The quince is the sole member of the genus Cydonia in the family Rosaceae. It is a deciduous tree that bears a pome fruit, similar in appearance to a pear, bright golden-yellow when mature. Throughout history the cooked fruit has been used as food, but the tree is grown for its attractive pale pink blossoms and other ornamental qualities; the tree grows 4 to 6 m wide. The fruit is 7 to 12 cm 6 to 9 cm across; the immature fruit is green with dense grey-white fine hair, most of which rubs off before maturity in late autumn when the fruit changes color to yellow with hard perfumed flesh. The leaves are alternately arranged, simple, 6–11 cm long, with an entire margin and densely pubescent with fine white hairs; the flowers, produced in spring after the leaves, are pink, 5 cm across, with five petals. The seeds contain nitriles. In the stomach, enzymes or stomach acid or both cause some of the nitriles to be hydrolyzed and produce hydrogen cyanide, a volatile gas; the seeds are only to be toxic if a large quantity is eaten.
Four other species included in the genus Cydonia are now treated in separate genera. These are Pseudocydonia sinensis and the three flowering quinces of eastern Asia in the genus Chaenomeles. Another unrelated fruit, the bael, is sometimes called the "Bengal quince"; the modern name originated in the 14th century as a plural of quoyn, via Old French cooin from Latin cotoneum malum / cydonium malum from Greek κυδώνιον μῆλον, kydonion melon "Kydonian apple". Cydonia is included in the subfamily Amygdaloideae. Quince is native to rocky slopes and woodland margins in Western Asia, Turkey, northern Iran to Afghanistan, although it thrives in a variety of climates and can be grown at latitudes as far north as Scotland, it should not be confused with its relatives, the Chinese quince, Pseudocydonia sinensis, or the flowering quinces of genus Chaenomeles, either of, sometimes used as a culinary substitute. The fruit was known to the Akkadians, it was cultivated from an archaic period around the Mediterranean.
The Greeks associated it with Cydonia on Crete, as the "Cydonian pome", Theophrastus, in his Enquiry into Plants, noted that quince was one of many fruiting plants that do not come true from seed. As a sacred emblem of Aphrodite, a quince figured in a lost poem of Callimachus that survives in a prose epitome: seeing his beloved in the courtyard of the temple of Aphrodite, Acontius plucks a quince from the "orchard of Aphrodite", inscribes its skin and furtively rolls it at the feet of her illiterate nurse, whose curiosity aroused, hands it to the girl to read aloud, the girl finds herself saying "I swear by Aphrodite that I will marry Acontius". A vow thus spoken in the goddess's temenos cannot be broken. Pliny the Elder describes four; the season of ripe quinces is brief: the Roman cookbook De re coquinaria of "Apicius" specifies in attempting to keep quinces, to select perfect unbruised fruits and keep stems and leaves intact, submerged in honey and reduced wine. Quince is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including brown-tail, Bucculatrix bechsteinella, Bucculatrix pomifoliella, Coleophora cerasivorella, Coleophora malivorella, green pug and winter moth.
While quince is a hardy shrub, it may develop fungal diseases in hot weather, resulting in premature leaf fall. Quince leaf blight, caused by fungus Diplocarpon mespili, presents a threat in wet summers, causing severe leaf spotting and early defoliation affecting fruit to a lesser extent, it may affect other Rosaceae plants such as hawthorn and medlar, but is less damaging than on quince. Cedar-quince rust, caused by Gymnosporangium clavipes, requires two hosts to complete the fungal lifecycle, one being a cedar and the other a rosacea. Appearing as red excrescence on various parts of the plant, it may affect quinces grown in vicinity of junipers. Quince is a hardy, drought-tolerant shrub which adapts to many soils of low to medium pH, it tolerates both shade and sun, but sunlight is required in order to produce larger flowers and ensure fruit ripening. It is an tough plant that does not require much maintenance, tolerates years without pruning or major insect and disease problems. Quince is cultivated on all continents in temperate climates.
It requires a cooler period of the year, with temperatures under 7 °C. Propagation is done by cuttings or layering. Named cultivars are propagated by layers grafted on quince rootstock. Propagation by seed is not used commercially. Quince forms thick bushes, which must be pruned and reduced into a single stem in order to grow fruit-bearing trees for commercial use; the tree is self-pollinated. Fruits are left on the tree to ripen fully. In warmer climates, it may become soft to the point of being edible, but additional ripening may be required in cooler climates, they are harvested before first frosts. Quince is used as rootstock for certain pear cultivars
Switzerland the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities; the sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2. While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of 8.5 million people is concentrated on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva. The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648; the country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation.
It pursues an active foreign policy and is involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties. Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, Alpine symbolism. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz. On coins and stamps, the Latin name – shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national languages.
Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness and human development. Zürich and Basel have all three been ranked among the top ten cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the first ranked second globally, according to Mercer in 2018; the English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzer, an obsolete term for the Swiss, in use during the 16th to 19th centuries. The English adjective Swiss is a loan from French Suisse in use since the 16th century; the name Switzer is from the Alemannic Schwiizer, in origin an inhabitant of Schwyz and its associated territory, one of the Waldstätten cantons which formed the nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederacy. The Swiss began to adopt the name for themselves after the Swabian War of 1499, used alongside the term for "Confederates", used since the 14th century.
The data code for Switzerland, CH, is derived from Latin Confoederatio Helvetica. The toponym Schwyz itself was first attested in 972, as Old High German Suittes perhaps related to swedan ‘to burn’, referring to the area of forest, burned and cleared to build; the name was extended to the area dominated by the canton, after the Swabian War of 1499 came to be used for the entire Confederation. The Swiss German name of the country, Schwiiz, is homophonous to that of the canton and the settlement, but distinguished by the use of the definite article; the Latin name Confoederatio Helvetica was neologized and introduced after the formation of the federal state in 1848, harking back to the Napoleonic Helvetic Republic, appearing on coins from 1879, inscribed on the Federal Palace in 1902 and after 1948 used in the official seal.. Helvetica is derived from the Helvetii, a Gaulish tribe living on the Swiss plateau before the Roman era. Helvetia appears as a national personification of the Swiss confederacy in the 17th century with a 1672 play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach.
Switzerland has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. The precursors of Switzerland established a protective alliance at the end of the 13th century, forming a loose confederation of states which persisted for centuries; the oldest traces of hominid existence in Switzerland date back about 150,000 years. The oldest known farming settlements in Switzerland, which were found at Gächlingen, have been dated to around 5300 BC; the earliest known cultural tribes of the area were members of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures, named after the archaeological site of La Tène on the north side of Lake Neuchâtel. La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age from around 450 BC under some influence from the Gree
Languedoc-Roussillon wine, including the vin de pays labeled Vin de Pays d'Oc, is produced in southern France. While "Languedoc" can refer to a specific historic region of France and Northern Catalonia, usage since the 20th century has referred to the northern part of the Languedoc-Roussillon région of France, an area which spans the Mediterranean coastline from the French border with Spain to the region of Provence; the area has around 700,000 acres under vines and is the single biggest wine-producing region in the world, being responsible for more than a third of France's total wine production. In 2001, the region produced more wine than the United States; the history of Languedoc wines can be traced to the first vineyards planted along the coast near Narbonne by the early Greeks in the fifth century BC. Along with parts of Provence, these are the oldest planted vineyards in France; the region of Languedoc has belonged to France since the thirteenth century and the Roussillon was acquired from Spain in the mid-seventeenth century.
The two regions were joined as one administrative region in the late 1980s. From the 4th century through the 18th and early 19th centuries, the Languedoc had a reputation for producing high quality wine. In Paris during the 14th century, wines from the St. Chinian area were prescribed in hospitals for their "healing powers". During the advent of the Industrial Age in the late 19th century, production shifted towards mass-produced le gros rouge—cheap red wine that could satisfy the growing work force; the use of prolific grape varieties produced high yields and thin wines, which were blended with red wine from Algeria to give them more body. The phylloxera epidemic in the 19th century affected the Languedoc wine industry, killing off many of the higher quality Vitis vinifera that were susceptible to the louse. American rootstock, resistant to phylloxera did not take well to the limestone soil on the hillside. In place of these vines, acres of the lower quality Aramon, Alicante Bouschet and Carignan were planted.
