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Latvian Wines & Spirits

Latvia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. Unlikely as it may seem at this latitude (56-57 degrees north), there is such a thing as Latvian wine, made in Latvia from Latvian-grown grapes.

For quite some time, the Latvian vineyard Vīna kalns ('wine hill') held the Guinness World Record as the world's most northerly vineyard (for which official candidates must be open-air and capable of producing marketable grape wines). Lying almost exactly on the 57th northern parallel, it is located in the village of Sabile, the coat of arms of which features a bunch of grapes against a yellow background. Peaches, apricots and walnuts are also grown on the Vīna kalns, confirming there is more to climate and terroir than latitude alone.

The flag of Latvia

When the Lerkekasa vineyard near Gvarv, Norway was planted in 2008, it became the world's most northerly vineyard at an incredible latitude of 59.3 degrees north. In the southern hemisphere, this latitude lies beyond all points of land (other than Antarctica), the nearest being Macquarie Island at 54 degrees, which is classified as 'subantarctic'. With technological and viticultural advances (not to mention the effects of climate change), wine production is creeping further and further towards the poles with each passing year.

Such is the interest in winemaking among certain Latvians that there exists a Latvian Grapegrowers Club, based out of the capital Riga. Although self-confessed amateurs, the more dedicated members of this Latvian wine consortium believe that, with careful vineyard management, they can produce high quality wine. Although the local climate may seem too cold to allow grapes to ripen fully, in warm years such as 2002 and 2003 the potential alcohol of some crops reached 23 Brix.

Wine grape varieties such as Alpha and Zilga are the most commonly used in Latvian winemaking, and various crossings made by local ampelographer Kaspars Skujins are increasingly popular. Skujins-675, for example, has proved very cold-tolerant, and has been warmly adopted in Russia (as Moskovski Ustoitshivoi) and Belarus. It was crossed by Professor Skujins during his work at Moscow's Tymiryazev Agricultural Academy, from Pearl of Csaba (Madeleine Angevine x Courtillier Musque) and the weather-hardy Alpha grape engineered by the University of Minnesota.

Some of the greatest victories over Latvia's cold climate have come from the southern Latgale province, where vigneron Evalds Pupols has experimented with several wine grape varieties. It was in the Pupols vineyard that berries of the Jubilejnaja Novgoroda variety (crossed by Jaan Kivistik of Estonia) reached 23 Brix after the warm summer of 2002. If this kind of sugar level can be reliably achieved, Latvian wine will have a starting point for its journey to quality wine production.

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We found 195 wines produced in this region.
Wine Name
Grape 
Popularity
Riga Black Balsam Liquor, Latvia Liqueur - Herb - Spice $26 4585
Latvijas Balzams Grand Cavalier Brandy, Latvia Brandy $13 22680
Riga Black Balsam Currant Liqueur, Latvia Liqueur - Fruit $21 50408
Latvijas Balzams Rigas Sampanietis - Sparkling Wine Saldais - Sweet, Latvia N/A $8 53095
Aldaris Zelta Gold Beer, Latvia Beer $3 84841
Latvijas Balzams Rigas Diva Red Fusion, Latvia N/A $6 103728
Aldaris Porteris Strong Beer, Latvia Beer $3 133256
Latvijas Balzams Rigas Sampanietis - Sparkling Wine Brut, Latvia N/A $8 137956
Latvijas Balzams Rigas Sampanietis - Sparkling Wine Sarkanais, Latvia N/A $8 137956
Latvijas Balzams Rigas Sampanietis - Sparkling Wine Rose, Latvia N/A $10 148374
Aldaris Gaisais Pale Beer, Latvia Beer $5 164308
Aldaris Stiprais Strong Pale Lager Beer, Latvia Beer $1 164308
Aldaris Luksus Lager Beer, Latvia Beer $5 167895
Latvijas Balzams Rigas Sampanietis - Sparkling Wine Muscat Sweet, Latvia Muscat $13 227884
Latvijas Balzams Rigas Diva Gold Fusion, Latvia N/A $8 N/A
Latvijas Balzams Rigas Diva Rose Fusion, Latvia N/A $6 N/A
Latvijas Balzams Rigas Sampanietis - Sparkling Wine Medium Dry, Latvia N/A $13 N/A
Latvijas Balzams Rigas Sampanietis - Sparkling Wine Originalais, Latvia N/A $15 N/A
Latvijas Balzams Rigas Sampanietis - Sparkling Wine Pussausais, Latvia N/A $8 N/A
Latvijas Balzams Rigas Sampanietis - Sparkling Wine Sweet, Latvia N/A $5 N/A
... other assorted matches in alphabetical order ...
Abavas Abolu Lv Latvia Cider  
Aldaris Carlsberg Gaisais Latvia Rigal  
Aldaris Gaisais Carlsberg Latvia  
Aldaris Pilzenes Carlsberg Latvia  
Aldaris Porteris Carlsberg Latvia  
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