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    The Wines of Oerik - Part One: The Highvale
    Posted on Thu, November 08, 2001 by Dogadmin
    Alasdair writes "This article is an attempt to add a little more colour to Greyhawk. Take it as you wish, and feel free to use as much or as little in your campaign as you’d like. I’d like to credit many of the names in here to the “Everchanging Book of Names”, and the rest to selected wine books (many of which are chock-full of odd names that I use in my campaign….).

    Comments are more than welcome. If I get a good response to this, I’ll post what I've got on some of the other regions as well.

    Author: Alasdair

    The Wines of the Flanaess

    by Alasdair.

    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    In earliest times, the olve of Oerik are credited with being the first to reap the bounty of the vine, and they passed their knowledge on to those who sought it. The noniz were the first to learn at the side of the olven winemakers, and those clans who lived in warmer climates soon planted their own vineyards, and to this day, still The dwur and the Flannae never took to the grape, preferring instead to brew their own potent beverages from grains, fruits and herbs.

    However, the Oeridians and the Suel both eagerly seized upon the knowledge held by the olve. In particular, the Oeridians found their new homelands to be well-suited for the cultivation of vineyards.

    Across Eastern Oerik, winemaking is a well-respected profession, and the fruit of the vine can be found in markets from Krakenheim to Monmurg, and all points in between. The finest grapes are grown between 45 to 30 degrees north, with the best vineyards being between 35 to 40 degrees, in the temperate climate zone. The best vineyards are found in Veluna, Celene, parts of the Baklunish West, Urnst, Nyrond and the former Almorian lands, all of which fall into roughly the same latitude.

    Some fine vineyards can be found further south or north, but these are exceptional circumstances. Onnwall and the Keoish coast are home to good vineyards, but the sea breezes help to temper the otherwise uncomfortably warm climate. The Vale of Highfolk is both higher in altitude and farther north than one would expect grapes to be found, but the high cliffs hold the sun’s warmth well into the fall, giving the sweet white grapes time to ripen fully before Telchur’s breath sweeps the land.

    The Baklunish people have always made and enjoyed wine, but they rarely export it to Eastern Oerik. In this part of the world, most of the vineyards hug the coast of the Drawmidj Ocean, where the warm currents and moist weather make growing grapes an attractive option. The Tusman Hills, although fairly far north, hold some ancient vineyards whose grapes are highly regarded by the nobility of the region.

    Vale of the Highfolk

    For thousands of years, the olve of the Highfolk valley have carefully tended the sweet white grapes that grow along the high flint and shale cliffs that line the banks of the Velvydyra. While human farmers may find their methods strange, and scholars argue that the vale is too far north for growing grapes, none can deny that the wines of Highfolk are among the finest on Oerth.

    Typically, wines from the Highvale are light, golden and sweet, with a touch of crisp, steely acidity that makes them even more delicious. Hints of peaches, nectarines and other tender fruit mingle with the scent of violets and the night-blooming flowers so prized by the olve. The wines are served crisp and young with the bounty of field and stream, and were once shipped as far east as Rauxes. Their fame has spread to the reaches of the land, and the demand is always greater than the supply.

    Unfortunately for the olve, the bears, wild boars and more exotic denizens of the Yatil foothills have taken a great fondness to the sweet grapes, so the growers are forced to keep a close eye on their crops. Local druids have been known to ward the vineyards against interference in exchange for the pick of the vintage.

    The finest (and rarest) wines of the Highvale are the thick, rich wines known as “Isinon” by the olve, and called “Daurenz” by the merchants of Perrenland. To make these, the grapes are carefully tended until the air is crisp with the first breath of frost. At this point, the growers stop tending them, and let the natural sugars build up in the warm autumn days and crisp nights until the grapes are oozing with a succulent ripeness not found anywhere else.

    The grapes are harvested when they are almost falling off the vines, and are pressed into the sweet nectar so prized by the olve. A few of the best vintages are carefully aged for many years. To the olve who tend the caves and cellars along the cliffs, a decade is not too long to wait, and some of the best vintages are cellared for nearly a century before they are brought out.

    A handful of these grapes are left until the depths of winter, and are harvested and pressed while frozen. This further concentrates the juices and makes them even sweeter. These rare wines (known locally as “Yseulda“ grace the feast tables of the high-olven lords and are rarely, if ever, traded to outsiders. The few who have been fortunate enough to have tried them still speak in hushed tones of the experience.

    The olve have always chosen their customers carefully, preferring to deal with select merchants from Perrenland and Veluna. In the aftermath of the Wars, many of the growers have put down their hoe and sickle and have taken up the spear and the bow. Too many of them sleep forever in the depths of the Vesve, and the knowledge they held will take generations to recover. Production and exports have dropped, and are likely to remain that way while the energies of the olve are focused on survival.

    Note: Food, Wine, Highfolk"
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    Re: The Wines of Oerik - Part One: The Highvale (Score: 1)
    by Scottenkainen on Fri, November 09, 2001
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    Consider this your good response. Now forget about boring places like Highfolk and start working on the wines of South Province. All I have worked out so far is that the cheapest imported wine is Jalpa Red, and the rare indigeneous Hobniz make a wine called Evelerry.

    Re: The Wines of Oerik - Part One: The Highvale (Score: 1)
    by grodog on Fri, November 16, 2001
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    I'd like to see Scottenkainen's wines as well as the rest of Alasdair's cornucopia of fine quaffables.


    Re: The Wines of Oerik - Part One: The Highvale (Score: 1)
    by Man-of-the-Cranes ( on Sun, April 21, 2002
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    At the risk of just saying 'me too' I would love to see these also...I am always curious about good alcohol ;)

    Man of the Cranes

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