During both World Wars the Languedoc was responsible for providing the daily wine rations given to French soldiers. In 1962, Algeria gained its independence from France, bringing about an end to the blending of the stronger Algerian red wine to mask the thin le gros rouge; this event, coupled with French consumers moving away from cheap red wines in the 1970s, has contributed to several decades of surplus wine production in France, with Languedoc as the largest contributor to the European "wine lake" and recurring European Union subsidies aimed at reducing production. These developments prompted many Languedoc producers to start refocusing on higher quality, but has led to many local and regional protests, including violent ones from the infamous Comité Régional d'Action Viticole. Despite the general reputation as a mass producer and a consensus that the region is in the midst of an economic crisis, parts of the Languedoc wine industry are experiencing commercial success due to outside investment and an increased focus on quality.
Sales have been improved by many vineyards that concentrate on creating a good brand name rather than relying on the sometimes infamous regional designations. Some vineyards have adopted the youngest batch of AOC classifications developed in the late 1990s, while other vineyards eschew designated blends and are instead shifting toward bottling single varietal wines, a practice demanded by consumers in the large New World wine market; the Languedoc-Roussillon region shares many terrain and climate characteristics with the neighboring regions of Southern Rhone and Provence. The region stretches 150 miles from the Banyuls AOC at the Spanish border and Pyrenees in the west, along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to the Rhone River and Provence in the east; the northern boundaries of the region sit on the Massif Central with the Cévennes mountain ranges and valleys dominating the area. Many vineyards are located along the Hérault River. Vineyards in the Languedoc are planted along the coastal plains of the Mediterranean while those in the Roussillon are to be found in the narrow valleys around the Pyrenees.
The peak growing season is dry and the majority of annual rainfall occurs during the winter. In the Languedoc, the plains area is the most hottest region of France; the region's Mediterranean climate is conducive to growing a large amount of a wide variety of grapes, with vintners in the area excelling in mass production. The average annual temperature is 57 °F; the tramontane inland wind from the northwest accentuates the dry climate. In December 2006, the French government responded to global warming concerns and relaxed some of the irrigation regulations. In 1999 severe weather had damaging effects on the wine producing industry, including hailstorms in May that affected Roussillon and a rain surge in mid November that saw a year's worth of rain fall in 36 hours in the areas of Corbières and Minervois in the western Languedoc; the composition of soil in the Languedoc varies from the chalk and gravel based soils inland to more alluvial soils near the coast. Some of the more rated vineyards are laid on top of ancient riverbed stones similar to those of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
The five best known appellations in the Languedoc include Languedoc AOC, Corbières AOC, Faugères, Minervois AOC, Saint-Chinian AOCs. The vast majority of Languedoc wines are produced by wine cooperatives which number more than 500. However, the appellatio
New Jersey wine
The production of wine in New Jersey has increased in the last thirty years with opening of new wineries. Beginning in 1981, the state legislature relaxed Prohibition-era restrictions and crafted new laws to facilitate the growth of the industry and provide new opportunities for winery licenses. Today, New Jersey wineries are crafting wines that have earned recognition for their quality from critics, industry leaders, in national and international competitions; as of 2019, New Jersey has 51 licensed and operating wineries with several more prospective wineries in various stages of development. According to the United States Department of Agriculture's 2012 Census of Agriculture, the state's wineries and vineyards dedicated 1,082 acres to the cultivation of grapes. New Jersey wineries are growing Vitis vinifera, Vitis labrusca, or French hybrid wine grapes, producing or offering for sale over eighty types of wines. In 2010, 1.72 million gallons of wine were produced by New Jersey wineries. A considerable portion of New Jersey wine sales are non-grape fruit wine apple, blueberry and cranberry wines.
