British wine merchant who organised the 1976 tasting that would become historic
French head of the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine, and Chief judge at the Paris tasting
Californian owner and winemaker at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, whose Cabernet Sauvignon triumphed in Paris
What mountain range forms the Southeast- East border of the Walla Walla valley?
The Blue Mountains
What is considered the second wine of Dominus Estate?
Missouris- and America’s first AVA, awarded in 1980
What AVAs are located wholly within the larger Lodi AVA?
Sloughouse, Clements Hills, Jahant, Mokelumne River, Cosumnes River, Borden Ranch, Alta Mesa
Sub AVAs of Sierra Foothills
California Shenandoah Valley El Dorado Fair Play Fiddletown North Yuba
List AVAs of Willamette Valley
Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains, Ribbon Ridge, Yamhill- Carlton, Dundee Hills, McMinnville, Eola- Amity Hills
List AVAs of Southern Oregon
Red Hills Douglas County
List Oregon’s shared AVAs
Columbia Valley- Washington
Columbia Gorge- Washington
Walla Walla Valley- Washington
Snake River Valley- Idaho
AVAs of Washington State
Puget Sound, Columbia Valley, Columbia Gorge- shared with Oregon, Walhuke Slope, Lake Chelan, Horse Heaven Hills, Walla Walla Valley- shared with Oregon, Yakima Valley: Rattlesnake Hills, Red Mountain, Snipes Mountain
AVAs of New York
Long Island: North fork of Long Island, The Hamptons, Hudson River Region Finger Lakes: Canmuga Lake, Seneca Lake, Lake Erie (shared with Penn/ Ohio) Niagara Escapement
What is the world’s largest wine region?
Upper Mississipi River Valley- Includes 30,000 sq miles (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illnois)
For a wine that lists an AVA as a place of origin, what is the minimum content that must be from that AVA?
On a varietally labeled US wine, what is the minimum content of that varietal in the wine? One state has a higher standard: What is the state and the standard?
US 100%, State or County 75%, CA 100%, AVA 85%, Specific Vineyard 95%
Name two countries in the Sierra Foothills AVA
Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Placer, Nevada, Yuba, Tuolumme, Mariposa
Name the five large, regional AVAs in California
North Coast, Sierra Foothills, San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, South Coast
What restrictions are placed on a US wine by the TTB in order to use the term reserve on the label?
The term “Reserve” is not legally defined and its therefore up to the discretion and integrity of the winery, but it generally used to denote something extraordinary from the general lot of wine
Name the Southernmost AVA in Oregon
Central Valley AVAs
Clarksberg Dinnigan Hills Madera Lodi Merrett Island
Sierra Foothills AVAs
Shenandoah Valley El Dorado Fiddletown North Yuba Fair Play
Lodi AVAs- Sub Districts
Mokelumne River, Cosumnes River, Jahant, Borden Ranch, Altamesa, Sloughhouse, Clements Hills
What is a semi- generic wine?
A term used to describe a style if wine. There is a federal requirement that states the use of an appellation of origin must be used in conjunction with all semi generic terms. Ex: Chablis, Burgundy, Port, Champagne, or American Chablis
What is the most widely planted red grape in Washington?
What is the allowable variation from the stated alcohol content on a US wine label?
Plus or minus 1- 5% for wines not greater than 14% for higher than 14%, plus or minus 1%
What cool climate AVA stretches across Southern Napa and Sonoma Counties?
Los Carneros AVA
Where is Clement Hills AVA?
California, Lodi AVA, San Joaquin County
A vineyard in Oakville, California, is in what AVAs?
Napa Valley, North Coast, California, America
What AVA has the warmest climate within the Central Coast AVA?
Paso Robles AVA
What is the primary US government agency with responsibility over the wine trade?
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
In what county is the Santa Ynez AVA
San Luis Obispo
How are Oregon’s Gamays different from Beaujolais?
Oregon’s are bigger and fleshier. Made in a similar style and quality as Pinot.
Name the major grapes planted in OR
Pinot Noir Dominates:
Chardonnay, Syrah, Pinot Gris
Riesling and Gewürztraminer
Climate type for the majority of Washington’s growing regions:
Continental. Eastern Washington is in the raw shadow of Cascade Mountains
Weather of Washington:
Hot, very dry summers, Arctic winters
Napa Valley AVAs
Los Carneros, Stag’s Leap, Howell Mtns, Diamond Mtn District, Spring Mtn District, Mt Veeder, Atlas Peak, Calistoga, Rutherford, Oakville, Yountville, Chiles Valley, Wildhorse Valley, St Helena, Oak Knoll,
Sub District: Pope Valley
Early Norse settlers called America Vinland due to the proliferation of vines.
British, Dutch and French immigrants planted vineyards on the eastern seaboard with little success.
First successful wine industry started in the early 19th century by German immigrants in Ohio using native vines.
Now vines planted in all 50 states.
Most vineyards with grafted European vines on American rootstock. Some local vines and hybrids planted.
California, Pacific Northwest and New York State are the main viticulture areas.
In California, vines were first planted by Spanish missionaries in San Diego in 1769. First commercial wine produced in 1824. The gold rush in 1849 lead to an expansion in the Sierra foothills, close to the miners. During 1851- 61. Agustin Haraszthy introduced over 300 European grape varieties, beginning the modern Californian wine industry.
1920’s prohibition led to a decline in production of wine, but sales of grapes for ‘home use’ increased. From 1933- mid 1960’s winemaking concentrated in the Central and San Joaquin Valleys, producing liqueur and jug wines. Since the 1960’s vineyard area has trebled. Many boutique wineries with high quality Bordeaux blend wines. Small number if very large wineries. Huge price range, from ‘2 buck chuck’ to upwards of $150. Recent move to increased quality. Small wineries concentrate on producing within their AVA, large wineries will blend across larger areas.
Wine Laws- USA
Two distinct levels; Federal Law and State Law.
Federal Law- In 1978 American Viticultural Areas (AVA’s) set up to create an appellation system that is still evolving. AVA’s guarantee source but not quality or production methods. Anyone can petition to get an AVA created of any size meaning some AVAs cover just one winery. 85% of the grapes for wine must come from within the AVA
State Law- Varies from sase to state. Oregon states a wine must contain 95% of the variety as written on the label and 100% of fruit must be sourced from within the stated AVA. Washington State requires 85% and California and all other states 75% of stated variety, AVA and vintage. New York State allows up to 35% addition of sugar and water (for climatic reasons).
Generic names such as Burgundy and Chablis are being phased out, through a small number of historic brand names have been permitted to survive.
1100km from north to south with vineyards along entire length leads to a large range of climates. Irrigation used to counter lack of rain in the growing season. UC Davis created a zonal classification for California based on degree days. Cooling mists and fog in from the Pacific Ocean provide temperature contrast and humidity. Where there is no influence from the fog vineyards are often planted at altitude, as lower down the temperature can reach up to 40 degrees.
North Coast Region (California)- USA
North of San Francisco Bay. Wide range of Climates, ranging from warm Mediterranean through to cool where spring frosts are a problem.
Napa Valley AVA. Expensive vineyard land and prestigious wineries. Morning mist rolls in from the bay, cooling the climate.
Carneros AVA runs along the bottom of the Napa and Sonoma AVA’s. Specialist Pinot Noir and Chardonnay producer, particularly sparkling wine production.
Sonoma County with Russian river Valley for quality Pinot Noir and Dry Creek Valley for Zinfandel.
Mendocino county in the North includes Anderson Valley, a cool climate region producing quality Pinot Noir and quality aromatic whites such as Riesling and Gewurztraminer.
North Central Coast (California)- USA
Monterey County, cool dry climate producing Chardonnay with crisp, citrus character and rich dark Merlot with firm tannins.
Santa Cruz Mountains, cool (Zone 1) locations of poor soil producing some of California’s greatest wines.
South Central Coast (California)- USA
Mountain range lies east/west rather than north/ south facilitating the flow of cool ocean breezes. Much recent planting as the regions potential has been recognised. Well known areas are Santa Ynez Valley and Paso Robles producing fine Zinfandel.
Central Valley (California)- USA
80% of total production. Quantity is the focus of production in this hot (Zones 4 and 5) region. Experimentation at UC Davis has created varieties to deal with the heats such as Ruby Cabernet and Rubired. Wine coolers and brandies also produced to use excess production.
Lodi, situated at the northern end of the valley produces better wines in a cooler climate.
Sierra Foothills (California)- USA
Foothills of the Rockies, hot days and cool nights ensures good fruit concentration. Old vine Zinfandel, and Italian varieties such as Sangiovese.
Southern California- USA
Vineyards around Los Angeles and San Diego
Future Developments (California)- USA
Increasing wine market in America means California is struggling with demand.
Disease is also a current problem. Poor research at UC Davis lead to planting on rootstock AXR1 not tolerant to Phylloxera, meaning half of Napa vineyards needed to be replanted. Pierce’s Disease, carried by Sharp Shooters, and is incurable and fatal, is a problem in Southern California.
Climate influenced by the Pacific Ocean and warm North Pacific Drift, maritime climate. Willamette Valley (south of Portland); mild winters and warm summers. Successful Burgundian styled Pinot Noir produced; also Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. High quality wine, constantly improving with clonal selection. Umpqua Valley and Rogue Valley (south of Willamette); Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot dominant due to warmer climate. Mostly boutique wineries.
Washington State- USA
Second biggest vinifera based wine producing state in the USA. Mostly Bordeaux varieties, especially Merlot, Chardonnay and Syrah also planted. Columbia Valley (including Yakima Valley and Walla Walla). Inland regions with dry, almost desert- like conditions mean irrigation with river water is essential. Extreme continental climate. Severe winter frost a threat. One major winery group with small independent growers.
New York State- USA
Third most important state for grape growing (wine, table, jams, etc). Farm Wineries act 1976 increased vinifera plantings, a move away from the American varieties that had dominated. Three main vineyard areas: Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley and Long Island. The lakes and ocean provide a warm, moderating effect on the climate. Finger Lakes area has annual frost risk.
Grape Varieties- USA
Large number of different grapes planted. Large yields for cheap blends from Colombard, Chenin Blanc, Thomson Seedless, Carignan, Ruby Cabernet and Barbera in the California Central Valley using irrigation.
Zinfandel (Primitivo)- USA
California’s ‘own’ grape, used for blends, varietally and for blush (rose). Old vine Zinfandel produces rich full bodied wines. Blended with other varieties for bulk wines. Uneven ripening leads to some raisining at full ripeness. Wine has concentrated red berry flavours, high alcohol levels and some level of residual sugar.
Cabernet Sauvignon- USA
Many produced in the Central Valley. Soft, juicy black cherry with light tannin. Famous Napa sites rival Bordeaux for quality. Fruit is left until complete phenolic ripeness creating an expressive wine with powerful toasty flavours from American Oak. Sometimes unbalanced with high alcohol. Very high quality examples also made in Washington State.
Fashionable, often cheap with soft tannins and little character. Quality Merlot with blackberry and plum flavours, velvety tannins and high alcohol is found in Monterey and Napa. Very important, due to high quality potential, in Washington State.
Pinot Noir- USA
Early plantings in hotter sites led to baked wines with little character. Also planted for sparkling production that didn’t develop rapidly as hoped. Now high quality Pinot Noir produced from cooler sites such as Russian River, Carneros, Santa Barbera and Willamette Valley. Styles range from elegant, structured gamey styles through to rich, fun red fruit wines.
Generally full bodied, high alcohol, obvious oak, hazelnut and butter characters with exotic fruit flavours. Many more restrained styles found in cooler regions.
Sauvignon Blanc- USA
Most Sauvignon Blanc is produced in the Bordeaux style, with partial or full fermentation and ageing in oak. Sometimes sold as Fume Blanc which usually indicates ageing in oak. Cheap Sauvignon Blanc often shows very little varietal fruit.
Rhone Varieties- USA
Recent plantings of Syrah, Viognier and Maranne are to answer the current fashion and market led trend of drinking Rhone style wines.
Based in Fairport in the Finger Lakes region of new york State, is a subsidiary of (and was the original name of) what is now constellation brands.
Holding company of Constellation Wines, previously known as Canandaigua (still the name of its new york wine subsidiary). Based in Fairport, New York, Constellation Brands is a leading international producer and marketer of virtually all forms of alcoholic beverage. Thanks to consistent acquisition, it became the world’s largest wine business in 2004. In 2006 it acquired Canada’s biggest wine company Vincor and remains the dominant player there. But in 2011 it refocused on its American roots and sold off all of the Australian, South African, and UK interests it had so recently acquired, including hardys, to what would become accolade. Constellation claims carefully to be ‘the world’s leader in premium wine’ whose 100 brands, in 2014, included Robert mondavi, Clos du Bois, Rex Goliath, Ravenswood, Black Box, Simi, Wild Horse, Mark West, Franciscan Estate, Toasted Head, and Mount Veeder in California; Manischewitz (America’s best-selling kosher wine) in New York; Jackson-Triggs and Inniskillin in Canada; Kim Crawford and Nobilo in New Zealand; and Ruffino in central Italy.
The world’s largest drinks company, is very much more interested in spirits than wine, and brands above all else. It owns Piat d’Or, Blossom Hill, Beaulieu Vineyard (now singular), and Sterling in California. It acquired the premium California-based Chalone Wine Group from Ch lafite-Rothschild in 2004 but has no obvious wine strategy. Its London fine wine merchant Justerini & Brooks is somewhat anomalous but earns a Royal Warrant.
Original brand name of the winery and vineyard empire begun by Jess Jackson (Kendall was his former wife’s maiden name) in Lake county, California, during the mid 1970s. By the early 1990s, expansion and acquisition had resulted in such a proliferation of brand names that the Artisans & Estates division was created to differentiate other labels, many of them of the highest quality, from the Kendall-Jackson labels. Now all the brands are under the Jackson Family Wines banner, but in US trade jargon ‘K-J’ is still used for the whole collection, as well as for the Kendall-Jackson labels specifically. In many ways, Jess Jackson exemplifies the entrepreneurial nature of the california wine industry as well as the go-go climate of the 1980s. Most prominent players in the world of wine started with a significant viticultural or financial inheritance. Jackson did not, which adds grist to popular conjecture about his personality. Born in 1930, Jackson grew up poor and put himself through college and law school at UC Berkeley working as a police officer and a longshoreman. He made his own financial stake over thirty years as an attorney in San Francisco. He entered the wine industry almost accidentally in 1974 when he purchased a small pear and walnut ranch on the western side of Clear Lake as a weekend retreat. He planted grapes, but had trouble selling them for a decent return, so he began to investigate converting them to wine. By 2009, estimates had his family-owned wine venture selling 3.5 million cases a year. In 2013, Jackson Family Wines owned 11,000 acres/4,450 ha of vineyards in California alone, in Santa Barbara, Monterey, Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, and Lake counties. There are three dozen brands in the stable (and several thoroughbred racehorses, too), with a particular proclivity for mountain-grown Cabernet Sauvignon and coastal Pinot Noir. Villa Arceno wine estate in Tuscany, Viña Calina in Chile, and a cooperage in France are also among the holdings, along with a project in South Africa. In 2013, Jackson Family Wines made a major play in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, purchasing two planted vineyards, a parcel of land suitable for Pinot Noir, and Solena Estate Winery, totalling nearly 1,000 acres/404 ha. Yet back in the 1980s, Kendall-Jackson happily disregarded the California industry’s movement toward vineyard designations, concentrating instead on blending from various regions to achieve certain taste characteristics. To say this strategy worked would be a grave understatement. Jackson’s first wines were put together under the auspices of consultant Ric Forman in 1982, then continually improved under the hand of winemaker Jed Steele, who arrived in 1983. The hallmarks of K-J’s blended Chardonnays were refreshingly strong acidity, creamy oak vanillins (see oak flavour), exotic pineapple fruit flavour, and softness and immediate drinkability from just-perceptible residual sugar. Classically inclined show judges put up token resistance to the residual sugar, but consumers had no such reservations. Speculation is that a dollop of Muscat-based sweet reserve is the mystery ingredient driving this successful recipe. Verification is not available because Jackson went to court in 1992 to prevent Jed Steele from revealing what he claimed were ‘trade secrets’, on his departure from K-J. Despite a noteworthy historical precedent in the California wine industry of shared information, Jackson prevailed. In 1987, Jackson and his second wife, Barbara Banke acquired 1,000 acres in Santa Barbara county and Cambria Winery and Vineyard, with Banke the listed owner. Since that time, acquisitions have been so frequent that any book is obsolete on the subject long before publication. Particularly notable was the Napa Valley 1995 purchase of the 1,800-acre Gauer Estate vineyard in Alexander Valley which supplies Stonestreet Wines. Matanzas Creek was added later along with Arrowood. The flagships, in addition to Stonestreet (Jess Jackson’s middle name), include Hartford Court (Russian River Pinot Noir and Zinfandel), La Crema (Pinot Noir from California and Oregon), Cabernet-centric Lokoya and La Jota in Napa Valley, and Cardinale, a proprietary red blend from Napa. Jess Jackson died in 2011 after a long bout with cancer, at age 81. Barbara Banke is now at the controls, and this land-use lawyer has made many moves since his death, including a march into Oregon.
The acronym for American Viticultural Area and the united states’ relatively rudimentary answer to France’s appellation contrôlée system of permitted geographical designations. The US federal government began developing this system in the early 1980s through its Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF; see ttb). Under existing regulations, AVAs are theoretically defined by geographic and climatic boundaries and historic authenticity, rather than pre-existing political boundaries, although this is not invariably true and there is some overlap of borders. The system requires no limitations on varieties planted, yields, or other specifics familiar to those who know France’s AC or Italy’s doc laws. The only requirement for their use is that 85% of the grapes in a wine labelled with an AVA come from that region; if the wine is a varietal, the legal minimum of 75% of the named variety must come from the named AVA. (Unlike the AC, or DOC system, however, neither the expression ‘AVA’ nor ‘American Viticultural Area’ appears on wine labels.) Between 1983 and 1991, BATF approved more than 100 AVAs in the country at large, more than 60 of those in California, but applications slowed to a trickle in the 1990s as producers were discouraged by the bureaucracy involved without any obvious commercial gain. Yet the 2000s saw a new rush of AVA applications and approvals, as winery marketers realized that Americans were beginning to care about where the grapes were grown, and that labels from specific areas commanded more respect (and higher prices) than generic blends. San Francisco Bay is an example of a relatively new AVA devised primarily for commercial rather than geographical reasons. But other AVAs make perfect sense, such as the 2011-approved Fort-Ross Seaview AVA, a cold, foggy, ocean-hugging region carved out of the impossibly large and nonspecific sonoma coast ava.
Acronym for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the US regulatory body responsible for AVA approvals, federal taxation, and label approvals and winemaking protocols (although states are permitted to enact more stringent rules than those applied nationally). TTB is an offshoot of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, which previously was the overseer of alcohol beverage regulation.
Wine is a very pale pink popular American speciality made, rather like France’s vin gris, by using black-skinned grapes as if to make white wine. A marketing triumph emanating from California in the late 1980s (the name was originally coined by Mill Creek winery but the style was promulgated by Bob Trinchero of Sutter Home), it differs from rosé mainly in ethos rather than substance, having become fashionable just when and where rosé was losing its market appeal (although a blush wine is likely to be perceptibly paler than a rosé). white zinfandel was initially the dominant type in this class, but it spawned many other pinks-from-reds such as varietals labelled White Grenache, Cabernet Blanc, and Merlot Blanc, as well as generics and wines made from hybrid grapes such as maréchal foch and chambourcin. Most are sweet, vaguely aromatic, and faintly fizzy. Blush wines’ share of all wine consumed in the US was 22% in the late 1990s but by 2014 many consumers had graduated to drier, smarter rosés.
(rhymes with heritage), name coined in 1981, by the winner of a competition in the Los Angeles Times, for American wines made in the image of a bordeaux blend, devised to distinguish these wines from varietal Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, etc., most usefully on wine lists. This trade-marked name is legally available on labels only to American wineries that agree to join the Meritage Alliance (previously Association) and for wines that are made exclusively from two or more of the varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot grapes for red wines (the less widely planted St-Macaire, Gros Verdot, and Carmenère are also allowed), and Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle for whites. Nearly but not all of the members are in california. The term is now relatively rarely used in California but is common in other US states such as virginia.
Also known as Los Carneros, a moderately cool, windy california wine region, an ava that spans the extreme south of both napa and sonoma Counties. Carneros sprang to public notice in and outside California in the mid 1980s, partly on the strength of some impressive Pinot Noirs and as much or more because of traditionally made sparkling wines blended from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown in Carneros. Acacia, Buena Vista, Carneros Creek, and Saintsbury were important producers of still wines throughout the 1980s; Gloria Ferrer, Domaine Carneros, and Codorníu Napa were the pioneer sparkling wine producers following the lead of Domaine Chandon of Yountville (see moët & chandon), which first sourced grapes here. In fact this is one of the state’s older wine districts. Agoston haraszthy planted grapes in it before 1870. A property originally called Stanly Ranch was famous as a vineyard by 1880. However, persistent fog and wind made vine-growing difficult and, when phylloxera struck hard in the 1880s, there began a swift slide into a long night. The Stanly Ranch was bought and replanted in 1942 by Louis M. Martini, but the push that brought Carneros both fame and more than 8,000 acres/3,200 ha of vineyard in 2013 did not begin until the 1970s. Los Carneros (’the rams’ in Spanish) sprawls across the last, low hills of the Mayacamas Range before it slips beneath San Francisco Bay. The larger part of the AVA lies within Sonoma County; grapes from that portion can also use the Sonoma Valley AVA. The smaller segment, in Napa County, is equally entitled to use Napa Valley as an AVA. In addition to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Carneros is gaining a reputation for Merlot and, to a limited extent, Syrah. Many wineries further north in Napa Valley either own vineyards or buy grapes, particularly Chardonnay, in the Carneros district in order to have a cooler climate blending component. Growers and wineries within the AVA have banded together in a promotional body called the Carneros Quality Alliance
General california umbrella region and ava implying north of San Francisco although it also extends north east from San Francisco into a portion of Solano county. It includes all vineyards in lake, marin, mendocino, napa, and sonoma counties and has rather more homogeneous growing conditions than many suspect. The name appears on some relatively prestigious wines assembled from, especially, Napa and Sonoma and also on some pretty ordinary blends.
