- Reply by duncan 906, Jun 22, 2011.
We had this discusion on here once before.I visited Tunisia back in 2007 [before the Arab Spring] and thought it a lovely country.I drank several of their wines and thought them all very good.Tunisia was once a French colony and I am sure that is where they got their wine-making expertise from
- Reply by Maxim Puzin, Jun 23, 2011.
yeah, i think their French roots may lead to such wine quiality ;)
but unfortunately, despite french wines, tunisian ones are not so easy to find and buy out of their country )) for example in my country (Ukraine) their wine is absolutely unknown... how is in yours?
- Reply by zufrieden, Jun 23, 2011.
I think this wine country is pretty much terra incognita - let alone the wine. If not for the tragic death of Mohamed Bouazizi several months ago, most Europeans would be blissfully unaware of Tunisia and even less so of the wine traditions brought by the pieds noir to North Africa in the 19th century (although even after the loss of Algeria and Tunisia, France still relied heavily on the vast supply of cheap vins de table for everyday wine-drinking). As for obtaining wines from North Africa in (say) Ukraine or Canada (where I live) I doubt you will have an easy time of it - unless you have a good importer in a major city like Kyiv or Kharkiv.
You might be able to find a purveyor on the net, of course, and if you do do not hesitate to share that contact. Many of us love trying the wares of the less travelled byways.
- Reply by Terry Ann Evans, May 9, 2012.
I just returned from my second trip to TUNIS. Must say, I was pleasantly surprised to find, in MY opinion, as others may disagree, that SILIAN white or red is quite good and inexpensive.
There is one called MAGON, as well. Most of these wines can be found at CARREFOUR, the large French supermarket in TUNIS. Most of the restaurants serve this great wine too. Les Ombrelles and Le Golfe, for example, located right on the beach.
About $10 per bottle. Would love to be able to ship a case or TEN to my home in the USA. Silian is unknown in Florida, however, it MAY be available online. Not certain if it is legal to have a 'friend' ship me some or not.
- Reply by amour, May 10, 2012.
We may have had a few details on the wines of Tunisia over the years on Snooth.....but the wines of Morocco......at least some of them, are worth more mention.
I know North Africa well and love the entire region very much, but considered their wines as wines you drink while there on the spot.
I owned a Pottery in Morocco and became a lover of Morocco and her wines,at least some of them, mainly those from the Meknes region. The YACOUB restaurant in Marrakech used to serve really good ones, as well as both the Semiramis Hotel and the nearby Tishka. Mammounia Hotel also had the finest. ( I will retrurn with some names.) I had very chilled whites at lunch with the Saint Pierre Fish during the month of April for several years...I remember often ordering by saying .."I will have a bottle of chilled Coquille"....of course the waiter knew it before I said it....and great it always was.....
I would be interested in hearing from Snoothers where in the USA one can find good wines from North Africa .
(I will research and get back on Snooth with some results.)
- Reply by thegrapesofwrath, May 10, 2012.
I am a Sicilian born from Morocco in the town of Mariff; have visited since moving to the states in '62 a couple of times, and I can say the same amour, They have some very nice wines, and one should get the chance to experience. whenever I visit France I can usually find a couple of bottles from Morocco through relatives who visit Morocco more often then me, which is always a nice find..Morocco, as a former colony of both Rome and France, would become a wine-producing land at some point in its history. Although the earliest evidence of Moroccan viticulture predates even the Romans, it is likely they were the first makers of wine on any scale. After the fall of Rome came centuries of Islamic dominance in Morocco, which naturally slowed its alcohol production, wine included. So the seeds of wine interest sown by the Romans did not truly flourish until the arrival of French influences in the mid-19th century. The French prevailed, and under their influence Morocco began making a significant contribution to world wine production. Although it has never competed with its larger neighbor Algeria (also a former French colony) in terms of quantity, the quality of Moroccan wine increased markedly during the French occupation. When France officially relinquished control of Morocco in March 1956, tens of thousands of hectares of productive vineyards were suddenly deprived of the Gallic expertise that had created them, not to mention a significant French consumer base, both local and in mainland France. As if this were not enough of a blow to the newly independent Morocco, just 10 years later, the EU created tough new import/export legislation and effectively removed Europe as a market for Moroccan wine. Both Italy and France had vast wine surpluses at that time, and were selling their often-superior wines at dramatically marked-down prices – a final nail in the coffin for Moroccan wine exports. Within 20 years, almost every Moroccan vineyard had either been taken over by the state or simply dug up and replaced with cereal crops.
Understandably, many assumed that Morocco's time as a wine nation was over. It took 10 years of campaigning by the King, Hassan II, a graduate of the University of Bordeaux, to revive overseas interest in Morocco's vineyard potential. At the time of his death in July 1999, various large-scale French wine companies were busy planting Carignan, Cinsaut and Grenache in several thousand hectares of prime Moroccan land. These varieties have now been joined (and will soon be outnumbered) by the cepages ameliorateurs ('improver' varieties) Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The French influence on Moroccan wine is now perhaps greater than ever.
As might be inferred from the above list, the vast majority of Moroccan wine is red. The small percentage of white produced here is made from the likes of Chenin Blanc and the southern French classics Muscat and Clairette. Perhaps surprisingly, given its preference for cooler climates, Sauvignon Blanc is also grown here, and in increasing volumes. Less surprisingly, the same is true of Chardonnay.
With both maritime and continental influences, Morocco's climate cannot be summed up by any single descriptor. 'Semi-arid Mediterranean' is often used as a catch-all, but fails to give any idea of the intricate mesoclimatic variation in the mountainous and coastal areas. The finest terroir in Morocco is to be found in the Meknes region. Its location mid-way between the peaks of the Middle Atlas and the Atlantic coast brings it a relatively balanced climate, sheltered from both Saharan drought and Atlantic moisture. Even here, though, August temperatures regularly climb towards 104F (40C), and global warming is thought to be responsible for the increasing prevalence of drought. The future of Moroccan viticulture may well be at the mercy not of invading nations or even consumer fashions, but of the forces of nature.