Wine is my focus of study. Every aspect of wine intrigues me. Every wine producing region in the world is like a piece of a giant puzzle. I never miss the opportunity to taste wine from a region I have never explored. When I do taste a new wine, it is not enough to look at it's color and taste it's flavors. To really get the most enjoyment from a wine that is new to me, I want to know the geographic boundry of where it was made. I want to know about the climate, history, traditions, and maybe even laws that shape how a wine tastes.
The amount of time it takes to get a clear view of of just one tiny piece of the wine puzzle, is substantial. In a very young wine region, like Washington for instance, it may be easier to put your arms around its short history. Many of the most important members of our small industry are still around. You can simply call or email them to get answers to your most important questions!
Other pieces of the wine puzzle are not as easy to get a clear look at. Travel to the schist terraces of Portugal's Douro Valley, where port is made, and you will find that the best areas for wine grape growing were identified in 1756. The steep slate banks of Germany's Mosel River will send you into 16th century, looking for answers about the noble Riesling grape. If you want to explore some of Burgundy's greatest vineyard sites, that produce the most sought after Pino Noir anywhere, you will soon find out that Pino Noir was recognized as the ideal grape for these vineyards 700 years ago!
This is exactly what keeps me interested in wine. The fun of bringing just one piece of the great wine puzzle into focus, is what I enjoy most about wine.