One of california’s largest and climatically most diverse counties. All of its 17,000 acres/6,900 ha of vineyards are in the southern half. Even there, the meteorological range between the coastal Anderson Valley ava and the interior McDowell Valley AVA (barely used) is extraordinary. Isolation from San Francisco kept its 19th-century vineyards small, and delayed their impact outside the county. The same isolation kept wine for surreptitious resale there throughout prohibition. Most of the plantings flank the town of Ukiah, near the headwaters of the Russian River. Redwood Valley was the first to have its own AVA, later joined by tiny Cole Ranch, Mendocino Ridge, Covelo, Dos Rios, McDowell Valley, Potter Valley, Yorkville Highlands, and Anderson Valley.
The coverall AVA in Mendocino county includes the more specific Anderson Valley, Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino Ridge, McDowell Valley, and Potter Valley AVAs, as well as the county’s most substantial vineyard plantings along the Russian River course from Redwood valley southward through Ukiah to Hopland and on south into Sonoma county’s Alexander Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc have been reliable in the large zone along the Russian River. Zinfandel and Petite Sirah from third-generation Italian–American growers on the benchlands can reach great heights in the hands of an artisan wine maker. Fetzer and its sibling Bonterra, whose grapes are grown organically, are the dominant wineries by size; Frey is notable as a producer of organic wine, from grape to bottle.
Anderson Valley AVA
Scouts for Louis roederer of Champagne say they hunted in California until they found somewhere with weather as bleak as Roederer’s home in north-eastern France, and that Mendocino county’s coast-hugging Anderson Valley fitted their requirement perfectly. Visually, scores of scenes sluiced out by a short, swift river, the Navarro, make landscape painters lunge for canvas and brushes. Close framed by steep hills, the valley has only a couple of patches that might pass for floor and, unusually for California’s valley vineyards, only one or two of the 20 or so are flat. Anderson Valley is hardly 10 miles end to end, but a steady rise in elevation from 800 to 1,300 feet combines with a rising wall of hills to make the inland end at Boonville warmer and sunnier than the oft-befogged area between Philo and Navarro, where most of the vines grow. Redwood logging, sheep and apples reigned here until grapes came, a little wave of them in the 1970s, a bigger one in the 1980s, and then a spate of celebrity weekend homes in the 1990s. A couple of extraordinary Gewürztraminers have come from Anderson Valley AVA. Some of its Rieslings and Chardonnays have been memorable. Ridgetops to the west have yielded a succession of wonderfully oak-ribbed Zinfandels from a scattering of tiny patches. Greenwood Ridge, Handley, and Navarro vineyards are the mainstay wineries for table wine production, with Roederer Estate and its sister winery, Scharffenberger, producing admirable traditional method sparkling wines. Pinot Noir now looms large in Anderson Valley, with Duckhorn’s Goldeneye operation leading the way. The chilly Pacific breezes that channel through the valley are conducive to the growing of crisp, aromatic, elegant Pinot Noirs, and respected producers from outside the region such as Littorai, Williams Selyem, and Siduri have long sought grapes from the valley. Local producers are finally realizing what they have, and retaining more and more of their grapes.
Cool California wine region and ava on the western slope of the coastal mountain range 80 miles north of San Francisco.
Northern california town, valley, and one of the state’s most important wine counties. Sonoma county is one of the larger of northern California’s coastal counties, and one of its most historic. Sonoma Valley is a very small portion of Sonoma county but it rivals and occasionally beats nearby napa Valley for réclame. Vineyards are everywhere in the county, and have been since the last third of the 19th century. Sprawling, geologically and climatically diverse, it is the most resolutely amoebic of all the fine wine regions, having divided and redivided itself into avas and sub-AVAs until they run three layers deep in several places, four in a few, and eight in one. Growing conditions are a little more homogeneous than the welter of names suggests, but Sonoma still gives would-be gurus some of their most engaging opportunities to define subtle boundaries by taste and taste alone. The full roster follows.
Alexander Valley and Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak AVAs
The largest and most fully planted of Sonoma county’s many vineyard valleys, Alexander Valley takes in the Russian River watershed upstream of Healdsburg north all the way to the Sonoma–Mendocino county line north of Cloverdale. In 2011, the Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak AVA was created within Alexander Valley at its northernmost edge and spilling into mendocino county. If the general history of the area is long, with vines dating back to the 1850s, the particular history of superior varieties is—a few rare plantings excepted—as short here as almost everywhere else in California. Before prohibition, hops and prunes blanketed the Alexander Valley and remained the major crops, along with some plantings of mixed black grapes for bulk red, into the late 1960s and early 1970s. Simi winery started the renaissance in 1970, when a new owner breathed life into a moribund cellar. Chateau Souverain picked up the traces in 1973 and then Jordan Vineyards added a stamp of elegance in 1976. Growth has been steady since then and by 2013 there were more than 50 wineries and 15,000 acres/6,070 ha of vines. kendall-jackson’s 1996 purchase of the mountain vineyards on Gauer Ranch, renamed Alexander Mountain Estate, represented another step forward for Sonoma, while gallo’s acquisition of nearly 1,500 acres/600 ha since 1988 in Alexander Valley alone signalled a new era for both Gallo and Alexander Valley, and encouraged others to follow suit. Alexander Valley is noteworthy among other Sonoma county appellations for the fleshy voluptuousness of its wines. A wide range of grape varieties is grown at least passably well, which has distracted from the question of what the district does best. Accessibility is much more likely to be a general descriptor than longevity, however. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have gained a certain currency, with a signature note of chocolate warmth and agreeable mouthfeel. Chardonnays also tend to bold statement and ample girth, although some grown close to the Russian River can have an unexpectedly stony character. These varieties, market driven, dominate plantings. Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel succeed often enough to make one wonder if they are not suited best to these particular suns and soils. Most of its substantial plantings are on a broad and nearly flat valley floor very nearly bisected by the river, but some significant ones creep into the east hills. Kendall-Jackson’s Alexander Mountain Estate plantings reach as high as 2,400 ft, and other daring growers seeking more complexity and structure in their wines are moving to mountain-grown grapes. Jordan boldly moved away from its valley floor plantings to hillside vineyards for Cabernet and the Russian River Valley for Chardonnay, with excellent results. Other wineries that have drawn attention to Alexander Valley include Geyser Peak, Clos du Bois, and Stuhlmuller—and ridge and Seghesio for Zinfandel. Wineries outside the area whose significant reputations have been based primarily on grapes grown in Alexander Valley include Rodney Strong, Silver Oak, and Chateau St Jean.
Bennett Valley AVA
With just four wineries and 650 acres of wine grapes, Bennett Valley is not especially important but it does contribute significantly to the quality of Sonoma county Merlot. Its volcanic-laced, clay soils and moderately cool climate encourages the extended hang time ideal for the variety. The long growing season helps maximize flavours and increase concentration, while the cooler temperatures preserve the grape’s natural acidity. Matanzas Creek, sold to Jackson Family Wines (see kendall-jackson) in 2000, is the pioneer here. Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache, and Syrah also show promise, although spring frost is a perennial concern.
Chalk Hill AVA
Small sub-AVA within the Russian River Valley AVA in the foothills on the far eastern boundary of the district near the town of Windsor. Some objected to its inclusion in the Russian River Valley AVA, arguing that its location on the western slope of the Mayacamas range and its volcanic soils mean that it has little in common with the gravel and sandy loams more common in the valley below. Yet studies of the daily Pacific fog incursions that define Russian River showed that they reached into Chalk Hill, and it remains in the larger AVA. Chalk Hill Estate is the dominant winery, and growers have had success with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon
Dry Creek Valley and Rockpile AVAs
For years a sparsely settled tributary of the Russian River drainage, Dry Creek Valley has emerged as one of Sonoma county’s most intriguing appellations. Among white varieties, Sauvignon Blanc stands head and shoulders above Chardonnay, although smatterings of Viognier and Italian white varieties, including Arneis and Fiano, are grown. Among reds, the race is more even between Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. The sad thing, from the point of view of Zinfandel fanciers, is that nowhere else is that grape nearly so voluptuous, while Cabernet does at least as well and perhaps better in several other zones in California. Still, until the mid 1990s, economic considerations favoured Cabernet to a degree that no farmer could ignore, and plantings shifted accordingly. Since 1995, however, (red) Zinfandel has been resurgent and an undersupply has made these highly regarded vineyards tantalizing to second careerist refugees from San Francisco as well as local farmers wanting to diversify their crops and to cash in on the wine bonanza. Vines aged 35 to 100-plus years, on phylloxera-resistant St George rootstock, produce Dry Creek’s most acclaimed Zinfandels, with Petite Sirah and sometimes Carignane joining the blend. The valley heads north and west from Healdsburg, where Dry Creek trickles into the Russian River. For many years plantings stopped at Warm Springs dam which created Lake Sonoma. The reservoir drowned some good patches of Zinfandel; but now the area north west of the lake has been planted and christened Rockpile AVA, parts of which are within the Dry Creek Valley AVA. Although there are no wineries in the rugged Rockpile district, vines contribute Zinfandel grapes to the likes of Carol Shelton, J. C. Cellars, Mauritson, Rosenblum, and Seghesio. Italian immigrants planted the early vineyards, and their names remain common among vineyard and winery owners, including A. Rafanelli and Pedroncelli. But they are far from having a monopoly in the modern era. Dry Creek’s most prominent wineries in 2014 included Bella, Dry Creek Vineyard (a Sauvignon Blanc trailblazer), Ferrari-Carano, Lambert Bridge, Nalle, and ridge vineyards’ Zinfandel outpost at Lytton Springs.
Fort Ross- Seaview AVA
From the confounding mass that is the Sonoma Coast AVA the admirably focused Fort Ross sub-AVA emerged in 2012. Vineyards are sited on rounded ridges with summits exceeding 1,800 ft, above the fog line yet within the path of Pacific winds that ensure a cool climate. Yet these summits receive longer periods of sunlight and are warmer than the land below, allowing for the maturation of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah grapes with high acidity and lean, angular character—a style gaining increasing acceptance. Hirsch, Flowers, Wild Hog, Fort Ross, and Peay are among the well-known producer-growers; Marcassin, Pahlmeyer, and Peter Michael have vineyards here, too.
Green Valley of Russian Valley AVA
A sub-AVA of California’s Russian River Valley AVA described above, this cool corner began life in 1983 as Sonoma County-Green Valley AVA, but later changed to its present name. It lies at the south western edge of the larger region, bordered by the towns of Sebastopol, Forestville, and Occidental, and is the coldest, foggiest wedge of Russian River Valley, prized for its Goldridge soils. Its best-known estate is Iron Horse, yet recent years have seen Littorai, Dutton-Goldfield, Marimar Estate, and Hartford Family Winery emerge as stars, their wines focused and crisp.
Knights Valley AVA
A small, handsome, upland valley in Sonoma county separates the upper end of the Napa Valley from the lower end of the Alexander Valley. It was originally developed by Beringer Vineyards, and has since been joined by several growers and a prominent winery owned by British businessman Sir Peter Michael. The most impressive grape variety to date has been Cabernet Sauvignon, which embraces the heat that is trapped in the valley during the day, with the vines being cooled by refreshing breezes overnight.
Moon Mountain District Sonoma County AVA
This was approved in 2013 on the western slopes of the Mayacamas and encompasses some 17,000 acres, with just 1,500 planted to grapevines. It has yet to establish its viticultural significance.
Northern Sonoma AVA
This oddity of an AVA encompasses all of Sonoma that drains into the Pacific, which is to say all but Sonoma Valley and some of the Petaluma river watershed; it was proposed and is mainly used by E. & J. gallo, but has proven useful to a few others with scattered vineyards.
Russian River Valley
Most of the Russian River’s course is through other AVAs in mendocino and Sonoma counties. Only when the river escapes from Alexander Valley through a narrow gorge in the mountains at Healdsburg, then flows on, first south, then west, in its journey to the Pacific do the watercourse and the Russian River Valley AVA become one and the same. Cool, often foggy, the AVA blossomed as a wine-producing region in the 1970s when new winery owners in the area began bottling locally grown grapes under Sonoma county labels. It took the district fewer than 20 years to prove itself eminently well adapted to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. In a few hillside locations such as Martinelli’s Jackass Vineyard, Zinfandel does amazingly well. Joe Swan was an early pioneer. Dehlinger, Sonoma-Cutrer, Rochioli, Gary Farrell, Merry Edwards, Kosta Browne, Paul Hobbs, and Williams & Selyem are among the region’s best-known producers, and dozens more emerged in rapid fire in the early 2000s—some without vineyards of their own, some without production facilities, and a few with neither, creating brands first, and finding the grapes and labour as they went along. The boom was ignited by interest in the region’s Pinot Noir that surged from the late 1990s, with total vineyard acreage ballooning from around 4,000 acres then to over 18,000 acres/7,287 ha in 2013. Chardonnay remains the most-planted variety, but Pinot Noir is not far behind; this one—two Burgundian punch countering Napa’s mastery of Bordeaux varieties. Such is the cachet of Russian River Valley that various interested parties have twice successfully petitioned to have the AVA expanded, in 2003 and 2011, thereby blurring the lines of authenticity, and contributing to the rapid increase in vine acreage totals since 2003. Russian River Valley is widely thought of as being chilly during the growing season, yet some vineyard sites on the eastern side of the AVA can be as warm as alexander valley.
Sonoma Coast AVA
This misleadingly named AVA stands out as a purely artificial construction. Its sponsors (including Sonoma-Cutrer) drew boundaries to include widely scattered vineyards so they could continue to describe their wines as estate bottled after tightened federal regulations began requiring that both winery and vineyard be within the same AVA to qualify. The AVA stretches all the way from San Pablo Bay to the border with Mendocino county, encompassing vast inland tracts including parts of the Carneros, Russian River Valley, and Sonoma Valley AVAs. The fringe vineyards along Sonoma county’s shore that hug the Pacific have emerged as statement makers for what is regarded by many to be the ‘real’ Sonoma Coast, where the ocean is actually in sight. The marine soils, temperatures, and breezes yield wines that are very much less ripe, more structured, and higher-acid wines than could ever be produced in the much warmer carneros. Much-needed fragmentation of the Sonoma Coast AVA began in 2011 with the establishment of the Fort Ross-Seaview sub-AVA (see above). More segmentation is expected in the future as winemakers seek more specificity within the broader appellation. One prime area is the so-called Petaluma Gap, a break in the coastal mountains near Petaluma through which ocean fog and wind intrudes on a daily basis, making optimum conditions for fine-boned Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and cool-climate Syrah.
Sonoma Mountain AVA
A sub-AVA of Sonoma Valley best known for Cabernet Sauvignon, it occupies the east-facing slopes of the 2,400-ft/730-m mountain from which it draws its name and which separates Sonoma Valley from the Petaluma River watershed to the west. The AVA sits above the towns of Glen Ellen and Kenwood. Its most prestigious winery is Laurel Glen, its most characteristic Benziger Family. The Richard Dinner Vineyard is an outstanding Chardonnay source for Paul Hobbs.
Sonoma Valley AVA
For history, especially romantic history, no other AVA in California compares with Sonoma Valley. In addition to being the site of the ragtag 1846 Bear Flag revolt, which eventually secured Alta California for the US rather than Mexico, it had the last of the Franciscan missionary vineyards, one of the earliest commercial vineyards north of San Francisco (General Mariano Vallejo appropriated the Franciscan plantings), and, courtesy of public relations master Agoston haraszthy, the first great winery name of northern California, Buena Vista (now owned by boisset). In more modern times, its Hanzell Vineyard started the rush to using French oak barrels to age California wines and thereby revolutionized their style, most especially Chardonnay’s. The valley runs parallel to the Napa Valley to the east, its southern extremity doubling as the Sonoma portion of carneros. A long, thin comma of a trough in the coast ranges, it warms markedly from south to north because San Francisco Bay’s influence dwindles mile by mile. Steep mountains on each side make it geologically as well as climatically complex. Some of its memorable wines portray that diversity: Zinfandel, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sonoma Mountain (see above) is a sub-AVA. The Monte Rosso Vineyard, planted in 1838 by Louis M. Martini, looms large over the valley, with views of San Francisco on clear days, and produces Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel fruit for several producers, including gallo’s Louis M. Martini Winery in Napa. Above all else, Sonoma Valley is known for its ancient Zinfandel vines, many well over 100 years old (see historic vineyard society) and continuing to pump out small yields of intensely flavoured, spicy grapes. Many old vineyards were planted to field blends of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignane, and other ‘mixed blacks’, and there is a growing appreciation in the valley for such vineyard-specific blends. Sebastiani and Gundlach-Bundschu are the old-timers of the valley. Others of note include Chateau St Jean, Arrowood, Kenwood, Cline, St Francis, Kunde, and Ravenswood which specializes in old-vine Zinfandel and is now part of constellation.
California wine region and ava in northern Sonoma County north east of Healdsburg and south of Cloverdale.
Dry Creek Valley
California wine region and ava north west of Healdsburg.
Russian River Valley
High-quality California wine region and ava west of Healdsburg and centred in Sebastopol along that portion of the river that meanders through the hills of northern Sonoma county toward its mouth.
California wine region and ava east of St Helena, defined by elevation of about 1,400 ft/425 m.
Important centre of wine production in California’s napa Valley.
Has conducted viticultural research at its New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) in Geneva, NY, since the 1880s. vine breeders have released 57 varieties of juice, table, and wine grapes since 1906. As part of the breeding programme, disease-resistant and winter-hardy american vine species are crossed with vinifera as well as with Asian species of the vitis genus. The USDA-ARS Plant Genetic Resources Unit at Geneva makes over 1, 300 genotypes of cold-hardy Vitis germplasm available for grape breeders around the world. The principles of sunlight utilization in grape canopies were elucidated by Dr Nelson shaulis leading to modern canopy management such as shoot positioning and the geneva double curtain training system. The modern mechanical grape harvester was also developed by Shaulis, E. S. Shepardson, and grower Roy Orton. Oenology studies at Cornell began in the 1960s. cayuga white, Cornell’s first wine grape variety, was released in 1972. More recent releases include chardonel (1990), traminette (1996), Valvin Muscat (2006), and Arandell (2013). Studies in microbiology, fermentation, flavour chemistry, and wine production are ongoing. Cornell’s plant pathologists, grape physiologists, entomologists, extension specialists, and others develop technologies to enhance the quality and terroir of New York’s grapes and wines and to sustainably control diseases and pests. Cornell recently instituted new undergraduate degrees in oenology and viticulture, with teaching at Geneva and on the main campus in Ithaca.
Northern California- 2015
In common with much of Europe, the harvest started early in California – as early as July for some growers of sparkling wine. Yields are almost universally down on 2014. Huge wildfires proved a challenge for many, causing damage to vineyards and property as well as threatening smoke taint, especially in Lake County.
Northern California- 2014
Drought made itself felt in Napa and Sonoma, but ample ripeness led to a relatively early harvest of grapes in good condition and with plenty of flavour. There is a general sense of positivity across most regions and varieties for the potential quality of 2014 in California.
Northern California- 2013
A very fine vintage on the West Coast with optimal weather conditions throughout the growing season. The second high-quality bumper crop in a row.
Northern California- 2012
A banner year, providing a useful exception to the short crops experienced so widely elsewhere. Ideal growing conditions seem likely to have produced the best vintage for decades. Virtually all varieties seem to have thrived. Quality with quantity at last.
Northern California- 2011
Miserable conditions made for a very challenging harvest, with mildew and botrytis rife in Napa and Sonoma. Volumes are therefore low for the second consecutive year, with the best quality only found where growers managed to pick ripe fruit before the rainstorms in October.
Northern California- 2010
A very cool start to the season, then sudden heat in August followed by torrential rain. The net result is greatly reduced yields, but some very good quality wines in a more restrained, higher acidity and lower alcohol style than the Californian norm.
Northern California- 2009
Good initial impressions of the fruit, with widespread reports of awesomeness, according to the winemakers, despite a very rainy end to the growing season giving rot problems to many.
Northern California- 2008
Sonoma’s earliest harvest, and very early throughout northern California.
Northern California- 2007
Harvest began early, mid August in the warmer regions, then a cool September slowed ripening to a crawl, allowing physiological maturity to catch up with sugars. October warmed up, and most had their grapes in before late-October rains. Elegant, balanced wines. Yields down 15 to 25%.
Northern California- 2006
An unusually cool, wet growing season forced growers to drop substantial quantities of rotten fruit and pushed the harvest back to November. Far from a banner year, though the fruits of strict selection may surprise us.
Northern California- 2005
The first of two cool, damp vintages, although sugars accumulated at an even pace, and there is some restraint and good acidity in the wines.
Northern California- 2004
A switchback vintage with a particularly cool spring and an unusually hot summer leading to an exceptionally early harvest. Very heterogeneous.
Northern California- 2003
Rushed vintage as everything ripened at the same time after heat spikes followed rain and a cool May. Reduced crop.
Northern California- 2002
Summer started cool and continued very dry - quite exceptionally dry - so that the ripening process simply stopped and growers had to bite their nails through September waiting for anything like ideal ripeness. As in Europe, a difficult vintage, but for very different reasons.