These fruits are associated with New Jersey and can be purchased from many nearby farms throughout the Garden State. New Jersey’s 51 wineries generate between US$30,000,000-$40,000,000 of revenue annually. Wealthy New Jersey landowners began to produce wines during the colonial period. In 1767, two men, Edward Antill and William Alexander, Lord Stirling received recognition for their successful efforts to cultivate grapes and produce wine on their plantations from the Royal Society of Arts in London; the Society had challenged colonists in Britain's North American colonies to cultivate grapes and produce "those Sorts of Wines now consumed in Great Britain." While the cultivation of grapes and fruit trees supported a flourishing wine industry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the effects of Prohibition and a legacy of restrictive laws constraining the industry's recovery subsequent to the its repeal devastated the industry. For fifty years after the repeal of Prohibition, New Jersey was limited by law to a ratio of one winery license for every 1,000,000 state residents, which by 1980 allowed for only seven wineries.
The growth of the state's winery industry has been bolstered by the repeal, starting in 1981, with the New Jersey Farm Winery Act, of many Prohibition-era laws and allowed many small growers to open new wineries. In 1758, the Royal Society of Arts sought to incentivize agricultural innovation and cultivation in the North American colonies by offering a "premium"—or cash award—of 100 British pounds for the planting of vineyards and the production of "five tuns of red or white wine of acceptable quality." The initial award was unclaimed by 1762, the Society augmented the bounty to £200 if the goal were reached by a colonial farmer by 1770 adding that at least five hundred vines should be planted and the wine produced equal "those Sorts of Wines now consumed in Great Britain."In 1767, two men had been recognized by the society for their undertakings. William Alexander, the self-styled "Earl of Stirling," informed the society in 1767 that he had planted 2,100 vines at his estate in Basking Ridge, in central New Jersey's Somerset County.
Sterling had reported that his plantings were "chiefly Burgundy, Black and Red Frontiniac, Muscadine and Tokays." Edward Antill who inherited his father's estate and operated a large brewery at Raritan Landing across the Raritan River in Piscataway Township from the city of New Brunswick, advised the society that he had a vineyard of 800 vines of Madeira and Frontenac grapes as well as a few "Sweet-water Grape vines, of the best sort of the Native Vines of America by way of tryal." Antill had remarked in a 1765 letter that he had been "thought by some Gentlemen as well as by Farmers whimsical in attempting a Vineyard." and had planted his vines "on the south side of a hill facing a public road so that his experiment could be advertised to the skeptics."The society had discussed offering the £200 to both men for their achievements. However, the Society raised concerns about the legitimacy of Alexander's claim to a title of nobility. On 2 December 1767, the Society offered the cash award to Antill, three weeks offered Lord Stirling a gold medal "for having planted 2100 vines in North America in pursuance of the Views of the Society."
Shortly after his death, Antill published an 80-page tract entitled An Essay on the cultivation of the Vine, the making and preserving of Wine, suited to the different Climates in North-America and this account influenced scholarship well into the nineteenth century. The developments of Antill and Lord Sterling did not translate into a long-term success or establish the industry in the state. Within a few years after their deaths, Antill in 1770, Lord Sterling in 1783, their prize-winning vineyards were neglected and gone. In the colonial period and early nineteenth-century, the prevailing market in the New Jersey was for Jersey cider and distilled spirits. During the 1840s, in Newark, producers were creating sparkling apple cider and marketing it as "champagne"—so much so that Scottish traveller Alexander Mackay asserted that he learned that most "imported champagne" in America came in fact from Newark. While Mackay thought that it was "excellent as a summer drink" he quipped that, "many is the American connoisseur of champagne who has his taste cultivated on Newark cider."
