I'm a sucker for pioneers. Especially those that strike out into the wilderness to try making great wine where no one has tried before. This is why I was positively tickled when I learned about people making wine in Thailand a few of years ago.
My latest source of delight in this regard is Ethiopia, which frankly is a much more likely locale for winemaking than Thailand. Thanks to the famine in the 80's, most people's mental picture of Ethiopia looks like this:
Photo by Calips96
But Ethiopia is far from a flat wasteland. In fact, it is incredibly mountainous. A lot of it looks like this:
Photo by Moi of Ra
Presumably those who are embarking on winemaking in the country, including The Castel Group, France's largest wine producer, are exploring these cooler, higher elevation areas of the country.
Ethiopia, with it's large population of Coptic Christians (who make up about 60% of the population), is perhaps the most likely winemaking population in what is a mostly Muslim dominated Northeastern Africa (though it should be noted that there are significant vineyard plantings in Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt). Hopefully the Ethiopians can do a bit better than their neighbors to the North, as Egyptian wine is positively dreadful.
I wish them the best of luck. Read the full story.
Thanks to Arthur for tipping me off to the story.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.
Holiday Gift Guide for the Wine Lover Who Has Everything I'll Drink to That: Andrew McNamara of The Court of Master Sommeliers Vinography Unboxed: Week of November 22, 2015 I'll Drink to That: Bruce Neyers of Neyers Vineyards Vinography Images: Rows of Gold A Lonely Hillside: The Wines of Alto de la Ballena, Uruguay I'll Drink to That: Karen MacNeil The Most Untrustworthy Wine in the World Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 11/22 I'll Drink to That: CP Lin of Erewhon
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune