Years ago, a bottle of wine was something to be opened only on special occasions. In recent years however, wine has become a popular beverage to be enjoyed with everyday meals.
There is no reason to search the globe for a great wine. Wines made in the United States are some of the finest in the world. Although 90 percent of American wines are produced in California, due to its near-perfect wine-growing climate, every state in the United States produces wine.
Wines in California
California, our country”s largest wine producer, creates both affordable table wines and world-class fine wines. Located on California”s north coast, Napa Valley is one of the most productive and well-known areas of the California wine industry. This region of the country has ideal weather conditions for growing the grapes needed to make wine. Napa Valley produces a large variety of wines and is respected for its red wines and Cabernet Sauvignons.
Great wines of the United States also come from nearby Sonoma. This area produces predominately red wines, but has also earned a reputation for Pinot Noir and Rhine wines.
Southern California is also a large producer of American-made wines. In Santa Barbara, a large variety of wines are created, including:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pinot Noir
- Rhone-like wines.
Other West Coast Wine Regions
Although the climates of the Pacific Northwest states of Washington and Oregon are somewhat cooler than California, weather conditions still lend themselves to a growing wine industry. The cool climate in Oregon may actually be better than California for the Pinot Noir grape, which is attracting the interest of wine enthusiasts.
Wine in the Southwestern United States
The Southwestern area of the United States, especially Texas and New Mexico, has become increasingly involved in the creation of American wines. Many wines grown in New Mexico, including the following, have won awards at wine shows:
- Gruet Chardonnay
- Pecos Valley White
- Strawberry Delight
- St. Clair Bellissimo.
In recent years, the wine industry of Texas has increased from 54 to 104 wineries. This growth has made Taxes the fifth-largest producer of wines in America.
Wine in the Eastern United States
The East Coast of the United States is another important source of U.S. wines. While California may produce more wine overall than any other state, more sparkling wines are produced in upper New York than anywhere else in the country, including California.
New York has been making sparkling wines since before the Civil War. As early as 1863, New York stunned Europeans by winning a gold medal at the Vienna Exposition for a Sparkling Catawba. New York sparkling wines are valued for their fragrance, finesse and vitality. Some are made from traditional grapes from the Champagne region of France, while others use varieties such as Riesling.
The Unique Quality of American Wines
No matter where a U.S. wine is produced, what most great American wines have in common is that they are varietals. This means that they are made entirely or almost entirely from a single grape variety.
The type of grape used in varietals can be found on the label. Some of the most respected American varietals include:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pinot Noir.