In the mid-19th century
Ripeness in viticulture
In viticulture, ripeness is the completion of the ripening process of wine grapes on the vine which signals the beginning of harvest. What constitutes ripeness will vary depending on what style of wine is being produced and what the winemaker and viticulturist believe constitutes ripeness. Once the grapes are harvested, the physical and chemical components of the grape which will influence a wine's quality are set so determining the optimal moment of ripeness may be considered the most crucial decision in winemaking. There are several factors; as the grapes go through veraison, sugars in the grapes will continue to rise as acid levels fall. The balance between sugar and acids is considered one of the most critical aspects of producing quality wine so both the must weight and "total acidity", as well as the pH of the grapes, are evaluated to determine ripeness. Towards the end of the 20th century and viticulturists began focusing on the concept of achieving "physiological" ripeness in the grapes-described as a more complete ripeness of tannins and other phenolic compounds in the grapes that contribute to the color and aroma of wine.
If ripening is broadly defined as the development of wine grapes it could be said that ripening is happening throughout the continuous annual cycle of the grapevine. More narrowly defined, ripening begins at the inception of veraison. At this point, the grapes are hard and green with low sugar levels and high levels of malic acids. During veraison, which may last from 30–70 days depending on the climate and other factors, the grapes go through several changes which impact their sugar, acid and mineral composition; the concentration of phenolic compounds in the skin, most notably anthocyanins for red wine grapes, replace the green color of chlorophyll as the grape berries themselves change color. The increase of sugars in the grapes comes from the storage of carbohydrates in the roots and trunk of the grapevines as well as through the process of photosynthesis. Sucrose produced by photosynthesis is transferred from the leaves to the berries as it is broken down into glucose and fructose molecules.
The rate of this build up will depend on several factors including the climate as well as the potential yield size of grape clusters and young vine shoot tips which compete for the resources of the mother grapevine. As the concentration of sugars build up, the concentration of acids decrease due, in part, to simple dilution but to the consumption of acids in the process of plant respiration; the decrease in free acids, as well as the buildup of potassium, triggers a rise in the pH level of the grape juice. In addition to the change in sugar, acids and pH levels other components of the grapes are building up during the ripening process; the mineral components of potassium, calcium and sodium increase in concentration as they are disseminated among the skin of the grapes and its fleshy pulp. The color of the grape berries begin to change due to the building up of phenolic compounds such as anthocyanin in the skins. Flavonoids and volatile compounds known as "flavor precursors" which contribute to the eventual flavor and aroma of the wine begin to build up in the skins and pulp.
Additionally the concentration of tannins in the grape increases in several areas of the grape including the skin and stem. Early in the ripening process these tannins are bitter and "green". Exposure to the warmth and sunlight during the ripening period ushers in chemical changes to the tannins that when processed into wine makes the tannins feel softer in the mouth. What constitutes "ripeness" will vary according to what style of wine is being produced as well as the particular views of winemakers and viticulturists on what optimal ripeness is; the style of wine is dictated by the balance between sugars and acids. What may be considered "ripe" for one winemaker could be considered under ripe to another winemaker or overripe to yet a third winemaker. Climate and the particular grape variety will play a role in determining ripeness and date of harvest. In hot climates, such as certain areas in California and Australia, ripeness is achieved around 30 days after veraison starts while in much cooler climates, like the Loire Valley and parts of Germany, this may not occur until 70 days after veraison.
The ripening periods for each individual grape variety will vary with grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon taking much longer to ripen compared to early ripening varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot noir. Since over the course of ripening sugars in the grapes increase, the sweetness level as well as the potential alcohol level of the wine will play a considerable role in dictating when a grape is "ripe" enough; this is. The greater the concentration of sugars in the grape, the greater the potential alcohol level. However, most strains of winemaking yeast have difficulties surviving in an alcohol solution above 15% alcohol by volume and cease fermentation before all the sugar is converted in alcohol; this leaves a certain amount of residual sugar. Wines that are destined to be sweet, such as dessert wines, are called late harvest wines because they are harvested at extreme points of ripeness much than when regular table wine grapes have been harvested; the presence of alcohol in the wine con
Sparkling wine is a wine with significant levels of carbon dioxide in it, making it fizzy. While the phrase refers to champagne, EU countries reserve that term for products produced in the Champagne region of France. Sparkling wine is either white or rosé, but there are examples of red sparkling wines such as the Italian Brachetto and Lambrusco, Australian sparkling Shiraz, Azerbaijani "Pearl of Azerbaijan" made from Madrasa grapes; the sweetness of sparkling wine can range from dry brut styles to sweeter doux varieties. The sparkling quality of these wines comes from its carbon dioxide content and may be the result of natural fermentation, either in a bottle, as with the traditional method, in a large tank designed to withstand the pressures involved, or as a result of simple carbon dioxide injection in some cheaper sparkling wines. In EU countries, the word "champagne" is reserved by law only for sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France; the French terms Mousseux and Crémant refer to sparkling wine not made in the Champagne region, such as Blanquette de Limoux produced in Southern France.