Northern California- 2001
A respite for growers plagued by unusual conditions in both 2000 and 2002 with most varieties ripening evenly when expected, although some Cabernet vines shut down in August. A coolish September was a boon.
Northern California- 2000
Long, late, ‘European’ vintage thanks to an unusually cool, wet summer. There were very real concerns that Cabernet Sauvignon would never ripen in some vineyards. A particularly good year for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Northern California- 1999
Very late, dry, cool growing season which depended crucially on ripeness being boosted by a late September heatwave. A late rush resulted in many varieties ripening simultaneously leading to a short, extremely pressurised harvest. Some luscious Cabernets were made as a result of the relatively new preoccupation with extended ‘hang time’.
Northern California- 1998
The cliffhanger vintage that was as late as 1997 was early. Wines tend to lack stuffing, although some Cabernets took on surprising charm after 10 years in bottle.
Northern California- 1997
Early, generous harvest of widely admired wines with all varieties ripening at once. To drink now.
Northern California- 1996
Small crop of relatively lightweight wines, most of which should probably have been drunk.
Northern California- 1995
Yet another region in which a warm, dry autumn and late harvest saved the day after a difficult growing season. Reds, especially Zinfandels, may be even better than 1991. Small quantities pushed up prices, however.
Northern California- 1994
Generally compared to 1991, the slow ripening benefited the reds especially.
Northern California- 1993
Erratic growing conditions reduced eventual yields. A mixed bag.
Northern California- 1992
Plenty of good reds and whites, with Merlot, then increasingly fashionable, a highlight.
Northern California- 1991
A long growing season reflected in unusually fragrant, complex wines, with Zinfandel strong.
Northern California- 1990
A modest-sized crop, the top Cabernets and Chardonnays rivalled 1985.
Northern California- 1989
After autumn rains, poorly drained sites suffered, and many picked too early. Variable, especially the whites.
Northern California- 1988
A cooler summer yielded light, charming, early-maturing wines.
Northern California- 1987
A mixed year, but marvellous Zinfandels and Cabernets.
Northern California- 1986
Only slightly inferior to 1985 and successful for all varieties.
Northern California- 1985
Outstanding: elegant and stylish with the balance to age well.
Northern California- 1984
A very hot year, the whites faded long ago but you can still find the odd lovely decadent red.
The most widely planted vine variety grown in the eastern United States, notably in new york State where there were more than 20,000 acres/8,000 ha in 2006. It started life as a chance seedling and the majority of its genes clearly belong to the American vine species Vitis labrusca. The pronounced foxy flavour of its juice—synonymous with ‘grape’ flavour in the US—makes its wine an acquired taste for those raised on the produce of vinifera vines. It was named after Concord, Massachusetts, by Ephraim W. Bull, who introduced it, having planted the seeds of a wild vine there in 1843. It is particularly important for the production of grape juice and grape jelly, but between 5 and 10% of it is used to produce a wide range of wines, some kosher, often with some considerable residual sugar. Viticulturally, the vine is extremely well adapted to the low temperatures of New York and is both productive and vigorous. It is planted in many eastern states of the US and widely in Washington state where most grapes go into juice and grape concentrate. There are also about 2,500 ha/6,177 acres of Concord in Brazil.
Arguably the only variety of american vine species origin making a premium quality wine. Little known and little grown outside the eastern and midwestern united states, Norton is undoubtedly underrated because of entrenched bias against non-vinifera varieties. In Arkansas and missouri, it was the mainstay of an extremely important wine industry. Leon D. Adams calls Norton ‘the best of all native American red-wine grapes’ and praises it for its wines’ lack of foxy character. The origin of this dark-skinned variety is uncertain, but it takes its name from Dr D. Norton of Richmond, Virginia, a pioneer grape-grower. A recent dna study has shown that it is a hybrid which has both Vitis aestivalis and Vitis vinifera (see vitis) in its pedigree. It is also known as Cynthiana in Missouri, Arkansas, and Virginia. Norton is tolerant of bunch rots, and other fungal diseases such as black rot, anthracnose, downy mildew, and powdery mildew, and its roots are tolerant of phylloxera. The vine is vigorous, and requires a long growing season. The grapes are acidic, but the wine is indistinguishable by taste from wine made from V. vinifera grapes. Grapes are very dark coloured and full flavoured, and Norton reliably produces healthy fruit in places with high summer rainfall even without spraying. Chrysalis of Virginia is the Norton specialist.
Self-conscious region in the far north west of the united states. A beautiful and unspoilt landscape and some fine regional products, including food and wine, have brought a sense of pride to the states of washington, oregon, and idaho. Comparisons with california, the state to the immediate south, are habitually made.
State, province, or national exclusive controls over the sale, and occasionally production, of all alcoholic drinks have a long history. In india, the manufacture of the sort of wine drunk in the immediately pre-Christian era was a state monopoly. In countries such as algeria and, to a lessening extent, egypt, the state has controlled wine production as well as distribution. The administrators of many ancient civilizations saw the economic and social advantages of exercising a monopoly over the distribution of wine and beer (the only alcoholic drinks known in antiquity). State monopolies on selling alcoholic drinks have been features in many Scandinavian countries, Pennsylvania in the united states, and much of canada, although some of these monopolies were broken in the 1990s. The disadvantage for consumers can be a restriction of choice, and in many cases severe restrictions on where and how wine is sold, sometimes with all the safeguards and ignominy associated with the distribution of dangerous drugs. The advantage for producers can be that a sale to a monopoly represents a relatively high-volume order. The two biggest monopolies in terms of volume of wine sold are the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) in Canada, which sold about 135 million litres of wine in the 12 months to 31 March 2013, and Systembolaget in Sweden, which sold nearly 200 million litres in 2012.
In common parlance most often means a prohibition on the consumption of alcohol (which suggests the importance generally attached to the possibility of intoxication). Prohibition has officially been in force throughout the world of islam for 12 centuries, and elsewhere there have been periods throughout history (usually just after a period of particularly heavy consumption) during which the arguments for Prohibition have seemed convincing. One of these periods was the early 20th century, when Prohibition was enforced in parts of Scandinavia, was put to a referendum in New Zealand, and was enforced most famously in the United States.
Prohibiton- In the US
‘Prohibition’ is generally considered the period in the United States, 17 January 1920–5 December 1933, during which, according to the language of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, the ‘manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors’ was prohibited throughout the country. The passage of the 18th Amendment crowned a movement going back to the early 19th century. Beginning with local, voluntary organizations concerned to foster temperance in a hard-drinking country, the movement then undertook to pass restrictive legislation on a local or state basis (Maine went ‘dry’ in 1851). As the movement increased in vigour and confidence, total prohibition of alcohol consumption rather than temperance became the object. By the last quarter of the 19th century, the aim was to secure a complete national prohibition by means of a constitutional amendment. The work of propaganda to this end was in the hands of organized reformers, especially the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (1874) and the Anti-Saloon League (1895); they had the support of many Protestant churches, especially in the south and midwest. By the time the 18th Amendment was passed, 33 of the then 48 states were already dry. The working out of the amendment was provided for by the National Prohibition Act (October 1919), usually called the Volstead Act: it defined ‘intoxicating liquor’ as anything containing 0.5% alcohol, so extinguishing the hope that wine and beer might escape under a less stern definition. Some uses of wine were, however, allowed under the act: it could be used in religious ceremonies; it could be prescribed as medicine; and it could be used as a food flavouring or in other ‘non-beverage’ applications. All of these provisions could be and were greatly abused, and the act had to be amended and supplemented as experience showed the problems of enforcement. The popular conception of Prohibition is that speakeasies abounded, gangsters and bootleggers of all sorts flourished, and every American gladly flouted the law. The reality is harder to determine, but there can be no question that the consequences for the American wine industry were disastrous. A number of American wineries, by obtaining licences to manufacture wine for the permitted uses, managed to continue a restricted operation (the apparent needs of communicants, for example, soared during this period). Effectively, however, the industry was wrecked. In 1919, the official production of wine in the US was 55 million gal/2 million hl; by 1925 it had sunk to just over 3.5 million gal. Winemakers received no compensation. Most wineries simply went out of business and their establishments were broken up. The Volstead Act permitted the heads of households to manufacture up to 200 gal/7 hl of fruit juice annually and, by a benevolent inconsistency, this provision was construed to allow home winemaking. In consequence, vineyard acreage in california shot up to unprecedented size to meet the national demand for fresh grapes: the 300,000 acres/121,000 ha of vineyard in 1919 had nearly doubled by 1926. Most of the new planting was in very inferior grape varieties, however (thompson seedless and alicante bouschet, for example), and the degradation of the California vineyards thus induced by the conditions of Prohibition had seriously damaging effects on California wine long after Repeal. Nor can the quality of the average home-made wine have done much to enhance national connoisseurship. The first efforts of the opponents of Prohibition were to achieve ‘modification’ of the terms of the Volstead Act. They tried for example to alter the definition of ‘intoxicating liquor’, or to allow individual states to make regulations different from those of the act. These efforts got nowhere; in consequence, the ‘Wets’ concentrated on achieving Repeal by constitutional amendment. Aided by the economic collapse of 1929 (invalidating the argument that Prohibition was economically sound) and by the adoption of Repeal as a political question (the Democratic party made Repeal a plank in its platform for the 1932 elections), the repeal movement succeeded: in December 1933 the 21st amendment, repealing the 18th, was ratified. Unfortunately, the amendment left to the separate states the entire regulation of the ‘liquor traffic’ within their borders, with the result that US liquor laws—including local and state prohibition—remain a crazy quilt of inconsistent and arbitrary rules, another lastingly destructive effect of national prohibition. The forces that achieved prohibition in the US remain potent, and protean. National prohibition in the simple terms of the 18th amendment is not likely to come again; but liquor—wine very much included—continues to be an object of punitive taxation, of moral disapproval in some quarters, and of obstructive legislation in the United States today.
Wine, one named after a wine type (and usually borrowed European place-name) as opposed to a varietal, named after the grape variety from which the wine was made. The term has been used particularly in australia and the united states. Under American law, wines labelled as generics may be made from any grape variety or blend of varieties, and called either after their colour (red, white, rosé) or after places. With nothing else to call their results, early california wineries borrowed European place-names shamelessly. Before prohibition one could buy, not just St-Julien and Margaux made in the state, but wines named after particular châteaux. After Prohibition, stricter laws limited the borrowings to a handful of so-called semi-generic names, most commonly Burgundy, Chablis, Champagne, Chianti, Rhine, Sauterne (sic), Sherry, and Port, but did nothing to demand even the faintest approximations of the original in terms of grape varieties or style. Chablis could and can be just as sickly sweet as Rhine, and both can be made from thompson seedless or any other white grape. Burgundy, Chianti, and Claret could all come from the same tank, and probably have done. Towards the end of the 1980s, Red Table Wine, White Table Wine, and Rosé began to replace place-names on many of the more reputable labels. However, Chablis, Burgundy, and other borrowed names remain in widespread use by a number of large-volume producers, giants gallo foremost among them. A wine agreement between the US and EU finally drafted in 2005 permitted the continued use of these semi-generic terms on established brands for an unspecified period. Generic names can still be found on many wine labels, particularly in non-exporting or developing wine regions. No third-country wine entering the eu may carry a geographical name recognized as a European wine name. Thus, for example, the Australian company penfolds had to change the name of their most famous wine from Penfolds Grange Hermitage to Penfolds Grange and, more fatuously, EU officials have objected to established New World place-names incorporating the word Port. Outside Europe, champagne is still widely used as a generic name for sparkling wine, although not usually for the best-quality products.
Term used in california for the most basic sort of wine, an American counterpart to vin ordinaire or plonk. After prohibition was repealed in 1933, most inexpensive California generic table wine was bottled in half-gallon and gallon (1.9- and 3.9-l) glass jugs or flagons with screwcaps to satisfy a demand largely made up of thirsty immigrant labourers from the Mediterranean and eastern Europe. As this market segment has aged and died without direct replacement, jug wines have waned
Wines, a phrase coined in the 1990s to encompass wines made in the State of California, typically but not exclusively Napa Valley Cabernets, for which collectors, and possibly a few investors, would pay prices higher than those of Bordeaux’s first growths. They include such names as Araujo, Bryant Family, Colgin, Dalla Valle Maya, Grace Family, Harlan Estate, Moraga (bought by media mogul Rupert Murdoch in 2013), Screaming Eagle, Sine Qua Non, and Vineyard 29. What many of these names have in common is that they are made in extremely limited quantity, by talented winemaker consultant oenologists (often female) currently favoured by fashion.
Acronym for the weary sentiment ‘Anything But Chardonnay (or Cabernet)’ which encouraged interest in grapes other than the (two most famous) international varieties on the part of both producers and consumers. Rhône varieties were the earliest beneficiaries in the 1980s, but by the 2010s indigenous varieties and alternative varieties, the more obscure the better, were all the rage.
Term used on labels which has a very specific meaning in the United States, where an estate-bottled wine must come from the winery’s own vineyards or those on which the winery has a long lease; both vineyards and winery must be in the geographical area specified on the label. This is the American counterpart of château bottled or domaine bottled.
Cause célèbre in the US which banned shipping of wine direct from winery to consumer, until a seminal Supreme Court decision in 2005 liberalized direct shipments into some states, yet allowed others to keep their borders closed to wine shipments from out of state.
Based in Modesto, california, the largest winemaking operation in the world. Gallo was developed by the brothers Ernest (1909–2007) and Julio (1910–93) from the vineyards of their father, who shipped grapes for home winemaking during prohibition. On the eve of Repeal in 1933, the brothers obtained a licence to manufacture and store wine, and on the demise of Prohibition at the end of that year began the rapid expansion of their business. The received story is that they had only a couple of pamphlets published before Prohibition to guide their first winemaking efforts, but their father and uncle had been associated with the wine business before Prohibition, and winemaking in some form went on in the central valley, where the Gallos lived and grew grapes, throughout Prohibition. They perhaps knew more than a good story later would allow for. Nevertheless, Ernest Gallo’s success in establishing a national distribution network, first, while still in his teens, as a grape broker, and then for wine, stands as an extraordinary feat, particularly in view of the business milieu of the era, still dominated by the thuggish outlaw element nurtured by Prohibition. Julio’s special charge was production. By 1935, just two years after Repeal, the winery was producing 350,000 gal/13,300 hl of wine, and in 1936 the brothers built a new facility with a capacity of 1.5 million gal. The new winery’s design showed their concern for the highest level of technical efficiency, as its capacity showed their determination in pursuing new and larger markets. In common with most large California wineries, the Gallos at first sold largely in bulk to bottlers; in 1937 they began to promote their own label and to devise their own marketing methods. The development of the firm thereafter was as a completely self-contained enterprise: it either owned its own vineyards or signed growers to long-term contracts; it built its own glass factory, maintained its own sales force, acquired control over distributorships, operated its own research department, its own print shop, and its own transport company. By 1950, Gallo had the largest wine-production capacity in the United States. By 1967, it held first position in sales, and has continued to do so. Storage capacity at its four wine-producing facilities by 1992 was 330 million gal/12.5 million hl, many times more than any of Europe’s largest wineries. In the process of its growth, Gallo encouraged the planting of superior vine varieties, the use of modern crop management methods, and the best available winemaking technology. Moreover, Gallo’s sales and marketing operation was long considered the academy for such functions in America. At one time, almost all the top wine sales executives in the US had at least a short stint with Gallo on their resumés. In the 1950s and 1960s, Gallo so revolutionized concepts of wine retailing in America that it was said that Gallo salesmen knew more about a store’s inventory than its owner. No wonder Gallo has been accused of having a domineering influence over the rest of the industry, particularly, through its sheer size, in the councils of the trade organization the (California) Wine Institute. Known from the beginning for sound, inexpensive wines of every kind, including flavoured wines, wine coolers, and fruit wines, brandy, and bulk process sparkling wines, Gallo inevitably became synonymous with basic jug wine. From 1977, however, Gallo made a determined effort to associate its name with better quality wines, varietals sold in bottles stoppered with a cork. By the early 1980s, Gallo was already the largest purchaser of grapes in the Napa Valley. By the end of the 1980s, Gallo had become the largest vineyard owner in Sonoma County. In 2002, they purchased Louis Martini Winery, one of Napa’s most venerable institutions. Two of Julio’s grandchildren, Matt and Gina, run a winery in Dry Creek Valley estimated to have a capacity of 7 million gallons. It is also estimated that they own 5,000 acres of vineyard spread all over Sonoma County, although even at this size, Gallo-Sonoma accounts for only a small percentage of the company’s total volume. The company’s estate wines are sold under the name Gallo Estate, as well as third-generation winemaker Gina Gallo’s Gallo Signature Series wines, while names such as MacMurray Estate Vineyards, Rancho Zabaco, and Frei Brothers Reserve are used for wines made from grapes purchased from Monterey, Sonoma, and Mendocino respectively. Less expensive wines sold under other Gallo brands such as Barefoot, Turning Leaf, Carlo Rossi, and Livingston Cellars are made in Livingston, south of Modesto. The firm, never particularly export-orientated, is wholly owned by the family and is notoriously secretive. Ernest Gallo’s first on-the-record interview took place well after his eightieth birthday. The Gallo brothers became as jealous of their own name as producers in the champagne region, prohibiting chianti classico producers from using their traditional symbol of the black cockerel, or Gallo Nero, in the US and even preventing their own younger brother Joseph from using his own name on the cheese he produced.
Important family in the recent history of california wine, with Robert Mondavi (1913–2008) in particular doing more than anyone to raise awareness of the civilizing influence of wine in general and of California as a source of top-quality wine in particular. Robert’s father Cesare came to the US in 1906 from the marche on Italy’s east coast. He and his Italian wife Rosa ran a boarding house for miners in Minnesota before moving to lodi in California’s San Joaquin valley in 1921, whence, throughout prohibition, they shipped grapes back east to America’s temporarily swollen band of home winemakers. Immediately after Repeal, Cesare turned to winemaking and was joined in the late 1930s by his sons Robert and Peter. As early as 1936, the Mondavis made their crucial move out of the hot Central Valley (leaving gallo to build up the world’s largest winery there) into the cooler napa Valley where they were determined to make table wines, rather than the then much more popular dessert wines. Robert’s first job in the wine industry was at the Sunny St Helena winery, then called Sunnyhill, part-owned by Jack Riordan, a friend of his father. The Mondavis acquired the nearby Charles krug winery in 1943. Robert Mondavi’s obsession with constant fine tuning of wine quality grew here, inspired by old bottles from the Inglenook winery, and guided by oenologist André tchelistcheff. During the 1950s, he became increasingly fascinated by the cabernet sauvignon grape and in 1962 visited bordeaux for the first time, a seminal visit which was to convince him of the necessary conjunction between fine wine and gracious living. This led to disputes with his younger brother Peter which were exacerbated by Cesare’s death in 1959 so that by 1965 Robert was excluded from the Charles Krug winery, where Peter and his descendants remain, and won compensation only after a long and bitter lawsuit. The opening of the Robert Mondavi winery on the Oakville highway in 1966, strikingly Californian, in the mission style, thanks to architect Cliff May, marked the beginning of a new chapter not just for the Mondavis but for California wine. Just as Baron Philippe de rothschild had signalled a new era for Bordeaux when he took over at Ch mouton rothschild in the 1920s, so the Robert Mondavi winery was at the forefront of developing varietal wines based on Europe’s most famous vine varieties (each, innovatively, made differently); continual experimentation with different barrels, toast, fining, and filtration regimes; special Reserve bottlings; comparative tastings with France’s most famous wines; wine tourism; and cultural events associated with the winery and its wines. It was therefore no surprise when in 1979 a joint venture was announced between Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe: Opus One, with its own lavish winery since 1992, was a Napa Valley Cabernet-based wine made jointly by Tim Mondavi and Mouton’s winemaker. Also in 1979 the company bought a co-operative in Lodi which, producing the high-volume, lower-priced range of Woodbridge wines then known as ‘fighting varietals’, has been its single most profitable venture by far. During the 1990s, Robert Mondavi extricated himself from day-to-day operations, which then also included joint ventures in Chile and Tuscany, a controlling interest in ornellaia, an ambitious venture in the Languedoc, and the Byron winery in the Santa Maria Valley. Although the Robert Mondavi winery had considerable assets in the form of 1,500 acres/607 ha of prime Napa Valley vineyard, and annual production of Napa Valley wine peaked in the early 1990s at about 500,000 cases (more than any other producer), borrowings and the prospect of significant inheritance taxes forced this family-owned winery to make a public share issue in 1993. In 2004, the board voted to sell the company and it was purchased by constellation brands, which disposed of many of the joint ventures, although not Opus One.
Loose affiliation of American wine producers who, led by Californians Bob Lindquist of Qupé winery and Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon, decided in the 1980s to produce wines in the image of the reds and, increasingly, whites of the rhône valley in France. Such wines provided a useful outlet for the produce of old grenache and Mataro (mourvèdre) vines which had previously languished out of favour. It also resulted in a dramatic increase in plantings of such vine varieties as syrah (whose total California plantings grew from 2,000 acres/800 ha prior to 1995 to over 19,000 acres/7,700 ha in 2012) and viognier (500 acres/200 ha prior to 1995; 3,000 acres/1,214 ha in 2012). Joseph Phelps of napa was an early exponent, Bonny Doon of santa cruz a later but noisier one. The movement was regarded by some as providing welcome alternatives to the usual California diet of unblended Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay, by others as an act of treachery against the state’s own wine styles and vine varieties (petite sirah was only gradually accepted into the Rhône Rangers’ blending vats).
