2012 has, so far been a positive year for wineries around the world. While it may be a little too early to speak of the wines being made in the northern hemisphere, European and North American wineries have already begun reporting that their harvesting season has been generally very good, and are predicting to continue with the kind of successes they saw in 2011. However, 2012 has been something of a late year for France, due to unpredictable weather throughout the summer, and the grapes were ripening considerably later than they did in 2011 (which was, admittedly, an exceptionally early year). French wineries are claiming, though, that this could well turn out to be advantageous, as the slow ripening will allow the resulting wines to express more flavour and features of the terroir they are grown in.
The southern hemisphere has seen ideal climatic conditions in most of the key wine producing countries, and Australia and New Zealand particularly had a superb year, in particular with the Bordeaux varietal grapes that grow there and which love the humidity these countries received plenty of. Also enjoying a fantastic year for weather were wineries across Argentina and Chile, with the Mendoza region claiming that 2012 will be one of their best vintages of the past decade. Similar claims are being made across the Chilean wine regions, where Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon had an especially good year. These two grape varietals also produced characterful wines on the coastal regions of South Africa this year.
For over five thousand years, Lebanon has been producing wines. This ancient and proud country has been involved with viticulture for longer than almost every other location on earth, and there are plenty of historical records demonstrating how Lebanese wines were in high demand by the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, just as they are popular with those looking for something unique and delicious to this day. The vast majority of grapes cultivated in modern Lebanon are of French origin, with many Bordeaux and Loire Valley varietals being grown in large quantities in the more temperate eastern part of the country. However, there is increasing enthusiasm for native varietals, and we can expect to see more and more wines made with indigenous Lebanese grapes in wine stores around the world over the next few years.