Moroccan Wine Touring
Back in November, we took a look at some of the wine regions that make Chile such an excellent travel destination for wine connoisseurs. Another unexpected and unique spot for tastings and touring is Morocco. Formerly a colony of both Rome and France, this North African country has been influenced by many different cultures and their wine-making techniques.
With a cooling effect from the Atlantic oceans and its high mountains, Morocco has always had great natural potential for the cultivation of wine. The country primarily produces red wines, and though most of the population is Muslim and abstains from drinking alcohol, wine is still offered in areas that cater to tourists and the country has been successfully exporting a great deal. In 2005, the brand Boulaouane (named for the Moroccan town) was one of the best-selling foreign wines in France.
During the colonial era, Morocco was a major exporter of wine under France’s influence. But after gaining independence in 1956, many of the experts left the country and left the vineyard workers without guidance. Though the Moroccan wine trade continued into the 1960s, the European Economic Community (EEC) instituted a quota in 1967, reducing wine exports to EEC countries due to wine surpluses in Italy and France. Morocco’s wine industry has recently undergone a revival. With rising interest from foreign investors since the 1990s, France’s influence has returned to the region with many French wine companies utilizing Morocco’s rich land.
Meknes, the former capital of Morocco, is the most notable of the wine regions in Morocco. Located between the Atlantic coast and the Middle Atlas mountain range, the Meknes region has a Mediterranean climate that is well-balanced, thus making it ideal for producing grapes. Travelers can enjoy boutique wine tasting tours to popular vineyards in the area such as Chateau Roslan, which offers a wide range of both price and quality, and Volubilia, known for creating some of the best wine in the region.
For a wine destination that is more exotic than traditional, with flavors and sights that won’t soon be forgotten, Morocco should be at the top of any wine-lover’s list.