The usual abbreviation in the wine world for the influential wine-related faculties of the University of California at Davis, a small city 70 miles north east of San Francisco in California’s Central Valley. The city came to be known throughout the world as a centre for research and instruction in all aspects of agriculture because it was the home of the University Farm established in 1906. Until the late 19th century, grape-growing and winemaking in California had been relatively haphazard, with numerous problems generally unrecognized. An act of state legislature in 1880 directed the nascent University of California to start research and instruction in viticulture and oenology. The fact that Berkeley, the original site of the university, was too cold and foggy for grape-growing encouraged the establishment of the farm in the warm, inland climate of Davis. The then Professor of Agriculture, Eugene Hilgard, soon recognized that grafting vinifera scions on to hybrid rootstocks was the only practical solution to the world’s phylloxera epidemic. He also recognized the importance of matching vine variety to soil and climate for fine wine production. Hilgard established early co-operation between academe and practitioners. Prohibition brought a temporary hiatus in Davis’s wine-related activities. In 1959 UC Davis was declared an independent general campus, ending a half-century as a branch of UC Berkeley. The university hired a powerful group of academics including: the late Albert J. winkler, famous for his degree day/heat summation method of climate classification; Harold P. Olmo, breeder of new varieties; and well known oenologist Maynard A. amerine. The department was also responsible for the development of assays now routinely employed in wineries internationally. This work continues today. Current research efforts are dedicated to understanding the impact of viticultural practices such as regulated deficit irrigation, yield, clonal variation, and site selection on wine composition and perceived quality. In addition, novel molecular and genetic technologies are being developed and applied to the improvement of both scion and rootstock varieties with the aim of producing vines less susceptible to pests and diseases and increasing understanding of grape berry maturation and flavour and aroma development. Genomics technologies are being used to further understanding of the yeast and bacterial fermentations of wine, to profile the presence and persistence of both wild and spoilage flora, and to map the winery and vineyard microbes (see soil biota) and their impact on grape and wine quality. The department is similarly engaged in defining and profiling the key chemical components responsible for wine aroma and flavour, and linking the development and evolution of these components to vineyard practices, using consumers and professionals for sensory evaluation. The department is also playing an important role in defining the bioactive compounds of wines responsible for the health benefits of moderate consumption (see health). Sophisticated tools for the analysis of wine aroma, flavour, and ageability are also being pioneered and applied to the investigation of wine composition. Consumer preference profiling is being exploited to better understand the phenomenon of preference. Work continues on vine variety identification using dna profiling. The Davis campus also houses the foundation plant services. The department’s new facilities, opened in 2008, have ushered in a new era of sustainability. Davis continues to be the principal centre for teaching viticulture and oenology in the Americas, and has trained numerous winemakers from around the world. It has become synonymous with a scientific approach to wine production and the understanding of wine quality as opposed to one informed solely by tradition and observation.
Abbreviation for California State University, Fresno, in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, where over 65% of California wine grapes are grown. In 1997, it became home to the first licensed, bonded winery in a university in the US. The Department of Viticulture and Enology was formed in 2001. Students receive a very practical education, and expertise is required in both disciplines. The university has extensive vineyards for all aspects of grape production. Students make all wines produced from San Joaquin grapes, by Fresno State Winery, many of them award-winning.
(VT) in Blacksburg, virginia, is home to the Enology–Grape Chemistry Group, established by B. W. Zoecklein in 1986 within the Department of Food Science and Technology. Oenology research at VT aims to improve wine aroma and flavour through increasing precursor concentration in grapes and applying targeted fermentation management practices. Oenology extension supports the growing Virginia wine industry through workshops and analytical services. Oenology, brewing, and fermentation courses are offered at undergraduate and graduate level. Virginia Tech’s viticulture research and extension programmes are conducted through the Agricultural Research and Extension Center (www.arec.vaes.vt.edu/alson-h-smith/index.html) at Winchester in the northern Shenandoah Valley. Grape research has focused on aspects of cold stress physiology, vine and vineyard management to optimize yield; evaluation of wine quality, vine varieties, and clones; and pest management. Technical information is disseminated through industry meetings, web-based resources, and a Wine Grape Production Guide
Viticulture, unlike winemaking, has long required a substantial input of labour. The Romans used slaves while monks and monasteries played an important part in medieval vine-growing. A peasant class was long necessary to maintain viticulture in Europe, and increasingly vineyard labour was paid for by leasing part of the vineyard to the labourer, share-cropping or, in French, métayage. The close association between vine-growing and humans began to alter towards the end of the 20th century, however, mainly because of changes in technology. There have traditionally been three levels of labour input to viticulture: man alone, man plus draught animal, and man plus machines. In the future, robots may do some vineyard tasks. In ancient vineyards, all work was done by man, which consisted of weed control, pruning, trimming, desuckering, layering, and harvesting. The labour input was high, and vineyards on the plains required between 70 and 80 man-days per hectare per year. This means that any one person might tend about 3 ha/7 acres, with due allowance for using other labour at times of peak demand such as harvesting and pruning. The yield from such vineyards was not high compared with modern standards. A generous 33.5 hl/ha (2 tons/acre) meant that one man’s labour might produce a maximum of about 15 tonnes of grapes. For hillside vineyards, one man might tend only about 100 sq m of vineyard, although this was not necessarily full-time work, with a likely output of tens of kilograms of grapes per person per year. Such vineyards relying totally on manual labour are increasingly rare, as the price of labour has increased much more than the price of wine, but some may be found all around the Mediterranean. Intensive labour input continued for many vineyards up until the mid to late 19th century, when the invasion of powdery mildew, downy mildew, and phylloxera led to the need for spraying, and rootstocks. Previously many vineyards had been planted haphazardly without rows, and with high density, almost like a field of wheat. As need be, unhealthy vines were replaced by layering from adjacent vines. With the need to spray, and also for ploughing, draught animals became more common, not only horses but also mules and oxen. Indeed, milk cows were also used; in France’s Auvergne, for example, cows provided meat, milk, and labour. Vines then needed to be planted in rows to make easy the passage of the animal, and there were typically many fewer plants per hectare because of the cost of grafting plants on rootstocks. One horse was able to work 7 ha, and one man was needed for every 3 ha. A typical family farm consisted of about 7 ha of vines, one horse with two drivers, and one labourer. After the Second World War, the pattern of viticulture changed in France and elsewhere with the widespread introduction of mechanization. This was no simple matter, as there were conflicts between generations of farmers about replacing horses with tractors, and substantial changes in the support services in rural villages. Mechanics and fuel salesmen replaced blacksmiths and fodder merchants. In the end, economic necessity determined the future; one man and a tractor was now able to tend 30 ha of vineyards, although with manual labour including pruning, trimming, and harvesting, 1 ha still required 43 days’ work throughout the year. In the 1960s, the mechanization revolution intensified. Under-vine ploughing had been largely replaced by herbicides, and then there was the introduction of mechanical harvesting followed by that of mechanical pruning. Some sprays were even applied from the air, using aeroplanes or helicopters. There are some vineyards in south-eastern Australia where the total annual labour input is less than 50 man-hours per hectare: all operations are carried out mechanically including harvesting and pruning; spray units treat multiple rows at once; and weed control is by herbicides. On large estates, one worker is required for each 30 ha with this degree of mechanization, and the output can be more than 500 tonnes of wine grapes. This figure, compared with less than 15 tonnes per person about a century earlier, demonstrates how labour productivity has increased through mechanization. A counter-trend, albeit generally on a smaller scale, is the move towards organic and biodynamic grape growing, the latter in particular requiring considerable human input. Australian examples are relevant because of the acute rural labour shortage here and in New Zealand, although Asian and Pacific island immigrants, as well as working students, were providing some solutions in the first decades of the 21st century. The wine industries of South America and, especially, South Africa have never known a labour shortage while in California and elsewhere on the West Coast of the US, Mexico has provided an exceptionally skilled viticultural labour force. Future developments are not obvious. With improved computer technology there is renewed interest in developing robots for grapevine pruning, as at Canterbury in New Zealand and Purdue in Indiana in the US but the variability of vineyards, of terrain, and of the weather make the task of robot development and use more difficult than for the factory floor. It seems likely, however, that an increasing proportion of vineyard tasks will be mechanized, even in countries where labour resources are not necessarily limiting or expensive. Mechanization is seen to offer benefits of timeliness as well as of economics, which encourage its further adoption. However, on a few estates where the slopes are too steep for mechanized ploughing, or where there is a wish to avoid soil compaction, notably in alsace and burgundy, and increasingly in Bordeaux’s upper echelons, producers have returned to using ploughs pulled by draught animals such as horses. Once the grapes have been delivered to the winery, winemaking requires relatively little labour. A winemaker is required to make decisions and, increasingly, program a computer which may control such operations as temperature control and racking wine from one container to another (see information technology). Only barrel maturation and, particularly, lees stirring require much manual labour (see cellar work). Otherwise, cleaning is the chief manual operation.
Small city north of San Francisco in california that gives its name to Napa county and, California’s most famous wine region and an ava, the Napa Valley. Although Napa was one of the last of California’s coastal counties to receive the vine, the Napa Valley has earned the state’s wine most of its fame both inside and outside the united states in the 20th and 21st centuries. In America if not the wine world, ‘the Valley’ is Napa Valley. Natural beauty and proximity to San Francisco have attracted, not just willing investors, but owners and winemakers with aggressive desires to make names for themselves in this cultured pursuit. The first generation of them began the climb to prominence between 1880 and 1919. The third spurred Napa out in front of the pack during the boom times between 1966 and the early 1990s. The fourth has at times threatened to turn Napa into a parody of conspicuous consumption. But it was an undervalued interim group that kept the flame alive through the lean years between 1933 and 1966, when California wine was at its ebb. Six companies, Beaulieu Vineyard, Beringer Vineyards, the Christian Brothers, Inglenook Vineyards, Charles krug, and Louis M. Martini, pursued fine wine under their own labels when most districts sold commodity products in bulk (see california, history). Their vineyards provided half the model that attracted the dizzying investments of the 1970s and 1980s, when vineyard acreage tripled and the number of Napa wineries shot from fewer than 20 to more than 200. The other half of the attraction model was provided by the original ‘boutique wineries’ Mayacamas and Stony Hill, which had sprung up from this fertile ground in the late 1950s. The oldtimers inspired such prominent wineries as the Robert mondavi winery, Trefethen, Freemark Abbey, Chateau Montelena, and Sterling Vineyards, while the small artisan model begat smaller operations such as Heitz, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Diamond Creek, Caymus, and Schramsberg. The Napa Valley proper is a long, lazy arc with its foot in San Francisco Bay and its head on the western shoulder of Mount St Helena, the highest point in Napa county. Like most of the north–south valleys around San Francisco Bay, it has a cool end at the bay (in the south) and a warm one away from it (in the north), although it is barely more than 40 miles/64 km end to end, and sometimes less than a mile wide. With more than 46,000 acres/18,200 ha of vineyard in the Napa Valley AVA, the main valley has little more land to plant, although a succession of smaller valleys in hills to the east such as Chiles and Pope valleys offer some room for expansion. Napa’s magic is derived in no small part from a magnificent diversity of exposure, climate, and soil, which has led to several sub-AVAs within the generously drawn main AVA. In the early 1990s, growers proposed dividing the Napa Valley into communes much as the Haut-médoc is divided. The scheme has more or less succeeded with sub-AVAs in the middle of the valley from south to north being Oak Knoll, Yountville, Oakville, Rutherford, St Helena, and Calistoga, and those on hills and mountains being Atlas Peak, Diamond Mountain, Howell Mountain, Mount Veeder, and Spring Mountain. Growers in outlying areas who had historically sold their grapes to wineries in the centre of Napa Valley demanded inclusion in the Napa Valley AVA and gained federal approval over time for sub-AVA status, despite early resistance from some who believed the great Napa franchise would be diluted by such segmentation. Their fears have proved unfounded, but to protect the Napa Valley name, by regulation, both the name Napa Valley and the subappellation names appear on labels. Distinctions among the wines makes even greater refinement of internal boundaries seem inevitable. With or without diversity, Napa has been such a congenial home to Cabernet Sauvignon that one could argue a case for Napa’s having caused its popularity, not the other way around. Versatile growing conditions give Napa growers the options of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot, with replantings in the wake of phylloxera broadening the menu.
Atlas Peak AVA- Napa
If it weren’t for the efforts of Italy’s Marchese Piero Antinori to grow Sangiovese in Napa Valley, Atlas Peak might not exist as an AVA. While Sangiovese proved to be not only difficult to grow in this rocky region in eastern hills, California Sangiovese was difficult to sell, no matter who made it. Antinori sold the Atlas Peak brand and later relaunched it as Antica (a conjunction of Antinori and California). The results have been stellar, Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons focused and ageworthy. Stagecoach Vineyards, whose plantings cross into the non-AVA Pritchard Hill region, is a source of grapes for numerous producers.
Calistoga AVA- Napa
One of Napa Valley’s oldest winegrowing regions finally earned AVA status in 2009, after years of debate over two wineries’ use of the word Calistoga when their grapes did not come from that region. Home to historic Chateau Montelena, Araujo Estate (now owned by François pinault), and visitor magnet Sterling Vineyards, the AVA can be very warm (35 °C) during the summer, with cooling breezes from Knights Valley to the west dropping temperatures to 12 °C overnight, making quality grapegrowing possible. Cabernet Sauvignon is the region’s strong suit, and Zinfandel is very happy here (Storybook Mountain Vineyards is proof), yet the cost of land and greater profitability of Cabernet has largely restricted Zin plantings.
Diamond Mountain District AVA- Napa
This AVA is defined by its elevation (400 to 2,200 feet) and ability to capture plenty of sunshine in the daytime and cooling breezes from the Pacific Ocean in early morning and late afternoon. Weathered red sedimentary soils contribute graphite notes to the tannic Cabernet Sauvignons, which benefit from extensive bottle ageing. Von Strasser sets the pace.
Howell Mountain AVA- Napa
Howell Mountain won its pre-prohibition fame for Zinfandel, but the current generation of growers and winemakers, led by Dunn Vineyards, La Jota, O’Shaughnessy, and Robert Craig has turned sharply towards Cabernet Sauvignon as the variety of choice. The district ranges upward from 1,400 ft/430 m elevation in Napa’s rugged east hills, and has as its anchor the Seventh Day Adventist community of Angwin.
Mount Veeder AVA- Napa
Mount Veeder stretches out along ridgetops that separate the Napa and sonoma valleys immediately west of the town of Napa, and is centred on the peak from which its name comes. Its oldest extant winery is Mayacamas, its largest the Hess Collection. Most of the plantings in it are Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, although Hess has made an investment in Malbec. Jackson Family Wines’ Lokoya has emerged as a mini-cult brand.
Oakville AVA- Napa
This is one of the most prestigious wine-growing districts in America. Stretching across the valley floor and piedmont areas just north of the Yountville hills, it encompasses famous historic vineyards such as ToKalon and Martha’s, cult Cabernets such as Harlan (on the western hills) and Screaming Eagle (on the eastern side), as well as a long list of highly successful wineries such as Far Niente, Groth and Opus One. As with most districts in Napa, there is a range of soils, drainage characteristics, and exposures. In general the weather is somewhat warmer than Yountville or Stags Leap because of the way the hills baffle winds off the bay. But most commentators would consider Oakville a bit cooler than Rutherford, thus lending an elegant nuance to Cabernets by comparison. Oakville’s famous To Kalon vineyard, planted by Hamilton Crabb in 1868, is now shared by Robert Mondavi winery and grower Andy Beckstoffer. Each owns a portion of this historic site, and wines made from Beckstoffer’s blocks are labelled as Beckstoffer To Kalon, to distinguish them from Mondavi’s To Kalon wines.
Rutherford AVA- Napa
With Oakville, the name of Rutherford was put before BATF (see ttb) during 1991 as part of the grower plan to divide all of the Napa Valley into community-based sub-AVAs. The original petition would have further divided Rutherford into Rutherford and Rutherford bench, but that refinement was dropped before hearings began. Before AVAs, Rutherford bench was an innocently coined name meant to distinguish the long, snaky alluvial band stretching along the Napa Valley’s west side, from St Helena down to Yountville, from the more westerly valley floor closer to the Napa River. At the time, Rutherford bench was a source of equal parts mirth and ire in Napa: it’s not a bench and it extends through Oakville. Today folks are comfortable with Rutherford as the AVA, although the west side of this middle stretch of valley, the so-called ‘bench’, is home to many of California’s premier patches of Cabernet Sauvignon, including Beaulieu Vineyard Nos. 1 and 2, Staglin, Inglenook (previously Niebaum-Coppola Rubicon), Bella Oaks, Bosche, Sycamore, and more.
Stags Leap District AVA- Napa
Well south and on the eastern side of the valley, Stags Leap District (shunning the apostrophe) celebrates Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and virtually nothing else, with the exception of Shafer Vineyards’ Relentless Syrah. Other varieties grow well, but not with enough regional distinctiveness to call attention to themselves, nor to command the prices paid for the AVA’s Cabernets and Merlots. The hallmarks of its Cabernets are a greater emphasis on sour cherry and blackberry flavours than in counterparts from other parts of Napa, and suppler tannins. Eroded volcanic and old river sedimentary soils, reflective heat from the Palisades rock formations on the AVA’s eastern edge, and refreshing breezes from San Pablo Bay to the south make Stags Leap District a nearly perfect growing environment for red wine grapes. Curiously, it was little planted to Cabernet before 1970. It takes its name from a basalt palisade north east of Napa city, under the towering wall of which its vineyards lie, and from which deer were reputedly driven by indigenous hunters. Clos du Val and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars were the pioneers, since joined by Cliff Lede, Chimney Rock, Pine Ridge, Shafer, Silverado Vineyards, Sinskey, and others.
Oak Knoll District AVA- Napa
This relatively cool AVA created in 2004 is mostly on the valley floor, south of Yountville and Stags Leap but north of the city of Napa. As in Carneros, San Pablo Bay breezes cool the area at morning and night, yet daytime warmth is plentiful. Trefethen is one of its oldest wineries; Robert Biale, Lewis Cellars and Monticello Vineyards are also notable. Merlot grown here is promising, and Biale’s Zinfandels are legendary.
Yountville AVA- Napa
This is the region in which Bordeaux’s Christian moueix staked his Napa claim, and where moët & chandon entered the California winemaking business in 1973. Chandon established Domaine Chandon for the production of traditional method sparkling wines and found success from the start, with California ripe fruit marrying with champagne production methods. Moueix entered the picture in 1981, forming a partnership with Robin Lail and Marcia Smith, inheritors of Napanook Vineyard from their father John Daniel, to produce his Dominus brand of ageworthy Cabernet Sauvignons, buying them out in 1995. The small town of the same name has one of the Valley’s highest concentrations of restaurants.
Important source of top quality napa Valley Cabernet.
Stags Leap District- USA
California wine region and ava.
Mount Veeder- USA
California wine region and ava in the mountains between Napa and Sonoma.
Central Coast- USA
One of california’s umbrella avas, this sprawling wine region technically encompasses all of the land from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and inland from the coast almost to the central valley. In practice, the important and unique viticultural areas referenced by the name are concentrated in a mid-section of this too-broad appellation, the counties of monterey, san luis obispo, and santa barbara.
Livermore Valley- USA
California wine region and ava in Alameda County east of San Francisco Bay. Livermore hides behind hills high enough to screen out nearly all of the sea fogs common on the bay itself. It is therefore warm and—a passage between the cool, marine air of the bay and the hot, rising air of the central valley—windy, as evinced by thousands of turbines blanketing the hills of Altamont Pass at the eastern edge of the valley. If the gods had got it all right, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon would dominate the 1,400 acres/566 ha planted to vines in Livermore Valley in the early 1990s. Those two grape varieties, linked by their history in Bordeaux, first came with French emigrants during Livermore’s first great blossoming in the 1870s and 1880s (see california, history). These original growers believed in the virtues of its stonier-than-graves soils. Today the difficulty of selling Semillon to Chardonnay-besotted Americans has begot changes. Zinfandels and Petite Sirahs have emerged as the best quality wines; Chardonnay is widely planted and promoted. Steven Kent Winery has had particular success with both Cabernets. For 40 years, vine acreage has been under severe pressure from urbanization but scions of pioneer Wente Vineyards have crafted a land-use compromise with the political authorities which is an important example for California: 10 acres of land are set aside for open space or agricultural uses whenever permits are issued for an acre of home or business development. An immediate result has been two prime golf courses surrounded by vineyards and homes.
Santa Clara Valley
California wine region and ava south of San Francisco. Its colloquial name, Silicon valley, explains its status in the computer high-tech industry. In spite of a long vinous history, factories, shopping malls, and homes began to supplant most of its vineyards in the 1950s. By the 1970s, the transformation was nearly complete and the final chapters were being written for once-important winery names such as Almadén and Paul Masson. Mirassou remains today but is now owned by E. & J. gallo, the wines sourced from throughout California and its vineyards are now in the Salinas valley in monterey. A few acres of Santa Clara vines persist to the west in the santa cruz mountains and at its southern end in the Hecker Pass district, but the area’s luxury homes for computer programmers make all these vineyards more of a toy than a viable agricultural investment. Twenty small wineries exist, largely for the benefit of tourists. San Ysidro District AVA east of Gilroy is a single grower, owned by a New York winery.
