Cognac

Appellations

Cognac is the world's most famous brandy, better known even than its older Gascon cousin Armagnac. It comes from the Charentais, a large area of western France situated immediately north of Bordeaux, and takes its name from the historic town of Cognac – the long-standing epicenter of local brandy production.
Sherry is a fortified wine made from white grapes that are grown near the city of Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia. Produced in a variety of styles, Sherry is primarily made from the Palomino grape. It ranges from light versions similar to white table wines, such as Manzanilla and Fino, to darker and heavier versions that have been oxidised and aged in barrel, such as Amontillado and Oloroso. Sweet dessert wines are also made from Pedro Ximenez (a.k.a. PX) or Moscatel grapes, and are sometimes blended with Palomino-based Sherries.
A Northern Rhône appellation that produces red wines from the Syrah grape and white wines that can be a blend of Marsanne and Roussanne. Potentially some very good quality wines can be produced on the steep east-facing granite slopes, however the vineyard area was expanded in the 70s and 80s to the less suitable land on the plateau too so the appellation is now a large one and quality can be variable. The vineyard area stretches a long way from Condrieu in the North to near Valence in the south spanning over 900 ha. Tournon, Mauves and St-Jean-de-Muzols are some of the main towns around which the original terraced vineyards of St Joseph were and still are planted. St Joseph Red and white lacks the weight and ripeness of a Hermitage or the complexity of a Côte Rôtie. The average wine is designed for early drinking over 2-3 years after the vintage, being soft and supple in its youth, perhaps less round and smooth than a Crozes-Hermitage but with more acidity. However there are a number of very good producers in the region now that make reds to be drunk 4 - 8 years after the vintage, the best can reach heights very rarely achieved by Crozes-Hermitage and make for excellent value. The whites can be very good too, full-bodied and floral, often with low acidity, so they are usually best drunk within three years of the vintage. Some of the most highly regarded examples of St Joseph come from, Andre Perret, Francois Villard, Pierre Gaillard, Jean-Louis Chave, Coursodon and Gonon.
Victoria is generally cooler than neighbouring South Australia. With the exception of the more inland Rutherglen, perhaps the Victoria's most famous wine, all the other regions have a distinctly maritime feel. The most significant wine regions within Victoria are Rutherglen, Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula and Geelong. All styles of wine are produced here, from fortfied wines to crisp, zippy whites, and everything in between.