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.
Hungary's wine industry suffered a real drop in reputation throughout most of the twentieth century due to the homogenization of wines under the Soviet Union. However, today the historic wineries of Tokaj and the regions around the great Balaton lake are working tirelessly to bring Hungary's wines to the world once again, and demonstrate just how wonderful and varied the country's produce is. By far the most highly esteemed of all Hungary's wines are the famous Tokaji wines â€“ once the favorite of the crowned heads of Europe, now a favorite with anyone looking for something unique, flavorful and surprising. Tokaji wines are made using noble rot, which withers the grapes and concentrates the sugars of the fruit. The resulting wine is slightly viscous, and packed full of fascinating flavors.