Sparkling wines are produced around the world, are referred to by their local name or region, such as Espumante from Portugal, Cava from Catalonia, Franciacorta, Trento DOC, Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico and Asti from Italy, Cap Classique from South Africa. Sparkling wines have been produced in Eastern Europe since the early 19th-century. "Champagne" was further popularised in the region, late in the century, when József Törley started production in Hungary using French methods, learned as an apprentice in Reims. Törley has since become one of the largest European producers of sparkling wine; the United States is a significant producer of sparkling wine today, with producers in numerous states. Production of sparkling wine has re-started in the United Kingdom after a long hiatus. Effervescence has been observed in wine throughout history and has been noted by Ancient Greek and Roman writers, but the cause of this mysterious appearance of bubbles was not understood. Over time it has been attributed to phases of the moon as well as both evil spirits.
The tendency of still wine from the Champagne region to sparkle was noted in the Middle Ages but this was considered a wine fault and was disdained in early Champagne winemaking although it made the pride of other historic sparkling wine production areas like Limoux. Dom Pérignon was charged by his superiors at the Abbey of Hautvillers to get rid of the bubbles since the pressure in the bottles caused many of them to burst in the cellar; when deliberate sparkling wine production increased in the early 18th century, cellar workers would still have to wear a heavy iron mask that resembled a baseball catcher's mask to prevent injury from spontaneously bursting bottles. The disturbance caused by one bottle's disintegration could cause a chain reaction, with it being routine for cellars to lose 20–90% of their bottles to instability; the mysterious circumstance surrounding the unknown process of fermentation and carbonic gas caused some critics to call the sparkling creations "The Devil's Wine".
The British were the first to see the tendency of wines from Champagne to sparkle as a desirable trait and tried to understand why it produced bubbles. Wine was transported to England in wooden wine barrels where merchant houses would bottle the wine for sale. During the 17th century, English glass production used coal-fueled ovens and produced stronger, more durable glass bottles than the wood-fired French glass; the English rediscovered the use of cork stoppers, once used by the Romans but forgotten for centuries after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. During the cold winters of the Champagne region, temperatures would drop so low that the fermentation process was prematurely halted—leaving some residual sugar and dormant yeast; when the wine was shipped to and bottled in England, the fermentation process would restart when the weather warmed and the cork-stoppered wine would begin to build pressure from carbon dioxide gas. When the wine was opened, it would be bubbly. In 1662, the English scientist Christopher Merret presented a paper detailing how the presence of sugar in a wine led to it sparkling and that by adding sugar to a wine before bottling it, nearly any wine could be made to sparkle.
This is one of the first known accounts of understanding the process of sparkling wine and suggests that British merchants were producing "sparkling Champagne" before the French Champenois were deliberately making it. Sparkling wines, such as Champagne, are sold with 5 to 6 atmospheres of pressure in the bottle; this is nearly twice the pressure found in an automobile tire. European Union regulations define a sparkling wine as any wine with an excess of 3 atmospheres in pressure; these include Spanish Espumoso, Italian Spumante and French Crémant or Mousseux wines. Semi-sparkling wines are defined as those with between 1 and 2.5 atmospheres of pressures and include German spritzig, Italian frizzante and French pétillant wines. The amount of pressure in the wine is determined by the amount of sugar added during the tirage stage at the beginning of the secondary fermentation with more sugar producing increased amount of carbon dioxide gas and thus pressure in the wine. While the majority of sparkling wines are white or rosé, Australia and Moldova each have a sizable production of red sparkling wines.
