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.
There are few countries in the world which have a more fascinating or ancient viticultural history than that of Lebanon, which archaeologists believe has been producing wines for over five thousand years. Indeed, the Phoenicians who once lived on the Lebanese coast were responsible for spreading viticulture around Europe several millennia ago, long before the Romans or Greeks. Today, Lebanese wines are receiving more and more global interest, and wineries are opening every year to meet the growing demand. Most of the grapes which are grown in the fertile and beautiful eastern part of the country are of French origin, although there are still plenty of indigenous grape varietals which are also becoming more popular as wine drinkers worldwide seek out new flavors and styles.