Shiraz, Iran has a historical reputation for producing fine wines: true or false?
By the 9th century, the city of Shiraz had already established a reputation for producing the finest wine in the Middle East, and was Iran's wine capital. The export of Shiraz wine to India by European merchants in the 17th century has been documented. As described by enthusiastic English and French travellers to the region in the 17th to 19th centuries, the wine grown close to the city was of a more dilute character due to irrigation, while the best Shiraz wines were actually grown in terraced vineyards around the village of Khoullar. These wines were white and existed in two different styles: dry wines for drinking young, and sweet wines meant for aging. The latter wines were compared to "an old sherry" (one of the most prized European wines of the day), and at five years of age were said to have a fine bouquet and nutty flavour. The dry white Shiraz wines (but not the sweet ones) were fermented with significant stem contact, which should have made these wines rather rich in tannins.