Top 10 volcanic wines

4 – Cayuse Vineyards Armada Vineyard God Only Knows 2011 Grenache, Walla Walla Valley, Washington State

God Only KnowsOne of the lesser known volcanic winegrowing regions of the world, Washington State is an area we are sure to hear more from. Vineyard plantings here have grown massively in the past few years – from 4,492ha to 20,234ha between 1993 and 2013.

This Grenache has an abundance of concentrated dark and red fruit (strawberry, blackberry), with pepper, herbs and an unmistakable savoury, flinty streak.

Partial-cluster fermentation in concrete tanks, 2-3 weeks on skin and stems, daily pumping over, aged in neutral oak.

The soil sits on 10,000ft of pure basalt – a 15m-year-old bedrock stratum that’s part of one of the largest areas of basalt lava on the surface of the planet.


4 Responses to “Top 10 volcanic wines”

  1. Nick Oakley says:

    Etna, Santorini, Tenerife, Pantellaria. I get these. But Alsace? Volcanic?

    • Olivier Humbrecht says:

      There were two types of volcanic activity in the region: submarine in south Alsace, before the emergence of the VOsges mountains above sea level, and more recently in the Kaiserstuhl in Germany. The ashes and vocanic dusts sedimented in the sea and got compacted as the Vosges were pushed out of the sea in a rock called Grauwacke.

  2. Luigi says:

    I cannot believe that any wines from the Campania region was not featured! Greco Di Tufo, Lacryma Christi to name but 2.

  3. See the wonder book by John Szabo MW call Volcanic Wines, recently available online too. Beside the well known regions, some lovely pockets of volcanic terroir to discover.

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