Santa Cruz Mountains
Diverse 350,000 acre/141,700 ha california wine region and ava immediately south of San Francisco. Its vineyards amount to a light dusting of freckles on a long, lopsided, bony body. In a stretch of coast ranges that begins as the ridgepole of the San Francisco peninsula and continues south as far as the city of Santa Cruz, climates and soils would be so diverse as to beggar description even if vineyards were not separated one from another by miles of redwood forest, meadows, and artist colonies populated by cyber-refugees earning a living through the optical fibre. The most useful points to make about it are: this is one of California’s cooler growing regions; Pinot Noir has a rich history here, although Riesling and Zinfandel had their day in the last century; Cabernet Sauvignon has won the AVA its greatest fame albeit grown on the inland slopes of the ridgeline (see ridge Vineyards); and a prominent rhône ranger, Bonny Doon’s Randall Grahm, started in the counterculture woods behind UC Santa Cruz. Jeffery and Ellie Patterson carry on Martin Ray’s quest to produce pure, minerally Chardonnays and Pinot Noir at Mount Eden Vineyards, and stalwarts David Bruce and Thomas Fogarty wineries are also admirable. There is also much excitement for the wines being made by newer producers such as Rhys, Varner, and Big Basin. In the Corralitos area at the southern end of the AVA small producers such as Alfaro and Windy Oaks produce tiny quantities of precise, focused Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that are relatively low in alcohol thanks to the cool growing conditions. Top wineries include Ridge, David Bruce, Mt Eden, Fogarty, and Storrs. At the southern end of the AVA, overlooking Monterey bay, the hamlet of Corralitos is the geographical centre of activity for many small-scale producers of Pinot Noir which have sprung up since the mid 1990s.
One of the major agricultural counties south of San Francisco in california, with a reputation as ‘America’s salad bowl’. The coast may be exceptionally picturesque while the county’s inland Salinas Valley is planted with vast stretches of lettuces, broccoli, artichokes, carrots, tomatoes, capsicum, and strawberries which have their own kind of beauty, as described in John Steinbeck’s novels, notably The Grapes of Wrath. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and some Riesling were the varieties in fashion in the second decade of the century, plus a shrinking acreage of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that were once dominant despite the chilly conditions. As a wine region, Monterey is not cut from the normal cloth. Rainfall is so low that grapes cannot be grown there without irrigation. Water supply is ample, however, from the underground Salinas river, which defines the large valley so open to the Pacific Ocean that sea fogs and bracing winds cool and darken its northern end so that few or no grape varieties will ripen there. Into this contradictory situation came an army of would-be growers who, between 1968 and 1975, took Monterey from one isolated vineyard to the most heavily planted county on the American west coast, with a peak of 37,000 acres/14,980 ha. Nearly every year from 1975 to 1995 saw a steady reduction in vine acreage with vines increasingly concentrated in the southerly warmest and sunniest parts of the Salinas valley. That trend has since reversed, with acreage increased from 20,000 to nearly 70,000 between 1995 and 2010. The first Monterey wine successes came from near the towns of Soledad and Greenfield and that area, now the Arroyo Seco ava, remains near the forefront, although it has since been eclipsed by the Santa Lucia Highlands, a more recent AVA that flanks Arroyo Seco and reaches further north along the western foothills.
The blanket AVA for Monterey county encompasses Arroyo Seco AVA, Carmel Valley AVA, San Lucas AVA, Hames Valley AVA, San Antonio Valley, Chalone AVA, Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, San Bernabe AVA and all other vineyards not included in these more specific regions. The San Lucas AVA was sponsored by the vast Almaden Vineyards when it owned large acreages in them; it has not been actively used on labels since Almaden left the region although it contains a hefty percentage of Monterey’s total acreage in vines. The borders of the AVA are overlapped by the largest contiguous vineyard in the world, San Bernabe’s 13,000 acres owned by Delicato, which also has bases in the Central Valley and Napa Valley, and pushed through AVA status for San Bernabe in 2004. Both Hames Valley and San Lucas would be considered hot by the overall standards of Monterey county.
Arroyo Seco- USA
A fairly coherent district within the vastness of Monterey county’s Salinas valley has its anchor point at the scruffy farm town of Greenfield. Most of its vineyards lie to the west of that town, on either bank of the dry wash for which it is named in Spanish, but some range east and north to the even scruffier precincts of Soledad. Chardonnay is the mainstay for most of the wineries who draw upon it, but some cleave resolutely, and less successfully, to Cabernet Sauvignon. Rieslings from the area, with their reliable aroma of nectarines, can be of great interest, typically made in an off-dry to medium-sweet style. The earliest plantings here came in the early 1960s.
Carmel Valley- USA
The only seaward-facing wine district in Monterey county, with a much more affluent, less agricultural population than Salinas valley. It has a handful of small wineries and vineyards draped across steep slopes in the drainage area of the Carmel river, 10 to 12 miles/19 km inland from Carmel bay. Bernardus leads in terms of quality; Talbott Vineyards in Santa Lucia Highlands owns the Diamond T vineyard here.
Chalone AVA- USA
Chalone’s reputation was made by the winery of the same name set high in the Gavilan mountains, on the east side of Monterey’s Salinas valley, notably with Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Noir. Although Chalone looks directly down to the Arroyo Seco AVA, it remains worlds apart in climate (being above the fog) and soils, which for Chalone are crystal laden and calcareous.
Santa Lucia Highlands AVA- USA
On the western side of the Salinas Valley, Santa Lucia Highlands’ Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah vines grow on terraces at up to 1,200 feet/365 m elevation, looming over the row crops on the valley floor. The AVA is arguably Monterey’s most celebrated, with commensurate bottle prices, its grapes prized and purchased by wineries throughout California. Paraiso Vineyards, Hahn Estates, and the McFarlands of Sleepy Hollow Vineyard are among the pioneers who realized that the moderate elevation and protection provided by the Santa Lucia coastal range mitigated the marine gusts that can turn grape leaves inside-out. The Garys, Morgan Double L, Pisoni, Rosella’s, and Tondre Grapefields vineyards have the most cachet with producers and consumers.
San Luis Obispo
wine-producing county in the central coast ava of california midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Many of California’s coastal counties demonstrate why the American AVA system, its embryonic answer to France’s appellation contrôlée, tries to avoid political boundaries in the shaping of vineyard districts. San Luis Obispo county does so more vigorously than most. A boiling summer sun beats down on the high, sheltered plain that is the Paso Robles AVA while fogs hang over a narrow, cool coastal shelf holding the Edna Valley AVA near San Luis Obispo city. The two AVAs are fewer than 20 miles/32 km apart, and well within the same county. A third AVA, Arroyo Grande, runs from the coast back up into the mountains, thus capturing examples of both extremes within its boundaries.
Arroyo Grande Valley- AVA: San Luis Obispo
A long range of hills sloping towards Pismo Beach at the southern edge of San Luis Obispo county, Arroyo Grande was viticulturally distinguished in the 1980s only by the painstaking decision to plant 350 ha/865 acres of it for Maison Deutz, the California arm of Champagne house Deutz. It was later sold, morphing into Laetitia winery. The location is one of the coolest in California. Hundred-year-old Zinfandel vines behind lake Lopez do magnificently well for Saucelito Canyon winery, while Chardonnay and Pinot Noir do well for Talley Vineyards in lower lying portions of the AVA.
Edna Valley AVA: San Luis Obispo
Directly south of the coastal town of San Luis Obispo, Edna Valley won quick fame for its Chardonnays, beginning in the mid 1970s. Edna Valley Vineyards, now part of E. & J. gallo, was the pioneer, and the principal wine company is Niven Family Wine Estates (the Nivens founded Edna Valley Vineyards), producer of Baileyana, Tangent, Zocker, and other labels. The AVA also claims Alban Vineyards, established by rhône ranger John Alban whose finest Syrahs, Grenaches, and Viogniers are sold strictly via mailing list. Gewürztraminer has also done well, but it is not widely planted. Pinot Noir has been variable. Low hills on three sides give the small valley a soup-tureen shape, allowing it to collect moisture-laden air from the Pacific, making fungal diseases a frequent threat despite low rainfall. Cool, even temperatures and fog cover result in a very long growing season, often 50% longer than Burgundy.
Paso Robles AVA: San Luis Obispo
An isolated inland plain, where the headwaters of the Salinas river congregate, Paso Robles earned an early reputation as a place where outlaws could hole up, no questions asked. Locals still cultivate the impression that this is a haven for the disconnected—James Dean ended his briefly rebellious life in a nearby automobile accident in the 1950s. From the 1880s onward, its role as a wine district was to produce the kind of sun-baked, high-alcohol, fiercely tannic Zinfandels that could pull an outlaw into a saloon on the bleak, wintry nights that are almost as common hereabouts as blistering summer days. Since its confirmation as an AVA, newcomers in an expanding roster of local wineries moved on to embrace Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay in vineyards set on a restlessly rolling plain of former alfalfa fields east of Paso Robles town, and the cooler, calcareous viticultural areas west of the city. The Zinfandelists have stuck with their traditional haunts in high hills to the west of town, but now even they are joining up as growers of Cabernet and Rhône varieties. It surprises many that Cabernet, with 39% of acreage in 2013, is the most-planted wine grape in Paso Robles and that ‘other reds’ are second, at 16%. They include Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Petit Verdot. Merlot follows at 14%, with Syrah and Zinfandel at 9% and 8% respectively. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc have become rarities, replaced by ‘other whites’ including Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, and Roussanne. J. Lohr is the largest player, though not large by central valley standards, and its bottlings range from competent to exceptional across several price tiers. Justin, Wild Horse, Eberle, Adelaida, and Castoro are core producers, and the investment made by the Perrin family of Ch de Beaucastel in châteauneuf-du-pape with their American importer Robert Haas has paid off handsomely in excellent Rhône varietal wines at Tablas Creek in the western sector of the appellation. Tablas Creek’s vine nursery, established from cuttings taken from Beaucastel, has supplied US grape growers with top-quality plant material. Some of the beneficiaries are in Tablas Creek’s own backyard, small Paso producers of blends made in the image of southern Rhône reds, more popular single-varietal examples. The Paso Robles AVA is overwhelmingly extensive (666,000 acres/270,000 ha, of which 26,000 acres are planted with vines) and has no sub-AVAs, but there are moves afoot to change this. After an aborted attempt in 2007–2009 to create a Paso Robles Westside AVA (with state highway 101, and not geography and climate, dividing west from the east), wineries and growers ordered independent soil and climate studies and came up with 11 (pending in 2014) sub-AVAs within the current Paso Robles AVA
York Mountain AVA: San Luis Obispo
This tiny, single-winery AVA is not within the Paso Robles AVA boundaries, although it is contiguous on its western edge and within San Luis Obispo county.
Paso Robles AVA
Very large California wine region and ava on the inland side of the coastal mountains
Southern California city and county which gives its name to the southernmost in a string of three heavily planted wine counties on California’s central coast (see also monterey and san luis obispo). Its southernmost vines grow hardly more than 100 miles/160 km from downtown Los Angeles. The city of Santa Barbara has one of the dreamiest climates one could hope to find, almost rain free, and so mild that semi-tropical plants grow in lush profusion. And yet Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are prized varieties in the county because many of its vineyards hug the Pacific shore north of Point Concepcion, where nearly eternal sea fogs create conditions cooler and cloudier than either carneros or much of sonoma county’s Russian River. missionaries brought vines to the region in the 1770s (see california, history), and a few commercial wineries dotted the landscape during the later 19th century, but it was not until the wine boom of the 1970s that Santa Barbara began to assert any serious claims as a wine-producing area. Its potential seems particularly bright, in no small part because of its proximity to the trend-setting megalopolis of Los Angeles, and the 2004 movie sideways set here that created an instantaneous American fascination with the district (and Pinot Noir). It has five avas, and they do not encompass all of its 17,000 acres/6,900 ha of vineyard, but its reliance on fog as a cooling agent gives it remarkably complex shadings. Ballard Canyon, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara, Santa Maria Valley, Sta. Rita Hills, and Santa Ynez Valley are the current AVAs (see below); the Los Alamos, Los Olivos District, and the Santa Maria Bench may one day achieve AVA status.
Santa Maria Valley AVA
Located on the San Luis Obispo county border, this district is climatologically and geographically an extension of the coastal sections of its northern neighbour. A flock of distinctive Pinot Noirs brought this AVA swift identity during the 1980s. It also has proven well adapted to Chardonnay in a short career that began only with the 1970s. The floodplain of the Santa Maria river runs true east–west, and thus is wide open to the prevailing sea fogs of the region. Much more heavily planted than the Santa Ynez Valley to the south, it has only a dozen or so wineries. Byron, Qupé, and Au Bon Climat were its most prominent wineries at the outset of the 1990s, but more recently kendall-jackson’s purchase of the Tepusquet Vineyard has made it an extremely important player (mainly under the Cambria label). Some small artisan wineries such as Foxen have also enjoyed acclaim, especially among day visitors from Los Angeles. Most of its grapes go to cellars outside the county. Much of the part that stays home goes to wineries in other parts of the county, and Rancho Sisquoc have also enjoyed acclaim, and the Miller family, owner of Bien Nacido Vineyard (whose grapes are prized by wineries throughout California) launched its own Bien Nacido label in 2010. Many of Santa Maria’s grapes go to cellars outside the county, most notably the Ojai Vineyard in nearby Ventura county.
Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Rita Hills AVA
Although far from being the only schizophrenic AVA in California, the Santa Ynez Valley comes close to being the extreme case. It starts as a narrow, fog-beset river course between steep east–west hills that run inland from the Pacific shore at Lompoc as far as the village of Solvang. There the main valley is joined by tributary canyons from the north, which are much warmer because they are sheltered from sea fogs by elevation and higher hills. The western end is best suited to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, if anyone dares, Riesling. wind is a serious consideration, and the best sites are in the lee of hills. In recognition of its climatological distinction, this section (west of the main coastal freeway, Highway 101) is the sub-AVA of Santa Ynez Valley now named Sta. Rita Hills. (It began life as the Santa Rita Hills AVA, but Chilean producer Viña Santa Rita objected.) Sanford, Sea Smoke, Babcock, Melville, Dierberg, Brewer-Clifton, Longoria, and Lafond are prominent producers in this western section. Moving east from Sta. Rita Hills, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon come into play, in the warmer sub-AVAs Ballard Canyon and Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara. Firestone Vineyards was the pioneer, followed by Zaca Mesa. More recent entrants to have garnered acclaim include Fess Parker (known to Americans over 45 for his television roles as Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett) and Andrew Murray. Syrah is good at demonstrating the differences between western and eastern Santa Ynez Valley: in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA it tends to be lean and peppery while in the eastern Ballard and Happy Canyons it is fuller, more leathery, and berry-scented. Beckmen Vineyards in the heart of Santa Ynez Valley has a foot in both cool and warm zones, producing Syrah, Grenache, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The same is true for Gainey Vineyard, which also makes Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills.
Santa Maria Valley AVA
California wine region and ava
Santa Ynez Valley AVA
California wine region and ava.
Central Valley AVA
In california, this great expanse is divided into the sacramento valley in the north, which produces small quantities of wine, and the vast san joaquin valley in the south, which supplies the majority of the state’s bulk wine (and table grapes and raisins). Plumbed by an extensive system of rivers out of the Sierra Nevada and irrigation canals built since the 1920s, this large, fertile, sunny region is arguably the most productive farmland in the world with more agricultural output than the whole of China until 1990. The Sacramento river from the north and the San Joaquin River from the south drain into the Central Valley Delta, which includes such avas as clarksburg and, on slightly higher ground, lodi. One-third of America’s produce comes from here. chile also has a Central Valley, a large region comprising the subregions (from north to south) Maipo, Rapel, Maule, and Southern, and an appellation commonly found on many wine labels, especially those grown in more than one region.
San Joaquin Valley AVA
Southern half of the vast Central Valley in california, and that part of the state which produces the great bulk of its wine, and its table grapes and drying grapes. It stretches almost 300 miles/480 km from Stockton down to Bakersfield, and approaches 60 miles in width at its widest. Its great expanses of vineyard included 151,000 acres/61,000 ha of wine grapes in 2013. It is California’s Languedoc-Roussillon or Mezzogiorno, but so far only as a bottomless well of cheap, everyday wine. Except for the distinct avas of lodi and clarksburg at its very northern end near the confluence of the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers, it resists any internal dividing lines because its climate and soils are so relentlessly consistent. Huge as it is, its wineries match. The immense E. & J. gallo is unquestionably the most important name in it, although constellation’s huge Mission Bell winery, Bronco, and The wine group are major players too.
Town in the central valley of California that also gives its name to an ava. Cooler than either the northern or southern halves of the valley, this prolific farming region was populated from the late 19th century by largely German smallholders who formed large co-operatives to sell their grapes to large marketing companies such as constellation brands, Sebastiani, and JFJ Bronco in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The deep, rich-soiled valley floor was built up by alluvial deposits from rivers running out of the Sierra Nevada then pooling before running out to the Pacific through the Central Valley delta and San Francisco Bay. Lodi is inland from, less watery, and thus warmer than the clarksburg AVA to the north west, but much less warm than Madera, Fresno, and other districts further south in the San Joaquin Valley. Zinfandel has shown the greatest adaptability to Lodi’s growing conditions, and is planted on nearly 12,000 acres/5,000 ha. Zinfandels from here tend to cluster at the fleshy, plummy, ripe end of the spectrum but represent good value in today’s market place. Since the mid 1980s, Chardonnay and Merlot plantings have increased substantially but high yields tend to reduce their distinctiveness beyond recognition. Viognier produces nicely fragrant examples from Lodi, inexpensively priced, and there is great recent excitement in Albariño and Grenache/Garnacha, particularly from Bokisch Vineyards. In 2006, the Lodi AVA was dissected into seven sub-AVAs: Alta Mesa, Borden Ranch, Clements Hills, Cosumnes River, Jahant, Mokelumne River, and Sloughhouse. Wine distinctiveness has yet to be demonstrated.
Sierra Foothills AVA
Wine region in gold rush country in california and an ava. This is basically the piemonte area on the western edge of the Sierra Nevada, the snowy mountains which separate California from the rest of the US (from reality in the minds of many). Thousands flocked here after 1849 and, miners being notoriously thirsty, the region’s vineyards go back almost that far. The Sierra Foothills AVA blankets all of the vineyards in El Dorado, Amador, and Calaveras counties, takes in a few others in the flanking Nevada and Mariposa counties, and, in the process, points to most of the abandoned mines still there. California Shenandoah Valley and Fiddletown are AVAs within Amador county; El Dorado AVA and the subappellation Fair Play take in the vineyards in that county. North Yuba AVA is, not surprisingly, in Yuba county.
El Dorado county and Fair Play AVA
El Dorado county’s vineyards are much higher than those of Amador county, starting close to 1,500 ft and ranging up above 3,600 ft/1,160 m. Predictably, conditions are cooler, and the choice of varieties leans toward Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Riesling, with Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Zinfandel. Representative, established wineries include Sierra Vista, Boeger, Lava Cap, Holly’s Hill, and Madroña. Cedarville Vineyards’ Zinfandels and Grenaches can be superb. The subdistrict Fair Play AVA is south of the El Dorado vineyards, which cluster around Placerville (known as Hangtown during the Gold Rush), about halfway to Amador county, but not along the aptly named main road, Highway 49. Thus Fair Play is a mildly isolated destination. But the gaggle of small wineries in Fair Play has a justly deserved reputation for good times and for good value wines. So a steady stream of visitors regularly make the trek.
The heart of the county’s wine production is its two AVAs, Fiddletown and California Shenandoah Valley (see below), where pre-prohibition Zinfandel vines thrive and old-school Barbera has found new life. Modernity also exists here, in Ann Kraemer’s Shake Ridge Ranch, near the hamlet of Sutter Creek. Kraemer, an established Napa Valley viticulturist, has applied Napa vineyard expertise to a region unaccustomed to such precision. As a result, her Zinfandel, Syrah, Barbera, Tempranillo, and other varieties are highly sought after by boutique producers looking for authenticity over commercial appeal. Typical elevations are 800 to 1,200 ft/240 to 360 m.
Amador county’s Fiddletown AVA adjoins the upper, eastern end of California Shenandoah Valley, in the Sierra Nevada Mountain foothills east of the town of Plymouth. Amid rolling meadows and patchy pine forest, it grows some of the state’s oldest plantings of zinfandel in a region now most famous for that grape, and going back to gold rush days. There are few wineries in this AVA, but many elsewhere in Amador county purchase Fiddletown grapes.
California Shenandoah Valley AVA
California is tacked onto the front of Shenandoah Valley to distinguish this one from one, established earlier, in virginia. The California model is a mesa between two rivers east of the town of Plymouth. It became famous for hearty Zinfandels before the turn of the century and, after a long slumber, has regained some of its old momentum since the late 1970s, again with Zinfandel at the heart of the matter. More than a score of wineries share a modest acreage that also includes Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese, Syrah, and Petite Sirah. Monteviña initiated the resurgence after Sacramento retailer Darrell Corti encouraged Napa wineries to bottle some of the old-vine Amador Zinfandels. Leon Sobon’s Shenandoah Vineyards and Bill Easton’s Terre Rouge carry the region’s banner commercially, while Young’s has become a cult destination selling mainly at the winery.
California winemaker’s secret weapon, increasingly popular (in an age when depth of colour is automatically associated with quality in wine) red-fleshed hybrid, released, along with the somewhat similar but much less successful royalty, in 1958. Its productivity and depth of colour made the variety so popular with blenders of wine, juice, and some food products, that by 2003 there were more than 13,000 acres/5,200 ha in the state, making it California’s sixth most popular red grape. Total acreage was still 12,000 acres in 2012—almost as much as Sauvignon Blanc. It is grown, without any major viticultural problems, mainly in the hot san joaquin valley, and is never mentioned on a wine label.
exan credited with putting phylloxera-resistant roots on French vines, and saving Europe’s vineyards from devastation. Thomas Volney Munson was a lifelong student of viticulture, especially american vine species. At Kentucky University he became interested in texas and its grapes and travelled tens of thousands of miles in 40 states gathering wild vine specimens, and studying soils and climates. He travelled by horseback and train, hunting from rail cars and jumping off to collect specimens whenever the train stopped. In 1876, Munson settled on the Red River near Denison in Texas, which he described as a ‘grape paradise’ because of the six or eight species of wild vines there. He developed a vineyard and nursery business as well as becoming the authority on the wild grape species of North America. Munson’s passion was for vine breeding, and he produced about 300 varieties using local vitis species lincecumii, champini, and candicans. None however became commercially important.
Being aware of phylloxera’s predations in Europe, Munson began grafting European vines to American species as rootstocks to grant resistance. He passed on the results of his research to Viala, Planchon, and other French experts. In the 1880s and 1890s, French growers accordingly imported huge quantities of American species for use as rootstocks, especially from Texas and Missouri. The French government made Munson a Chevalier du Mérite in 1888, only the second American to have achieved this honour (Thomas Edison having been the first).
Third president of the United States, a wine lover whose interest in wine and hopes for American wine-growing typified the early Republic. As a virginia farmer, Jefferson grew grapes from all sources, native (see vitis, american vine species) and vinifera, at his estate Monticello for 50 years with uniform lack of success: no Monticello wine ever materialized, but the hope never died. His vineyard at Monticello has been restored to the form it had in 1807.
As ambassador to France (1784–9), Jefferson made himself expert in wine, travelling to all the major French wine regions as well as to those of Germany and Italy. He tasted, discussed, and bought largely, and acted also as agent and adviser for his friends in the selection and purchase of wines. The record of this activity contained in his papers is a small encyclopedia of pre-Revolutionary wine and wine production. As president (1801–9), Jefferson was celebrated for the variety and excellence of his cellar at the White House in Washington, which abounded in chambertin, margaux, hermitage, yquem, and tokay.
After his retirement from public life, living on a much-reduced scale, Jefferson turned to the wines of the south: the reds of bellet and montepulciano, for example, and the Muscat of rivesaltes. He spared no effort to ensure a good supply from good sources. At all times, Jefferson was eager to assist the many efforts to solve the riddle of successful wine-growing in America: he gave land next to his Virginia estate to support Philip Mazzei’s Italian Vineyard Society, an ambitious effort to grow wine by importing Italian vines and vineyard workers; he encouraged such neighbours as James Madison and James Monroe in their viticultural experiments; it was during his administration that land on the river Ohio in Indiana was granted to Swiss-born J. J. Dufour for the enterprise that resulted in the first successful commercial wine production in the united states.
By such assistance, and by minimizing wine taxation, Jefferson hoped to make the US a wine-drinking country. He could be extravagant in his optimism: a wine from the native Alexander grape he called equal to Chambertin; a sweet scuppernong from North Carolina he thought would be ‘distinguished on the best tables of Europe’. The US, he affirmed, could ‘make as great a variety of wines as are made in Europe, not exactly of the same kind, but doubtless as good’, even though his own experience contradicted the proposition.
Jefferson’s personal pleasure in wine was clear: ‘Good wine is a daily necessity for me,’ he wrote. He also saw wine as an element in his vision of a nation of independent yeomen: ‘no nation is drunken where wine is cheap,’ hence wine should be the nation’s drink. Despite his failures in practical vine-growing, Jefferson is the great patron of the idea that the US should be a wine-growing nation.
Bottles of late-18th-century wines such as Ch lafite, supposedly ordered and even initialled by Jefferson, fetched record-breaking prices at auction in the late 20th century but were subsequently shown to be counterfeit.
William Vere Cruess
Was the link between work in wine research and teaching of the pre-prohibition and post-Repeal eras in california and thus had a central role in the restoration of the California wine industry. Professor of Food Technology at the University of California at Berkeley, Cruess had researched fermentation before Prohibition. In the ‘dry years’ he studied such things as the production of grape syrup and other vine products. Immediately upon Repeal he undertook to re-establish viticultural and oenological research at the University of California and did so with remarkable speed and efficiency. His Principles and Practices of Wine Making (1934) was the first work for the guidance of commercial winemaking published after Repeal.
Midwestern state in the united states which has played an important part in the country’s wine history. In the 1860s, Missouri made more wine than california and new york combined. Wine production blossomed under a heavy influx of Germans in the Missouri river valley, west of St Louis, and today this area is billed to its many wine tourists as ‘the Rhineland of Missouri’.
When the ava system was initiated in the 1980s, Missouri’s Mount Pleasant rushed its application through the process, and America’s first AVA was therefore Augusta, the site of many of Missouri’s best vineyards today. It remains one of America’s top ten wine-producing states and enjoys robust support from the state government, with agricultural stations, experimental wineries and talented researchers, marketers, and consultants. Many of Missouri’s 114 wineries (such as Adam Puchta, Augusta, Crown Valley, Montelle, Mount Pleasant, St James, Amigoni, and especially Stone Hill) are remarkably successful in national wine competitions. hybrids and american vine varieties comprise a significant amount of plantings and varietal Seyval Blanc, Vidal Blanc, Chambourcin, Vignoles, and Norton have set a standard for these varieties in other states.
Midwestern state in the united states whose vineyards between the Great Lakes of Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie enjoy a slightly less harsh climate than the rest of the state. The cooling effects of the lakes in summer, and their warming capabilities in the cold, snowy winter (see lake effect), make viticulture viable. The industry is well developed with over 90 wineries, several doing robust business. Wineries such as Bel Lago, Black Star Farms, Chateau Grand Traverse, Fenn Valley, Good Harbor, Left Foot Charley, Old Mission Cellars, Peninsula Cellars, St Julian (delicious sherry styles), 2 Lads, Tabor Hill, and L. Mawby (with its excellent sparkling wines) hit the high notes. Aromatic white varieties are best here—especially Riesling—with Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Gewurztraminer not far behind. Pinot Noir has so far been best used for sparkling wine, yet Cabernet Franc has shown glimmers of excellence in warmer vintages.
Chain of islands in the Pacific and one of the 50 united states. It produces mainly fruit wines, notably a sparkling pineapple wine, as well as some grape wines from varieties such as symphony, carnelian, and a little Syrah grown at high elevations on the islands of Big Island and Maui respectively. The humid climate encourages fungal diseases.
Like carmine, a black grape cross developed from Carignan, Cabernet Sauvigon, and Garnacha in and specifically for California by Dr H. P. Olmo of davis. It was supposed to be a hot-climate Cabernet but too many of the Grenache characteristics predominate to make it easy to pick. Its California influence is limited, and restricted to the san joaquin valley, where total plantings fell to 782 acres/316 acres by 2011. It is also grown in Texas, Hawaii, and with surprising success in Western Australia where it was originally thought to be Sangiovese.
California wine region and ava.
Small california county inland from monterey county. The one exception to a prevailing mediocrity is a one-vineyard ava named Mount Harlan (see map under california) after the limestone-rich slopes on which Calera winery’s several celebrated blocks of Pinot Noir grow. The county has other AVAs (Cienega Valley, Lime Kiln Valley, Paicines) from which little is seen.
California ava with vineyards but no winery (Sonoma)
An Ava in Mendocino
smallest viticultural district among california’s north coast counties and among the least understood. In this warm inland district east of Mendocino county and north of Napa County, a vigorous but short-lived 19th century industry died out with prohibition, leaving scant historic guidance to the growers who restored vineyards to the region during the 1970s. The county’s 9,000 acres/3,642 ha of vines and its small population of 30 wineries is concentrated in the Clear Lake ava.
Clear Lake AVA
Nearly all of the AVA’s vineyards nestle between steep hills west of the lake, the largest entirely within California. By the early 1990s, the district, north of napa and east of mendocino, had grown some excellent Sauvignon Blanc and pleasant, early-maturing Cabernet Sauvignon. Zinfandel is well adapted, although few producers take advantage. The Red Hills AVA, within the greater Clear Lake appellation, has proved to be adept at Cabernet Sauvignon, with its volcanic and sometimes obsidian-laced soils providing tannic structure and minerality. Although several wineries (especially the original kendall-jackson facility) are located near the town of Lakeport, a considerable proportion of the region’s grapes go to wineries in Napa, Mendocino, and sonoma Counties.
Guenoc Valley AVA
Inland wine region and AVA promoted by Orville Magoon’s Guenoc winery, now owned by William Foley. Slightly north of Napa Valley, it’s more famous for the fact that it was once the estate of British actress Lily Langtry than it is for its wines.
High Valley AVA
North east of Clear Lake, this relatively new AVA has myriad soil types, volcanic and alluvial, and has the potential to grow many varieties. Sauvignon Blanc and Tempranillo appear to be the early favourites.
Inland California wine region and ava between the northern end of Napa Valley and the southern end of Alexander Valley. See sonoma .
California AVA. See lake county.
California wine region and higher of the two avas in the sierra foothills.
California county and AVA. See sierra foothills.
California wine region and ava on the ocean side of the coastal mountains. See san luis obispo.
Small California wine region and ava in the mountains east of the Salinas Valley. See monterey.
California wine region. See monterey.
California wine region and ava. See monterey.
California wine region and ava. See san luis obispo.
Was trained as a plant physiologist at Berkeley in California before joining the revived Department of Viticulture and Enology at davis in 1935. There he participated in some of the most important branches of its work, including the assessment of vine varieties for the different regions of California and the re-education of the wine industry to restore and advance the technical knowledge lost during prohibition.
With A. J. winkler, Amerine developed the system of classifying wine regions by measuring heat summation. The list of his publications extends to nearly 400 items making substantial contributions to the literature of such subjects as wine judging methods, wine and must analysis, colour in wines, the ageing of wine, the control of fermentation, and the literature of wine.
Amerine served as chairman of his department from 1957 until 1962 and retired from the University in 1974, although he remained active as a writer and a recognized general expert on wine throughout his retirement.
Came to San Francisco in 1852 as a newspaper editor. After vineyard ventures in San Mateo and sonoma, perhaps at the urging of haraszthy, Krug settled in the napa Valley in 1860, founding a winery near St Helena in 1861. Krug was not the first Napa Valley winemaker but he soon became the most eminent of his day and inevitably came to be called the ‘father of Napa wine’. His success came in part because he understood public relations and because he developed his own sales organization. The winery he founded was acquired by the mondavi family in 1943 and is still notable among Napa Valley establishments, although Robert Mondavi left to set up on his own in 1965 after an acrimonious dispute with his brother Peter whose family still run the enterprise.
Although Charles Krug did not come from a German wine region (he was born near Kassel), he exemplifies the important contribution to pioneer wine-growing made by Germans in all parts of the US where the vine was successfully cultivated.
Tchelistcheff was born in Moscow, the sickly son of a Russian professor of law. After a brush with death in the army, he trained as an engineer-agronomist in Czechoslovakia, then at the age of 36 decided to study viticulture and oenology in more detail, in Paris. While working on a farm near Versailles, he became a graduate assistant to the director of the department of viticulture at the National Institute of Agronomy as well as taking a course in wine microbiology at the Institut pasteur. An obviously talented student, who combined intellectual rigour with a philosophical bent, he worked briefly at moët & chandon and had already been offered jobs in Chile and China before being introduced to his future employer. Georges de Latour was a Frenchman who had established himself as a highly successful businessman and owner of Beaulieu Vineyard in the Napa Valley but was anxious to import a French-trained winemaker for the post-prohibition era.
During his 35-year career at Beaulieu, Tchelistcheff introduced the principles of winery hygiene as well as pioneering temperature-controlled fermentation, mastery of malolactic conversion, and frost damage prevention techniques such as the orchard heaters and wind machines which dominated Napa Valley for so long. He also made considerable progress in the prevention of various vine diseases and established a reputation as both wine and vineyard consultant.
From his first years in California, Tchelistcheff established an identity independent of Beaulieu, with his own small laboratory in St Helena advising other Napa and Sonoma wineries and training a younger generation of winemakers such as the young mondavi brothers. He was a consultant to Buena Vista winery, for example (see haraszthy), from 1948, and in 1967 began a long association with Ch Ste Michelle in washington state. He was also one of the first to recognize the viticultural potential of the carneros district of northern California. Although he retired from Beaulieu in 1973, four years after it was sold to the Heublein corporation, he continued to be an active consultant to a host of California wineries as well as to ornellaia of bolgheri in Italy (where his son Dimitri subsequently advised). In 1991, however, he was wooed back to Beaulieu by the multinational corporation which by then owned it.
Tchelistcheff was a charter member of the American Society of Enologists and was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole by the French government in 1954, being promoted to Officier in 1979. Tchelistcheff was unique in the wine world for the geographical breadth and historical depth of his singularly acute views on the contemporary wine scene.
Viticulturist, winemaker, and author of books on vines and wine. Beginning as a home winemaker during prohibition, Wagner published American Wines and How to Make Them (1933). Interested in improving the basis of eastern American winemaking, Wagner began to import and test french hybrid vines in 1939 and to distribute them from the nursery and vineyard he founded, Boordy Vineyard, in Maryland. His A Wine-Grower’s Guide (1945) was the first work to publicize French hybrids in the US; in the same year he opened a winery at Boordy Vineyard and produced the first French hybrid wine on record in the US. Wagner’s success with his wines, his activity in supplying French hybrids from his nursery, and the persuasiveness of his writing in favour of a better selection of vine varieties entitle him to be regarded as the man who changed the course of winemaking in the eastern US. The clarity, grace, and authority of his books gave him an influence far beyond the sphere of Boordy Vineyard.
Albert Julius Winkler
Scientist at the University of California at davis whose name (and that of Maynard amerine) is commonly associated with a particular method of climate classification involving heat summation whereby California was divided into five viticultural regions, Regions I (the coolest) to V (the warmest). He edited General Viticulture, published in 1962 and revised in 1974, which was for long considered the most comprehensive book on viticulture in the English language.
California wine region and ava north of Santa Rosa and south east of Healdsburg. See sonoma.
California wine region and ava. Much of the AVA is composed of deep-soiled islands in the central valley delta from a point near Sacramento west beyond the town of Clarksburg. Though its position in the river channel leaves its vineyards open to the strongest summer sea fogs, the vast proportion of surrounding water retards overnight cooling when fogs are not afoot, so Clarksburg is far from being California’s coolest vineyard district. Although a spectrum of varieties grows within the zone, only chenin blanc truly distinguishes itself. Indeed, only here in all of California does Chenin Blanc become regionally identifiable. For all practical purposes it has swallowed up the Merritt Island AVA, which lies within its western end.
Santa Rita Hills
Promising California wine region and sub-ava of Santa Ynez Valley. See santa barbara
Northern part of the vast central valley of california from Lodi northwards, including the vinously important University of California at davis.
Is the name of two ava wine regions. For details of the California region, see sierra foothills. There is also a Shenandoah Valley in virginia.
California high desert wine region and ava inland of the coastal mountain range 35 miles north of San Diego. Temecula is the viticultural aspect of a mixed-use residential and industrial development called Rancho California. Beginning in the late 1960s, insurance company developers used vineyards as part of their sales pitch to urban-weary escapees from Los Angeles and San Diego. Rainbow Gap, a narrow opening in the coastal ridge, funnels cool marine air across a 5-mile swathe of sanded desert allowing grapes to be grown in what would otherwise be a deeply inhospitable home for vines. irrigation water is imported by pipeline. As the vineyards began to weave an image of moderate, salubrious weather, housing developments came swiftly to the undulating mesas all the way from Riverside south to San Diego. Within 20 years, grape-growers in the band of cool afternoon breezes at Temecula began to find themselves squeezed between rows of residences. Then viticultural disaster struck in the mid-1990s in the form of pierce’s disease infestation, forcing the removal of some 850 acres/344 ha of diseased vines by 2002. The region’s largest winery and grapegrower at the time, Callaway, had to resort to buying in grapes from elsewhere. Yet many took the opportunity to replant with varieties better suited to the conditions, among them heat-loving Grenache, Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Tempranillo. South Coast Winery is Temecula’s largest producer and grand experimenter with myriad varieties. Callaway rebounded under new owners, although on a much smaller scale and with mostly local grapes.
State in the northwest region of the united states which, as a wine region, has much in common with its neighbour eastern washington. With vineyards at an elevation of around 2,500 ft/762 m, however, it is close to if not beyond the normal viticultural fringe. Its diurnal temperature variation (see temperature variability) is even greater than that of eastern Washington, with the effect of a paradoxical combination in grapes of high acid and high sugar. This posed interesting challenges for both grape-grower and winemaker in the past. In recent years, however, major developments in the vineyard—lower yields, drip irrigation, open canopies and, above all, planting in warmer localities—have had a dramatic influence on wine quality. In few places has global warming been more of a blessing. Winters can still be severe but rarely as devastating as they were in the 1970s and 1980s. Regarded then as a marginal climate, primarily noted for wines from hardier white varieties such as Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Chenin Blanc, and Chardonnay, Idaho now grows notable wines from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. It is no surprise to find successful Rieslings, from off dry to ice wines.
The industry has been dominated by Ste Chapelle Winery, one of the Northwest’s largest (fifth in size in the Pacific Northwest) and more successful wineries, situated in the Snake River valley to the west of Boise, in an area renowned for its cherries, apples, and peaches, always an indication of wine grape potential. Ste Chapelle was Idaho’s first winery and its largest. It is likely to continue to grow after its 2012 purchase by Precept Wines which owned 470 of the state’s 1,600 acres/500 ha of vines in 2013 and aims to produce a total of 1 million cases of wine a year from Ste Chapelle and sister operation Sawtooth Estate, up from the 170,000 cases made in 2013. Ste Chapelle has played a leading role in improving Idaho viticulture along with the University of Idaho via their experimental vineyard at the research station in Parma. There is substantial cross-border traffic in wine and grapes between Idaho and Washington.
Eagle Foothills (2015), a sub-AVA of the Snake River Valley AVA (shared between oregon and Idaho), and Lewis-Clark Valley (2016) are currently the only avas wholly within Idaho.
South-western state in the united states, currently the country’s fifth largest wine-producing state after California, New York, Washington, and Oregon with about 4,100 acres/1,660 ha planted mainly with vinifera vines. The first vineyard was planted by the Spanish at the Ysleta Mission near what is now El Paso in the early 1660s. The production built to more than 200,000 gal/7,570 hl by 1853. In the 1880s, the famous vitis taxonomist T. V. munson, from Denison, Texas, shipped native Texas vine species to France and saved the European wine community from devastation by phylloxera. In the early 20th century, the Texas wine industry was almost eliminated by prohibition. Dr Clint McPherson and Robert Reed of Texas Tech University revived the modern wine industry in 1976 with the creation of Llano Estacado Winery in Lubbock, experimenting with multiple grape varieties and spurring others to do the same. The industry has grown steadily ever since, to the point that there were 275 bonded wineries in Texas in 2014.
Wine is grown in all parts of the state and conditions vary greatly. Texas is divided into three main regions. The North-Central Region runs across the northern third of the state from the Panhandle border with New Mexico east towards Dallas, but excludes north east Texas. One of the best quality wine regions, the Texas High Plains AVA, and the largest concentration of grape growers are both in the western part of the North-Central Region. To the east around Dallas, Fort Worth, and Grapevine, which has fashioned itself as a major wine destination, the humidity makes it difficult to grow vinifera vines though a few hardy souls persevere.
The eastern third of Texas, the South-Eastern Region around the cities of Austin, San Antonio, and Houston, suffers from pierce’s disease, the biggest problem for the Texas grape-growing industry over the long term, although drought has become an equal adversary. In the far north east portion of the South-Eastern Region are warm, humid pine forests suitable for muscadine grapes. Pierce’s disease-resistant Lenoir (Black Spanish), Cynthiana (norton), and Blanc du Bois varieties are grown in this north east area. In the centre of the South-Eastern Region, however, including the Texas Hill Country AVA, Bell Mountain AVA, and Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country AVA, fine vinifera wines are produced. In the south of the South-Eastern Region, on the Mexican border, is desert and the oldest winery in Texas, Val Verde, which has operated continuously for over a century and is known mainly for sweet, fortified wines.
The central-western third of the state is the Trans-Pecos Region whose high-elevation vineyards amid arid mesas produce a good deal less than the Texas High Plains vineyards, which account for around 70% or production.
Mesa Vineyards owns 1,000 acres/400 ha of vineyards first planted by the University of Texas near Fort Stockton. It grows grapes mostly for its own Ste. Genevieve Winery, one of the state’s largest wine producers of mostly grocery-store bottlings, with a higher-end Peregrine brand.
Like many modern US vintners, Texans first planted and vinified the traditional French varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay, often with disappointing results. In recent years, many have come to accept that Mediterranean grape varieties that thrive in hot growing conditions are the state’s ticket to winemaking success. Syrah, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Viogniers, and Vermentino seem much more at home, notably in the Texas High Plains AVA in the north western Panhandle of Texas, particularly from growers such as Bingham, Newsom, and Reddy. Vineyards are planted at elevations of 3,000–4,000 ft (915–1,220 m), affording plenty of daytime sunshine for ripening and relatively cool night temperatures for acid retention. Even pioneering Texas Hill Country wineries are adding High Plains grapes to their repertoires.
Texas vines have to combat not just Pierce’s disease and drought but also winter freeze, hail, wind, black rot, texas root rot, black berry moth, and crown gall. It is hardly surprising perhaps that grapes are routinely imported from California, New Mexico, and Washington state to augment Texas production. In 2014 there was a move afoot to require Texas wines to contain at least 75% Texas-grown grapes.
Texas has eight avas, listed below in chronological order.
The Mesilla Valley (1985) extends from New Mexico into Texas, but is generally considered a New Mexico AVA.
