Winemakers often possess a trailblazing spirit, but some go the extra mile, choosing vineyards where any rational vintner might think twice. Challenging locations, climates and terrains haven’t stopped these producers from creating a final product all the more unique.
For example, the Greek island of Mykonos, famous for its nightlife and celebrity sightings, has just one vineyard. Mykonos Vineyard works with the rocky terrain and the island’s windy conditions to produce quality indigenous and foreign whites and reds like Assyrtiko and a Mandilaria-Syrah blend.
The Dominique Auroy Estate is the only tropical vineyard in the world, producing Carignan and Muscat. Isolated in the middle of the South Pacific on the island of Rangiroa, 180 miles from Tahiti, its vines grow out of coral soil, cared for by French viticulturists since 1992.
Tucked away from the rest of Canada’s winemaking regions, the Rossignol Estate remains the only winery on Prince Edward Island. A producer of eclectic varieties like Marechal Foch and Baco Noir as well as Chardonnay, Rossignol’s vines benefit from the moderating effects of the Northumberland Strait. While tuna fishing and shark diving are synonymous with the west coast of South Australia, the Boston Bay Winery concentrates on its vines. This unique producer of Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Shiraz has thrived at the tip of the Eyre Peninsula for more than 21 years.
Just off the coast of France’s Provence, the monastery of Abbey de Lérins occupies Saint Honorat Island, where Cisterian monks dedicate their time to winemaking. Wine producing dates back to the 5th century here, but these monks have a modern goal: to produce award-winning Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Mourvèdre via organic techniques.
No wine producer has yet followed in the steps of the Saturna Island Family Winery, which was the first winery in the Gulf region of British Columbia. Facing the challenge of cool weather, its Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Gewürtztraminer grow right along the Pacific Ocean where a huge sandstone cliff absorbs heat in the day and keeps the vines warm at night.
Perched high on a strip of peninsula in the Cape Point region near South Africa’s Cape Town, Cape Point Vineyards takes advantage of its unique location between the chilly Atlantic Ocean and warm waters of False Bay, resulting in a unique maritime climate that has proved advantageous for winemaking. Award-winning Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Chardonnay and red blends are the result.