Entirely located on the Northern hemisphere, the European climate can be split up in Continental in the East, Mediterranean in the South and the Oceanic in the West. For sure, the ever present Gulf Stream has a strong effect on the mild Oceanic Climate. The continent is bordered by the Arctic Ocean in the north, the Atlantic Ocean on the west and the Mediterranean Sea on the South. Needless to say that all these characteristics have a mayor influence on the vines, the grapes and the final result… the wines!
Wines are made in the most unexpected locations but in general they grow best between 50th and 30th degree of latitude (Southern & Northern).
Italy, France and Spain are worldwide the largest producers of wine. In alphabetic order, these are the European countries that are involved with wine production: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and finally United Kingdom.
Over the centuries, many different grape varieties were planted in Europe, depending on the local climatic conditions; classic are the worldwide famous Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Zinfandel.
The top-5 biggest wine consumers in Europe are Portugal, France, Slovenia, Croatia and Switzerland.