa, some of the most esteemed vineyards are in the “mountains.” I put that word in quotes, because Howell Mountain, for example, has an elevation of 1,683 feet.
So when I read this article about the highest altitude vineyard in the world, I was blown away. It’s Colomé, which is in the Upper Calchaquí Valleys in the province of Salta, Argentina. This area is in the northwest of Argentina and shares a northern border with Bolivia and Paraguay and has Chile on the east. Their highest vineyard, aptly named Altura Máxima, has an altitude of 10,206 feet. Wow! Apparently, the white grape Torrontes grows very well there. I would love to try the wines from the vineyard. If you’ve tried them, please share your tasting experience with us.
If you have other unusual wine stories, please share them here. Thanks.
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