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Lifestyle

5 Little-Known Wines You'll Want to Try

Had enough of pinot noir? Bored of what burgundy has to offer? It’s time to make way for something new with these under-appreciated wines.

There’s no doubt you have your favourite chardonnay you reach for mid-week, the same pinot noir you pair with pasta and that rosé you always pour on warmer days. It’s easy to stay loyal to a wine region and revisit the magic of Barolo in northern Italy or a reliably good Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the Rhône wine region in southeastern France.

But there’s a whole world of wines out there you may not have even heard of yet that will send your taste buds on a new adventure. Take a leap into the unknown with these five wines (with two from home soil) and embrace your newly found wine raconteur status.

Bottles of Tillingham wines

1. Tillingham Winery, East Sussex

English wine harks back to Roman times and there are over 700 vineyards dotted around the country today. It has suffered an image problem over the years, but a new wave of exciting winemakers has emerged. Leading the pack is Ben Walgate of Tillingham Wines, Rye, Sussex.

The winery has 70 acres of vines, an impressive visitor centre, restaurant, pizzeria and an eleven-room hotel. His range of fresh-tasting, acid-forward organic wine (white, red, rose, orange) is aged in qvevri (clay urns from Georgia) used to ferment grapes, skins on, without the addition of any extra yeast. The process is 8,000 years-old.

Tillingham.com

55/Redefined recommends: Rose 2020, £34, order here

A bottle of Sept Winery wine in front of a concrete backdrop

2. Sept Winery, Lebanon

Lebanon is one of the oldest wine producers in the world (we’re talking BC), but probably one of the most underrated. The first biodynamic vineyard in Lebanon and the first producers of skin-contact wine (orange) wine in the country. Sept (‘seven’ in French) was founded in 2016 by winemaker Maher Harb, who started by making 30L (6.6 gallons) from his kitchen and now produces 20,000L a year. The production process of runs by the lunar calendar and actively preserves the natural balance of the sun, soil, air and water while eliminating chemicals. The wine is made using the centuries-old Merweh grape on Mount Lebanon, which Harb plants in the same way his ancestors did – between olive and fig trees so the vines grow high and stay sheltered.

levinsept.com/

55/Redefined recommends: Sept Syrah de Nehla 2017, £93, order here (free deliver within the UK)

A bottle of Camel Valley wine with two filled glasses and flowers

3. Camel Valley, Cornwall

Cornwall doesn’t scream wine country. But the Lindo family – who planted their first vines in the Camel Valley in 1989 — have become one of the UK’s standout producers with a slew of awards to their name. Ex-RAF pilot Bob Lindo 'did a vintage' in Germany and he and his wife Anne took viticulture courses before opening their winery. And now their son Sam has joined the ranks. They excel in sparkling wines and sell their wine at Rick Stein's restaurant in Cornwall and Hakkasan in London, and even export to Japan - time to jump on board.

Camelvalley.com

55/Redefined recommends: Camel Valley Brut NV, £29.99, Waitrose

Three bottles of bear flag wine

4. Bear Flag, Sonoma County, California

Outside of the falls and trails of Yosemite National Park sits Sonoma County: home to Napa Valley’s lesser-known neighbour the Sonoma Valley wine region. There are 250 wineries in the area producing delicate Pinot Noirs to zesty California Chardonnays. Owner of Bear Flag winery and Sonoma cCounty native native Aaron Piotter’s philosophy is to “celebrate kindred spirits who stand their ground and resist the norm”. Join him in enjoying a bold, powerful red that's a tribute to the Bear Flag revolt of 1846. Pair its rich flavour with barbecued meats.

bearflagwine.com

55/Redefined recommends: Bear Flag Sonoma County Zinfandel, £29.99, Ocado [also available on majestic.co.uk]

Hand holding a bottle of Roberta Fugatti pinot grigio wine

5. Roberta Fugatti, Valdadige, Italy

The sister company of the beloved Azienda Agricola Roeno winery, in Valdadige. Based in Trentino, far north Italy, Roberta Fugatti, the daughter of Rolando Fugatti (founder of Roeno) has followed in his footsteps and maintains the family tradition running this tiny vineyard. She produces bespoke wines within a pocket of landscape rich in a variety of soils, from clay and limestone to sand between two mountain systems and uses only local grapes, such as Pinot Grigio and Marzemino. Enjoy with a charcuterie and cheese board.

55/Redefined recommends: Roberta Fugatti Marzemino, £14, Order here (UK shipping)

By Judy Cogan

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