Bell Mountain (1986), won on behalf of the quality and concentration of Cabernet Sauvignon grown in this small area in north-east Gillespie county 15 miles north of Fredericksburg.
Fredericksburg (1989), within Texas Hill Country is known for good-quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, and burgeoning tourism that has spawned a plethora of tasting rooms.
Texas Hill Country (1991), the largest AVA in the US, includes 15,000 square miles but fewer than 800 planted acres of vineyard. It produces mainly pleasant whites and relatively soft reds with some producers here importing grapes from the Texas High Plains AVA to boost quality and complexity.
Escondido Valley (1992), an area of about 50 square miles in Pecos county in the Trans-Pecos Region near Fort Stockton is home to Mesa Vineyards’ St Genevieve, the state’s biggest winery.
Texas High Plains (1993), the state’s most consistent AVA so far, initially for Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, and more recently for Tempranillo, Syrah, Sangiovese, Vermentino, and Roussanne. A high elevation with fertile red soils, hot days, cool nights, and frigid winters that allow full vine dormancy.
Texas Davis Mountains, (1998) produces good Cabernet Sauvignon and a small quantity of Sauvignon Blanc.
Texoma (2006) includes parts of both Texas and Oklahoma.
Mid-Atlantic state in the eastern united states in which wine production has increased substantially since 1980. Grapes have been planted there since the early settlers came to Jamestown in 1607, making the first wine in the New World from indigenous grapes. It is to Thomas jefferson, however, that credit is given for importing fine French wines to his estate at Monticello (now an ava in central Virginia), and for attempting, unsuccessfully, to grow and vinify vinifera varieties. Vinifera grapes now outnumber hybrids and native grapes by almost 4 : 1. Chardonnay and the red Bordeaux varieties do exceptionally well, and interesting wines are also made from Norton, Touriga Nacional, Tannat, Petit Verdot, Viognier and Petit Manseng. The growing season is warm and humid so growers have to guard against fungal diseases by careful selection of site and variety, canopy management, and spraying regimes. The total number of wineries increased from 6 in 1979 to more than 200 by 2014. Six other AVAs are Virginia’s Eastern Shore, influenced by the Chesapeake bay; Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace in northern Virginia close to the ready market of Washington, DC; Shenandoah Valley (not to be confused with the California AVA) bounded by the Allegheny mountains to the west, the Blue Ridge mountains to the east, the James river to the south, and the Potomac river to the north; North Fork of Roanoke; Rocky Knob in southwest Virginia, and the newest, Middleburg, 50 miles west of Washington, DC.
Encouraged by an unusually engaged state government mindful of the tourism potential, Virginia winemakers have lifted their game and diversified in recent years. Thibaut-Janisson produces beautiful sparkling wine made by the traditional method. Jim Law at Linden is known for his pure Chardonnays and Bordeaux reds, and for mentoring many a Virginia winemaker. RdV is a relative newcomer producing high-end Bordeaux-style reds with style. Ankida Ridgehas found the sweet spot with Chardonnay and is trying hard with Pinot Noir. Jenni McCloud of Chrysalis is a passionate disciple of Norton and Petit Manseng. Italian-owned Barboursville is arguably Virginia’s most versatile producer, with exceptional bottlings including Vermentino, Nebbiolo, and their Octagon bordeaux blend.
The California name for the virtually extinct douce noire of the savoie region in the French Alps, also known as Corbeau and Charbonneau. Charbono clings to existence on under 100 acres/40 ha on the North Coast, especially in the Napa Valley. As varietal wine it can be difficult to distinguish from Barbera grown under similar circumstances. dna profiling has shown it is identical to the bonarda of argentina.
One of the earliest of the vine varieties developed at the University of California (see davis) by Dr H. P. Olmo to emerge in varietal (white) wine. It is a cross of a variety labelled Muscadelle (but not true muscadelle) and Grenache and had its heyday in the late 1960s and early 1970s before slumping towards oblivion. Just 152 ha/375 acres remained in 2011, mainly in the very south of the san joaquin valley, and nearly all of the grapes disappear into generic blends. It has also been tried in south africa and makes off-dry wine in israel.
Also known as DNA typing, DNA fingerprinting, or DNA testing, allows the unequivocal identification of any living individual. This technique was developed in 1985 in forensic science to confound criminals, and was first applied to grape cultivars in 1993 by Australian researchers. Since a grape variety is made of clones reproduced asexually by vegetative propagation, it is genetically comparable to a human individual. The identification technique is based on small pieces of variable DNA called molecular markers, the most successful using repetitive pieces of DNA called microsatellites. They exist in any living organism and their length varies from one individual to another. Analysis of 8 to 12 microsatellites is enough to obtain a unique ‘genetic identity card’, looking like a supermarket bar code, for every variety. This technique, for which data exchanges between laboratories is relatively easy, allowed, for example, identification of the enigmatic petite sirah in California and solved the long-standing mystery of zinfandel’s identity.
DNA profiling technique complements classical ampelography and offers the advantage of unambiguously identifying grape varieties (as well as rootstocks) from any part of the plant, (except pips, which are already progenies), independently of the factors potentially influencing the vine’s morphology that can mislead ampelographers such as environmental conditions (e.g. drought), the development stage (e.g. woody canes used for trading, often impossible to identify visually), or sanitary state (e.g. viruses). There are between 5,000 and 10,000 grape cultivars in the world, for which about 24,000 names have been recorded, thus the same grape often has several names (synonyms) in different regions. Inversely, the same name can be used for several distinct varieties (homonyms). DNA profiling can be very helpful in correcting misnomers and detecting synonyms (e.g. Zinfandel and Primitivo) and homonyms (e.g. the refosco group), and is thus useful in managing important ampelographic collections. Although in 2002 davis and Australia’s csiro scientists independently found some microsatellite variations within a high number of Pinot, Chardonnay, and Primitivo clones, so far neither DNA profiling nor any other molecular method has managed unambiguously to identify different clones of a grape variety.
Microsatellites follow the laws of heredity: half of them come from the mother and half of them come from the father. Much like paternity testing in humans, by looking at a high number of microsatellites (30 to 50), it is possible with DNA profiling to reconstruct the parentage of a variety when both parents are still available. Researchers Carole Meredith and John Bowers at Davis were the first to uncover an unexpected parentage in 1997 when they surprised the whole wine world by announcing that cabernet sauvignon is the result of a (probably spontaneous) cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. Later on, in collaboration with Jean-Michel Boursiquot at montpellier, they revealed additional unexpected parentages such as those of chardonnay and gamay (in 1999), and syrah (in 2000). Many additional parentages have since been discovered by these and other scientists around the world, including those of sangiovese, merlot, and tempranillo.
DNA profiling has also been used to correctly ascertain the varietal identity of fresh and dried grapes as well as the varietal origin of free-run juice.
Through DNA profiling, parent–offspring pairs can also be determined when one parent is missing, though it is impossible to infer the direction of the relationship. Pedigree reconstruction makes available unprecedented information about history and migrations of grape cultivars, and provides a better understanding of the genetic events that led to today’s range of cultivars. The largest pedigree that appears in Robinson, Harding, and Vouillamoz’s Wine Grapes groups no fewer than 156 European wine grape varieties that are linked by parent–offspring relationships.
However, the ‘holy grail’ of reconstructing the exhaustive genealogical tree of all existing cultivars will almost certainly never be attained since many parents have disappeared because of frost, pests (e.g. phylloxera), or lack of interest.
Undeterred by the fact that it is neither white nor crucially Zinfandel, was California’s great commercial success story of the 1980s. Although he was not the first to vinify California’s heritage zinfandel grapes as a white, and therefore blush, wine, Bob Trinchero of Sutter Home launched ‘White’ Zinfandel down the commercial slipway in 1972 and was to see his own sales rocket from 25,000 cases in 1980 to 1.5 million cases six years later. Other producers quickly jumped on board and experienced similar success. The wine evolved as a way of making California’s vast acreage of Zinfandel acceptable to the predominantly white wine-drinking American public, and it also saved many old-vine Zin vineyards from being converted to Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is usually pale pink, decidedly sweet, often scented with more than a dash of other, more obviously aromatic, grape varieties such as Muscat or Riesling. So successful was the wine that it begat styles such as White Grenache and White Merlot. White Zinfandel sales remain strong, although US consumers are increasingly gravitating to drier rosés.
American Vine Species
Those members of the grapevine genus vitis which originate in North and South America, including Mexico and the Caribbean. About half the vine species of the world are native to America, but they are poorly suited to winemaking. However, when all efforts to grow European vine species vinifera in North America failed through pest, disease, or climatic extreme (see united states, history), wine was made in North America of necessity from these species, detailed below.
After the development of american hybrids and the successful cultivation of V. vinifera vines in california and elsewhere in the Americas, native vines were rarely used for wine. A notable exception is V. rotundifolia, particularly the scuppernong and related bronze- and black-fruited varieties used for a sweet, musky wine popular in the southern United States, where they are both grown and cultivated.
The most important role for the American species has been to provide the genetic basis for rootstocks on to which V. vinifera vines may be grafted (see munson). This became a necessity in most of the world’s wine regions by the end of the 19th century to counter the predations of the phylloxera louse, native to America and to which most American vine species developed resistance or tolerance. The species V. berlandieri, V. riparia, and V. rupestris are particularly important as sources of protection against phylloxera, and the great majority of the world’s vineyards now grow on rootstocks derived from them.
These are some of the more important American vine species (although others are listed under vitis):
Vitis labrusca Vine species found in the north-eastern United States producing highly aromatic and strongly flavoured berries sometimes described as foxy. The berries fall easily from the cluster when mature and are called ‘slip-skin’, in that a berry squeezed between fingers will eject the flesh as a complete ball (non slip-skin varieties, which are more usual, are squashed when squeezed in this way). Most of the fruit of this species is black, and the leaves are large, thick, and covered on the lower surface with dense white or brown hairs. V. labrusca is a common parent in American hybrids, including concord and catawba.
Vitis aestivalis Vine species found in the southern and eastern United States which, like Vitis labrusca, is a common parent in American hybrids. The fruit, typically black, is not strongly aromatic and the berries adhere to the cluster when mature. This species shows good resistance to downy mildew and powdery mildew and is therefore a common parent in vine breeding programmes. Norton, which has a reputation for high-quality wine and is enjoying a revival in virginia, is a hybrid derived from V. aestivalis. Early Spanish settlers of north eastern mexico made wine from wild vines of this species as early as 1597.
Vitis riparia This vine species is widely distributed in eastern North America, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The grapes are not strongly aromatic, with black skin and highly acidic juice. V. riparia is used directly as a rootstock and as a parent of many commercially important rootstocks; the species typically imparts low to moderate vine size to scions and provides protection against phylloxera.
Vitis rupestris Unusual vine species that grows as a small shrub, found typically on gravelly banks of streams or in watercourses in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri. The leaves are small and kidney-shaped and roots tend to grow vertically downwards rather than spread horizontally. A common parent of many commercially important rootstocks because of its phylloxera tolerance or resistance and deep-rooting habit, which can provide protection against drought.
Vitis berlandieri Vine species found on the limestone soils of Texas and Mexico. The grape is black and its juice is high in sugar and acid without strong flavours. This species is known for being difficult to root from cuttings, but because of its high phylloxera and lime tolerance or resistance, it is a common parent of many commercially important rootstocks.
Other American species include V. cinerea, V. vulpina (cordifolia), V. mustangensis, V. shuttleworthii, V. acerifolia, V. californica, V. arizonica, V. monticola, V. palmata, V. biformis, and V. tiliifolia.
Group of vine hybrids developed in the eastern United States, mainly in the early and mid 19th century and in some cases earlier but also much more recently with cold-hardiness in mind. Brianna, for example, was developed in 1983 by Elmer Swenson and involved no fewer than 93 distinct parents from eight different species. The term includes hybrids between native american vine species of the genus vitis and a variety of the European vine species vinifera, resulting in such varieties as Black Spanish, norton, concord, niagara, herbemont, delaware, and Othello. The hybrids’ most common parents are the American species V. labrusca and V. aestivalis, along with V. vinifera.
These varieties are used for wine production, for unfermented grape juice and jelly, and for table grapes. The fruit is typically highly flavoured, and palates accustomed to the taste of V. vinifera varieties find the foxy character of many American vines strong and objectionable.
See united states, history, for more background. Following the devastation wreaked by the pest phylloxera in Europe at the end of the 19th century, the French began experimental hybridizing of V. vinifera with American species, producing the so-called french hybrids or ‘direct producers’.
A strong fan for stirring up and mixing cold, dense air settled on the land surface with warmer air from above, thereby preventing frosts on still spring nights when there is no wind to do the job. Such machines, introducing an aeronautical look to vineyards, have been used on valley floors that are prone to radiation frosts, such as in the napa Valley of California. helicopters can be used to the same effect.
Is one of the vine bacterial diseases most feared around the world as it can quickly kill vines and there is no cure. The disease, along with flavescence dorée, is a principal reason for quarantine restrictions on the movement of grape cuttings and other plants between countries. In common with many other economically significant vine diseases, it originates on the American continent. The disease is a principal factor limiting grape-growing in the Gulf Coastal plains of the united states (see texas) and southern california. The disease was first described in 1892 in southern California as Anaheim disease, but was later named after the Californian researcher Pierce. By 1906, the disease had destroyed almost all of the more than 16,000 ha/39,500 acres of vines, and there was another epidemic in the 1930s in the Los Angeles basin, which never recovered as a viticultural area. Pierce’s disease has continued to cause chronic problems in coastal northern California (Napa and Sonoma) in isolated hot spots near riparian vegetation and in the Central Valley near insect vector breeding habitats such as pastures and hay fields. The disease is today found across the southern United States and throughout Mexico and Central America. It has also been reported in Venezuela.
Leaves develop marginal discoloration that advances to dead tissue. This progressively enlarges until only the petiole remains attached. Vines die within one to five years after infection, depending on grape variety, vine age, and climate. Originally believed to be a virus, the disease is now known to be caused by a bacterium named Xylella fastidiosa. This bacterium lives in a wide range of host plants, and causes damage also to almonds and lucerne (alfalfa). Various strains of the bacterium differ from one another in their ability to multiply within, and cause disease to, certain plant species. For example, grape strains do not multiply in sweet orange, but orange strains (now in South America) cause disease in grape. The disease is spread by insects called sharpshooters (see leafhoppers), which transmit the bacterium from host plants to the vineyards during feeding. In coastal California, vectors originally fed and reproduced in natural vegetation along streams, and the largest numbers of infected vines were therefore typically within 100 m/330 ft of a vineyard edge. Only the spring infections of vines (April–May) establish chronic Pierce’s disease; later infections do not survive until the following year.
However, the introduction of the glassy winged sharpshooter into southern California in the 1980s has led to far more widespread damage. This leafhopper also spreads the bacterium, and, significantly for vineyards, it can fly further and more frequently. Vineyards near Temecula, for example, were destroyed by an outbreak spread by this new insect vector. It has moved northwards in the Central Valley, and vigorous quarantine efforts are protecting vulnerable Napa and Sonoma counties for the moment. Since Pierce’s disease exists in these counties, but the insect vector is limited, a new insect vector could have major implications.
There are no resistant vinifera varieties, and some varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are especially susceptible. Varieties developed from muscadine grapes or other wild grape species native to south eastern USA and Mexico have natural resistance or tolerance and are the only ones to be grown where the disease is endemic. In California, growers are advised to avoid planting near hot spots or use less susceptible varieties. There is no satisfactory chemical control of the bacterium.
However, the discovery of strong single-gene resistance to Xylella fastidiosa in forms of Vitis arizonica from Texas and northern Mexico led to the possibility of breeding high-quality PD-resistant wine grapes by classical breeding. Genetic mapping of this resistance gene enabled the marker-assisted selection of breeding populations, which when coupled with aggressive growing practices to force grapes into a two-year seed-to-seed cycle has allowed 97% V. vinifera PD-resistant selections to be created over about 12 years at the University of California, davis.
Despite some scares in Europe, Pierce’s disease has not become established there although it has been reported in Kosovo. Cold winters appear to limit where the disease occurs in North America and could do the same in northern Europe. In southern Europe, the failure of Pierce’s disease to establish itself may be due to the lack of vectors that overwinter as infective adults since these are the only ones that could establish chronic infections in the spring. However, this situation could change if Europe were to be invaded by new vector species able to overwinter as adults. Climate studies indicate that both the bacterium and glassy winged sharpshooter if introduced might develop in European, South American, South African, and Australasian vineyard regions to a greater or lesser extent. flavescence dorée is already quite widespread in Europe, however, and could perhaps pose a greater global threat to vineyards than Pierce’s disease.
Are used with increasing frequency in wine production, selling, and occasionally consumption. Consultant viticulturists are particularly useful since those who operate on an international scale can impart knowledge gleaned from a wide variety of different vine-growing environments, although strictly local specialists such as David Abreu in northern California can forge an international reputation. Like viticulturists, the more energetic consultant oenologists can use their expertise in both hemispheres, although their work is necessarily limited by the timing of harvest. One of the first internationally famous consultant oenologists was Professor Émile peynaud. Today his best-known successor from Bordeaux is Michel rolland, although dozens of other highly respected consultants operate in Bordeaux alone and there are now hundreds of winemakers who travel the globe and offer, if not consultancy, then hard graft (see flying winemakers). Consultants play an increasingly important role in wine production everywhere but have long been particularly important in Bordeaux, California, and Italy, where the likes of Riccardo cotarella are liberally used for marketing purposes.
Many restaurateurs and hoteliers, most airlines, and even some wine retailers employ consultants in their wine selection. Some well-heeled collectors also take investment advice from consultants.
Non-specific tasting term, used particularly for red wines, to indicate those textural attributes, such as smoothness, that produce tactile sensations on the surface of the oral cavity.
One of the united states known by wine lovers for its pinots and part of the pacific northwest. Oregon lies between california and washington state but is markedly different from both. Its propensity for ripening grapes is the most marginal of the three, significant to those who hold that grapes which struggle to ripen achieve greater complexity, and fundamental therefore to the view that it may be from the Northwest—and Oregon in particular—that the best wines of the US will ultimately emerge. While Oregonian viticulture can be traced back for five generations, the growth of its wine industry has been a much more discreet affair than that of California and is only just maturing. Underfunded and somewhat shy by instinct, the Oregon wine industry was slow to find a native, high-profile spokesperson to project it on the wide international screen, although that may be changing. Oregon historically cultivated an image of rustic charm and natural simplicity as opposed to glamour or sophistication, although its producers are stubborn individualists rather than simple peasants. However, the lure of winemaking in the state has attracted increasingly moneyed producers (including drouhin and jadot from Burgundy, jackson family wines from California, and the relatively vast King Estate, as well as the lifestyle seekers with their bags of gold).
Vinifera vine varieties arrived in the late 19th century. A census of 1860 revealed Oregon’s wine production was some 2,600 gal/98 hl. Twenty years later, Jackson county alone was producing 15,000 gal and a post-prohibition boom saw 28 wineries making a million gal by 1938, even if much of that was fruit wine. Little progress was made in the next 25 years as California dominated the market.
Oregon’s modern era dates from 1961, when HillCrest Vineyard was established near Roseburg (well south of today’s concentration of grape-growing) by Richard Sommer, a refugee from the University of California at davis, where he had been firmly advised that V. vinifera grapes could not be grown in Oregon.
The Pinot Noir era dates from 1965. California refugee Charles Coury grew a wide range of Alsace varieties—including Pinot Noir—on the exact site in Washington county of an alleged 19th-century vineyard. But it is David Lett of the Eyrie Vineyard who is most frequently referred to as ‘Papa Pinot’, having first rooted Pinot Noir cuttings near Corvallis while researching a permanent vineyard site. In 1966, he replanted them in the north end of the Willamette Valley in the Dundee Hills—now the epicentre of Oregon’s wine industry—convinced that Burgundian varieties could be grown better in Oregon than in California. He was followed by Dick Erath of Knudsen-Erath (now known as Erath Vineyards even though Dick Erath no longer owns it) among about six other true believers in those early years. The majority of the pioneers had done time in California before deciding that it was the wrong sort of place for their preferred style of wine.
Lett was to make the breakthrough that proved Davis wrong. It was his 1975 Eyrie Vineyard Pinot Noir that put Oregon under the spotlight with an eye-catching performance in a French-sponsored 1979 tasting comparing top French wines with their New World emulators: the Eyrie was placed second. Beaune merchant Robert drouhin staged a follow-up which served only to confirm the result. Drouhin eloquently endorsed it by purchasing land and building a state-of-the-art winery within a stone’s throw of Lett’s own vineyards in the Dundee Hills.
By 2013, the total area of vineyards had doubled in ten years to over 26,000 acres/10,522 ha with more than 400 wineries in production. In vineyard and volume terms, Oregon remains significantly smaller than washington to its immediate north, but it has overall achieved a good deal more publicity—almost certainly because the state focused its attention on fashionable pinot noir.
Oregon- Geography and Climate
While almost all Washington state vines are planted in the rain shadow and semi-desert east of the Cascade Mountains, most Oregon vines are directly exposed to the marine airflow of the Pacific ocean, giving milder winters but cooler and wetter summers than Washington. Oregon is notoriously wet, yet in most years the majority of the rain falls between October and April, not during the crucial part of the growing season. In a late-ripening year, however, rain during harvest can cause rot and dilution, while flocks of migrating birds can ravage a vineyard within hours.
Weather patterns in the early years of the 21st century however have at least temporarily adjusted Oregon’s cool climate image. Heat and drought from 2000 to 2005 resulted in stressed grapes and more alcoholic wines. Climatologists have predicted that these La Niña and El Niño weather patterns run in cycles, so a return to a more continental climate for Oregon was expected. What occurred from 2006 through 2012 was a mixed bag of cool and/or wet vintages (2007–2008 and 2010–2011) and warmer, drier years (2006, 2009, and 2012). There seems to be no such thing as normal in Oregon.