Of these, Italy has the longest tradition in red sparkling wine-making, with notable wines including Brachetto and semi spar
Vitis vinifera, the common grape vine, is a species of Vitis, native to the Mediterranean region, central Europe, southwestern Asia, from Morocco and Portugal north to southern Germany and east to northern Iran. There are between 5,000 and 10,000 varieties of Vitis vinifera grapes though only a few are of commercial significance for wine and table grape production, it is a liana growing to 32 m with flaky bark. The leaves are 5 -- 20 cm long and broad; the fruit is a berry, known as a grape. The species occurs in humid forests and streamsides; the wild grape is classified as V. vinifera subsp. Sylvestris, with V. vinifera subsp. Vinifera restricted to cultivated forms. Domesticated vines subsp.. Sylvestris is dioecious and pollination is required for fruit to develop; the grape is eaten processed to make wine or juice, or dried to produce raisins. Cultivars of Vitis vinifera form the basis of the majority of wines produced around the world. All of the familiar wine varieties belong to Vitis vinifera, cultivated on every continent except for Antarctica, in all the major wine regions of the world.
Wild grapes were harvested by early farmers. For thousands of years, the fruit has been harvested for both nutritional value. Changes in pip shape and distribution point to domestication occurring about 3500–3000 BC, in southwest Asia, South Caucasus, or the Western Black Sea shore region; the earliest evidence of domesticated grapes has been found at Gadachrili Gora, near the village of Imiri, Marneuli Municipality, in southeastern Republic of Georgia. Grape pips dating back to the V-IV millennia B. C. were found in Shulaveri. C. were found in Khizanaant Gora, all in the Republic of Georgia. Cultivation of the domesticated grape spread to other parts of the Old World in pre-historic or early historic times; the first written accounts of grapes and wine can be found in the Epic of Gilgamesh, an ancient Sumerian text from the third millennium BC. There are numerous hieroglyphic references from ancient Egypt, according to which wine was reserved for priests, state functionaries and the pharaoh. Hesiod in his Works and Days gives detailed descriptions of grape harvests and wine making techniques, there are many references in Homer.
Greek colonists introduced these practices in their colonies in southern Italy, known as Enotria due to its propitious climate. The Etruscans improved wine making techniques and developed an export trade beyond the Mediterranean basin; the ancient Romans further developed the techniques learnt from the Etruscans, as shown by numerous works of literature containing information, still valid today: De Agri Cultura by Cato the Elder, De re rustica by Marcus Terentius Varro, the Georgics by Virgil and De re rustica by Columella. During the 3rd and 4th centuries AD, the long crisis of the Roman Empire generated instability in the countryside which led to a reduction of viticulture in general, sustained only close to towns and cities and along coastlines. Between the 5th and 10th centuries, viticulture was sustained exclusively by the different religious orders in monasteries; the Benedictines and others extended the grape growing limit northwards and planted new vineyards at higher altitudes than was customary before.
Apart from ‘ecclesiastical’ viticulture, there developed in France, a ‘noble’ viticulture, practiced by the aristocracy as a symbol of prestige. Grape growing was a significant economic activity in the Middle east up to the 7th century, when the expansion of Islam caused it to decline. Between the Low Middle Ages and the Renaissance, viticulture began to flourish again. Demographic pressure, population concentration in towns and cities, the increased spending power of artisans and merchants gave rise to increased investment in viticulture, which became economically feasible once more. Much was written during the Renaissance on grape growing and wine production, favouring a more scientific approach; this literature can be considered the origin of modern ampelography. Grapes followed European colonies around the world, coming to North America around the 17th century, to Africa, South America and Australia. In North America it formed hybrids with native species from the genus Vitis. North American rootstocks became used to graft V. vinifera cultivars so as to withstand the presence of phylloxera.
V. Vinifera accounts for the majority of world wine production. In Europe, Vitis vinifera is concentrated in the southern regions.