Which of the following regions is NOT known for wine barrels made from its indigenous oak species?
Ontario may be famous for its maple trees but NOT for its oaks. While there are over 500 species of oak (scientific name Quercus—derived from the Celtic quer, meaning “fine,” and cuez, meaning “tree”) in the northern hemisphere, only three species are suitable for wine and spirits barrels. Oak contributes a wide variety of desirable flavors to wine, and is porous enough to allow air flow while remaining liquid tight when quartersawn (American oak) or split along the grain (French/European oak). Slavonia is a region in northeastern Croatia, part of the former country Yugoslavia. Many Italian producers have favored Slavonian oak (Quercus robur) for their sangioveses and nebbiolo-based wines. The Caucasus is a region on the European border between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Caucasian oak (also Quercus robur), primarily from Russia, imparts less tannin and fewer aromatics, which is useful if you want a more fruity, straight-up expression of the grape itself. Wisconsin (as well as Minnesota, Missouri, and Oregon) supplies Quercas alba for American oak barrels. American oak is well-known for its generous amounts of wood sugar that caramelizes when charred, introducing toffee and brown sugar notes. Classic Rioja winemakers and Australian shiraz producers often use American oak. Other regions supplying oak for wine barrels can be found throughout France, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia.