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.
Lebanon has been producing wines for over five thousand years, and was once home to the Phoenicians â€“ perhaps the first great viticulturists whose influence spread all over Europe and the middle east, and resulted in many of the great wine regions we know and love today. Lebanese wine culture in the modern age in mainly centered in the eastern part of the country, where the climatic conditions and terroir is ideal for growing a wide range of native and imported grape varietals. Indeed, along the Syrian border, wineries have long been cultivating many fine French grape varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache, which make up for a large proportion of all the grapes grown in the country. Lebanese wineries are certainly on the increase, as more demand for the country's wines has led to a relative boom in viticulture over recent years, with the number of wineries doubling in the last decade.