Promoters of Northwest wine are fond of pointing to the similarities in latitude between this area and Bordeaux and Burgundy. Such a comparison can be misleading, however, since it takes no account of the influence of topography. Where latitude does have an important influence is in the annual ration of sunlight, vital for photosynthesis, but often overlooked by those preoccupied by temperature (see degree days).
In any marginal ripening climate, the choice of vine variety and selection of growing site take on added importance. Oregon’s best-known wine district (and ava) is the Willamette Valley (pronounced with the emphasis on the am), which stretches along the west bank of the Willamette River 150 miles/240 km from Portland in the north to Eugene in the south. Its vineyards lie on the foothills of the Coast Range that forms the western edge of this broad valley, specifically in the Red Hills of Dundee, so called for their ruddy-coloured clay-like Jory loam soils. Similar sites and soils, equally promising, can be found in the Eola Hills between McMinnville and Salem, and the area just north of the Dundee Hills known as Ribbon Ridge with its prized Willakenzie soil mixture. (Dundee Hills, Red Hill Douglas County, and Ribbon Ridge are all AVAs.) It is reasonable to assume at least equal potential in many hitherto unexploited areas.
Contrary to common belief, Oregon vineyard soils owe little to volcanic origins and are not exceptionally fertile. Even as recently as the early 1990s, however, most vines were planted on their own roots, leaving them prey to phylloxera (although its spread has been slowed, though not halted, by the scattered distribution of the state’s vineyards). By the mid 1990s, though, the new Dijon clones (grafted onto phylloxera-resistant rootstocks) had gained popularity both as replacement vines and new plantings. Vineyard elevations are commonly between 250 and 750 ft/110–330 m. Frost is rarely a problem. Summer temperatures show little consistency, and harvest dates can vary from early September to late November. Wine characteristics differ accordingly. Pinot Noir ripened well in most of the 1980s vintages but, as in Burgundy, individual skill, or lack of it, has often been the greater influence on final wine quality. By the 1990s, winemaking skill had improved across the board, but a succession of rainy, difficult harvests from 1995 to 1997, and the heat-stressed 1994, 1998, and 2003 vintages, challenged even the most conscientious winemakers. As a result, recent years have seen great vintage variation among the wines.
There are also significant wine districts south of the Willamette Valley: the Umpqua Valley AVA (which includes the Red Hills Douglas County AVA and Elkton AVA), the Rogue Valley AVA, the warmer and drier Applegate Valley AVA, and the Illinois valley just north of the California border and cooler and wetter by virtue of its proximity to the Pacific. The potential of south west Oregon is interesting and underdeveloped. Its main drawback may be commercial rather than climatic, for it lacks a major population centre. Its most extensive AVA is simply Southern Oregon, a blatant effort to distinguish itself from the cooler, more northerly Willamette Valley.
The wineries of the northern Willamette Valley (as well as the Columbia Gorge area) received an additional seven AVAs in the early 2000s in an effort to distinguish among and between the geographic differences, primarily for marketing purposes: Ribbon Ridge, Chehalem Mountains, McMinnville, Eola-Amity Hills, Yamhill-Carlton District, Dundee Hills, and the previously mentioned Columbia Gorge, which straddles both Oregon and Washington.
Oregon- Grape Varieties
Pinot Noir has passed the test with many wines of commendable depth and complexity. pinot gris followed (again first planted by David Lett of Eyrie Vineyards), achieving growing popularity in a crisp, dry style of characterful white showing more flesh than Pinot Grigio and more acidity than Alsace versions. chardonnay was initially widely but not wisely planted, but from the mid 1990s the produce of Dijon clones began a new chapter in the history of Chardonnay in Oregon. riesling is commercially useful and is increasingly fashionable, while gewürztraminer works but is hard to grow and even harder to sell. ice wines made from Riesling and Gewürztraminer have been more obviously successful.
Among red wine grapes other than Pinot Noir, gamay Noir has seen success, mostly vinified the same way as Pinot Noir to produce generally bigger wines than light, fruity Beaujolais. merlot is rare since fruit set usually fails, while cabernet sauvignon finds most of Oregon too cool, although fine examples have started to emerge from the south of the state. Syrah and Tempranillo are planted primarily in the south (with some limited plantings in the upper Willamette Valley, surprisingly) and have become very popular varieties.
Oregon- Winemaking Today
Oregon is a sympathetic home for any vine which does not like too much heat (although Pinot Noir grapes which ripen too fast may have to be picked before they reach full maturity in a particularly hot year). Increasingly mature vineyards and greater experience will reveal the extent to which the pioneers are justified in their hopes.
The economies of scale necessary for the production of cheap wine are not a feature of the Oregonian wine industry, which is therefore motivated by a need for quality rather than quantity. Crop yields are small and the vines are mostly cane pruned rather than cordon pruned, thus demanding more time, care, and skill from the grower.
Some of Oregon’s typically high prices softened in response to the American recession following September 11, 2001. Many wineries added a lower priced Pinot Noir to their line up, sometimes from their own vineyards, and occasionally produced from purchased wine. Independent négociants have also blossomed, with producers such as A to Z, Big Fire, and Union Wine Company cleverly buying oversupplied wines and blending them into well-priced bargains. The early 21st century’s dramatic increase in plantings looks set to provide them with no shortage of bulk wine.
The biggest issues of the 1990s were yield and clone choices. The lower yielding, earlier ripening Dijon clones promise potentially more complex Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Many producers are deliberately reducing yields in an effort to produce superior, more concentrated wines. Oregon’s wine producers are currently preoccupied by aspects of viticulture: the differing merits of organic, biodynamic, and merely sustainable viticulture, this last best defined by the popular LIVE movement (a monitored Low Input Viticulture and Enology programme based on a Swiss model known as Vintura). It has been estimated that at least half of Oregon’s vines are now at least effectively (if not necessarily certified) organic, and the number of converts to biodynamism was rising fast in the early years of the century.
A typical Oregon winery both owns vineyards and buys in fruit from specialist growers. Most wineries are relatively small, with an annual production of between 2,500 and 20,000 cases the norm. Most are proud to be run personally and relatively idiosyncratically. acidification is necessary only in the hottest vintages; and although chaptalization may be practised, wines with a natural alcoholic strength of at least 12% are easily achieved.
Dynamic fruit-growing state in the pacific northwest of the United States which occupies second position behind California as an American vinifera wine producer. Producing just 5% of the national wine total, Washington state’s 50,000 acres/20,234 ha of vines are still considerable.
In the 1930s, the Washington wine industry was based on the native American grape variety concord, which grows well in the Columbia Valley (see below). It is still planted there although its acreage is rapidly shrinking, and today its fruit is almost exclusively limited to the making of juice, jellies, and other non-wine confections. In 1969, when California’s wine boom was well under way, there were just two wineries in Washington. By 2014 there were well over 800 and small-scale producers are continuing to emerge. California producers such as gallo, Cakebread, and Duckhorn have invested in the state’s wine industry too.
Washington- Geography and Climate
Washington is the USA’s leading apple and hop state, both crops being good viticultural markers, but there is a sharp difference between the climates of western and the viticulturally much more important eastern Washington.
Western Washington is mild and damp the year round because of the proximity of the Pacific Ocean and the inland sea called the Puget Sound, overlooked by Seattle. Population, limited space, and marginal growing conditions combine to limit vinifera plantings in western Washington to less than 1% of the state’s total. The Puget Sound appellation covers the islands and land adjoining the waters of the Puget Sound, into the Cascade foothills.
Eastern Washington, a vast desert with patches of irrigated farmland screened from marine air by the towering barrier of the Cascade mountains (which extend south into oregon and help shape the viticultural landscape there), has hot, dry summers and cold to arctic winters. The dependable summers east of the Cascades have encouraged vine plantings, with the Columbia River providing most of the much-needed irrigation in summer and early autumn. Painful experience has led growers to plant vines in areas less susceptible to winter freeze. In January and February, temperatures occasionally plummet to −15 °F/−26 °C. Such freeze-susceptible varieties as Merlot are particularly vulnerable in the winter freeze years such as 1996, and that of 2004. The severity of Washington winters has encouraged growers to explore higher sites where air drainage helps protect the vines, not only from the coldest winter nights, but also the more common early spring/late autumn frosts.
Except for the Columbia Gorge, which straddles Washington and Oregon, and Lake Chelan AVAs, virtually all the vineyards in eastern Washington fall within the 11 million-acre/4.4 million-ha embrace of the Columbia Valley ava. Inside the Columbia Valley are the important Yakima Valley appellation (which includes Snipes Mountain, the Rattlesnake Hills, and Red Mountain as sub-AVAs), the Walla Walla Valley AVA, Horse Heaven Hills AVA; Wahluke Slope AVA, and recently added Ancient Lakes and Naches Heights AVAs. Many of these smaller AVAs such as Snipes Mountain, Lake Chelan, Naches Heights, and Ancient Lakes are relatively new, suggesting that Washington is only now identifying its myriad growing conditions.
Eastern Washington soils tend to be sandy loam, a generally inhospitable environment for phylloxera, so most vines are planted ungrafted , which helps recovery from winter freeze, widely spaced, and trained in bilateral cordons. With no exposed graft unions, these vines are better preserved in the cold winters. About 80% of grapes are mechanically harvested. Clonal diversity used to be limited, but by the early 21st century, more diverse plant material became available. Washington also claims an average of two hours more sunlight each day during the growing season than California, due to its more northerly, yet still sunny, position. Cool nights help maintain a fresh acidity in the grapes despite the heat of the days.
Washington- Vine Varieties and Wine Styles
Virtually all wines are vinifera, and are generally distinguished from those of California by bright fruit and relatively crisp acidity. Although the state was initially celebrated for its Merlot, later followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, there were just as many white wine grapes as red according to the 2013 vine census. Riesling (6,320 acres/2,558 ha) is a variety that the state grows particularly well, for both drier wines and sweeter late-harvest ones, some of the latter being botrytized. The Eroica joint venture (see below) together with Allen Shoup and Armin Diel’s joint venture Poet’s Leap have raised Washington’s Riesling game and, as a result, many fine examples have emerged. Washington has been closely associated with Riesling since the dominant company Ste Michelle claims to be the world’s biggest producer of it and hosts international Riesling events. Nevertheless, Chardonnay dominated vineyard and cellar alike in Washington throughout the 1990s and continues to be so widely planted that total acreage was 7,654 acres/3,097 ha in 2013. Washington Chardonnays range from merely good to very good, with a handful of committed winemakers intent on achieving complexity and terroir expression. White wine varieties with good track records from more limited plantings are Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Sémillon, and Viognier. Chenin Blanc and Gewurztraminer, once workaday in quality, have steadily declined in acreage yet can achieve great heights in the state. Müller-Thurgau can succeed in the scattering of vineyards in the cool Puget Sound basin.
For red wines, Merlot enjoyed great popularity in the 1990s while Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are current favourites for those planting new vineyards, so that by 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon was king with 10,300 acres/4,168 ha, followed by Merlot (8,235 acres/3,333 ha), and the more recent incomer Syrah was planted on 3,103 acres/1,256 ha. In warm years such as 2009 and 2012 Washington reds lean towards ripe flavours and noticeable alcohol levels. bordeaux blends, with or without the state’s fourth most-planted red wine grape Cabernet Franc with 972 acres/393 ha, are increasingly common and show promise. Malbec and gsm blends have been successful, and Tempranillo, Barbera, and even Zinfandel can thrive in the right spot.
Washington- The Producers
The dominant force in Washington wine is Ste Michelle Wine Estates (formerly Stimson Lane), a subsidiary of tobacco company, the Altria Group, and the owner of a range of labels which includes Chateau Ste Michelle, Michelle, Columbia Crest, and Northstar, with important high-quality joint ventures with Ernst Loosen of Germany (for Eroica Riesling) and Piero antinori of Italy (for Col Solare). The company collectively controls more than one-third of all vineyard land in Washington, and produces a wide range of wines, including a number of superior single-vineyard bottlings. Some of the state’s most sought-after wines are made in Walla Walla by Cayuse, Gramercy Cellars, Leonetti, Pepper Bridge, and Woodward Canyon and in western Washington (with fruit grown in some of Columbia Valley’s top vineyards) by Andrew Will, Betz Family, Cadence, and Quilceda Creek. Other widely distributed labels by volume and reputation include the Seattle-based Columbia Winery, now owned by gallo, and Yakima Valley-based Hogue Cellars, a consistent producer of well-priced wines.
North eastern state of the united states of America, between the Atlantic and the Great Lakes, historically an important source of wine but now third to california and washington as a US wine-producing state, as measured by acreage planted and annual tonnage (although its labrusca-based products, including grape juice, boost its wine volume total above that of Washington). Its inland wine regions share some characteristics with those of Ontario across the border in canada. The market for wine in the New York city metropolitan region is one of the world’s most competitive and demanding, and its restaurants were slow to embrace the state’s wines.
New York- History
After unsuccessful trials with vinifera around Manhattan Island in the first days of settlement, nothing more is heard of viticulture in New York until the early 19th century. Vine-growing then developed in three regions across the state. The work with native grapes (see american vine species) of the Long island nurseryman William Robert Prince led to plantings along the Hudson river from which wine was produced in small quantities by the 1840s.
The second region was the Finger Lakes district of north central New York, where significant plantings of american hybrids began in the 1850s. From these a large industry developed, centred on the towns of Hammondsport, Penn Yan, and Naples, and specializing in white wines, both still and sparkling. By the end of the 19th century, there were 24,000 acres/9,700 ha of vines in the Finger Lakes region.
In western New York, along the Lake Erie shore, a ‘grape belt’ developed after the Civil War. A part of the region’s grapes went into wine, but the vineyards were increasingly planted to concord for grape juice.
After prohibition, vine-growing in New York was dominated by a few large wineries in the Finger Lakes, which continued the traditional trade in still and sparkling white wines from native grapes, but also used neutral blending wine from California. A special niche in New York is the production of sweet kosher wine from the Concord grape, as well as dry kosher table wines from other grape varieties.
The new interest in wine that emerged in the 1970s had important results in New York. The Farm Winery Act of 1976 made it economically feasible for financially depressed grape growers to own and operate a small winery by allowing direct sales to consumers. First french hybrids, then vinifera vines, began to be planted more and more widely; new wineries, mostly small, grew up; one entirely new region, the eastern end of Long island, was successfully developed; the large established wineries of the Finger Lakes passed through repeated changes of ownership, saw their traditional markets shrink under new competition, and fell into decline. By 2014, New York had 416 wineries, all but 140 of them established since the Farm Winery Act, and they produced about 36 million gal/1.4 million hl of wine a year.
New York- Geography and Climate
New York’s grape and wine industry preserves from property developers about 37,000 acres/14,973 ha of vineyards, and is a significant part of the state’s agricultural economy. The industry provides thousands of jobs, generates millions of dollars in sales, contributes millions of dollars in taxes, and attracts over 5.3 million tourists each year. About a third of all grapes grown in the state are destined for wine production, while most are used for grape juice, jellies and jams, and table grapes.
New York state has four distinct wine regions which represent nine American Viticultural Areas, or avas. The four regions are Finger Lakes (which is itself an AVA and includes Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake AVAs) in the north central part of the state; Lake Erie at the western border; Hudson River, which begins about 40 miles/64 km north of New York City; Niagara Escarpment in the north west corner of the state; and Long Island (itself an AVA and including The Hamptons and North Fork AVAs), whose vineyards in the East End are at least 78 miles east of NYC. In spite of frequent low winter temperatures, the growing season typically has from 2,000 to 2,700 degree days. Its glacier-altered topography, strategic bodies of water, and deep, well-drained soils also encourage viticulture. The greatest viticultural hazard is winter freeze. A sustained period of record-low winter temperatures in early 2014, ranging from 7 to −18 °F in 19 upstate counties contributed to crop losses as high as 85% in the Finger Lakes and 97% in Lake Erie.
Finger Lakes- New York
The picturesque Finger Lakes district is the oldest, and has been the centre of the New York wine industry, with grape-growing and wine production dating back to the 1820s. While Finger Lakes is the second largest wine-grape-growing area in the state, 90% of the state’s wine is produced there in 119 bonded wineries in 2014. The narrow, deep lakes, so named because they look like the fingers of a hand, were carved by Ice Age glaciers, which deposited shallow topsoil on sloping shale beds above the lakes. This combination of steep slopes and deep lakes provides good air drainage and drainage of water, and fewer extremes of temperature in winter and summer. Since the lakes retain their summer warmth in winter, cold air sliding down the steep slopes is warmed by the lake and rises, permitting more cold air to drain from the hillside. Conversely, in spring, the now cold water of the lake retards budding until the danger of frost is past (see lake effect). The lakes significant to the wine industry are Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga, which are big enough to moderate the climate. The official Finger Lakes AVA was established in 1982, with Cayuga Lake being granted its own AVA in 1988, since local wineries could demonstrate that its lower elevation and greater lake depth created a mesoclimate suitable for the V. vinifera varieties most recently planted there. Cayuga now has 23 bonded wineries. Riesling does exceptionally well in this cool climate, and is attracting consumer attention. Recent plantings of Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc have also made successful wines. Lake Seneca is emerging as an important wine-producing area with 40 wineries spread around the lake’s perimeter. Most of Finger Lakes’ estate wine production is sold locally.
Lake Erie- New York
Lake Erie is one of the Great Lakes, and is the one that provides the most protection against extremes of weather to western New York, since it is lower in latitude and downwind from the Arctic air masses that prevail over lakes Superior and Huron. (Lake Michigan provides similar benefits to the states around its southern tip.)
Furthermore, besides the beneficial effects of the lake itself, the 3-mile wide Allegheny plateau, which runs parallel to lake Erie, extends the lake’s moderating influence. The Lake Erie AVA was established in 1983, and includes three states spanning 40,000 acres/16,200 ha: New York around Chautauqua, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, with counties that border on the lake. About 19,000 acres/7,700 ha are planted, giving Lake Erie the largest acreage in NY, but it has only 17 wineries to date since most of the grapes planted in the region are for grape juice and table grapes—a result of pressure from Prohibitionists in the early 19th century.
Hudson River- New York
Wine has been made along the Hudson River continuously for the past 300 years, and it contains the oldest winery in the United States still in operation: Brotherhood Winery, established in 1839. Hudson River Region became an AVA in 1982. There are wineries on both sides of the Hudson River, but the moderating effects of the river on the local climate are seen as less important than the steep palisaded valley which acts as a conduit for maritime air and weather generated by the Atlantic ocean. Glaciers have deposited shale, slate, schist, and limestone throughout the region. Among the region’s producers is Royal Kedem Winery/Royal Wine Corporation, one of the world’s largest kosher wineries. seyval blanc is widely planted and some vinifera varieties, including Chardonnay, also do well. Just 235 acres/95 ha are planted in the AVA, yet there are a disproportionate number of wineries, 49, many of which buy in grapes from other regions.
Long Island- New York
The eastern Long Island region consists of three AVAs. Long Island, itself an AVA, had 2,400 acres/971 ha in 2014. Within the Long Island AVA are the North Fork of Long Island AVA (1986) and the Hamptons Long Island AVA (1985). Overall the East End has 66 producers, some of them using custom crush facility services. North Fork of Long Island is a peninsula surrounded by Long Island sound on the north, Peconic bay to the south, and the Atlantic ocean to the east. These bodies of water make the area temperate, sending breezes that moderate heat and cold, extending the periods when frost is not a threat, reducing daily temperature swings, and increasing winter precipitation. Local growers feel that the Atlantic’s maritime influence is similar to its influence on bordeaux. Long Island’s greatest viticultural hazard, however (apart from birds), is the threat of ocean hurricanes, and some vineyards on the South Fork shore have been sprayed by salt water (see salinity). The growing season is at least three weeks longer than other wine regions in New York state, which means that dark-skinned V. vinifera varieties, especially Merlot and Cabernet Franc, predominate for they may be ripened fully almost every year. Lovely traditional method sparkling wines are also produced. The North Fork soils have less silt and loam than those on the South Fork, and require irrigation because of their reduced water-holding capacity. The first pioneers to buy potato fields and replant them with vines were Alex and Louisa Hargrave, who founded Hargrave Vineyard (now Castello di Borghese), the first commercial V. vinifera vineyard on Long Island in 1973. The Hamptons is also a peninsula, south of North Fork of Long Island. Thus, Peconic bay now forms the northern edge, and the Atlantic ocean washes the east and south. The Atlantic provides the same benefits to this area as it does to North Fork. Spring fogs keep the area cool and prevent premature budbreak. The soils are deep and have a higher percentage of silt and loam, which makes for better water-holding capacity, requiring less irrigation. Eastern Long Island, with its desirability as a vacation area, enjoys increasingly strong sales of its wines to summer visitors.
Niagara Escarpment- New York
Relatively new AVA (2005) that borders Lake Ontario’s southern shoreline. Grapes are grown on benchland under the limestone escarpment which runs some 700 miles from Rochester, New York, through southern Ontario, Canada, and into michigan. The ridge traps air warmed by Lake Ontario and protects vineyards from drastic temperature swings. With 883 acres of vines and 17 wineries in and near the AVA, Niagara Escarpment is a small cog in the New York wine machine, although a maker of outstanding, unctuous ice wines, the majority of which are made from vidal blanc.
New York- Vine Varieties and Wines
New York has more vinous diversity than any other major US wine state because it grows american vines, american hybrids, french hybrids, and vinifera varieties
New York- Amercian Vines and hybrids
The indigenous vines originally grown were Vitis labrusca and were valued for their resistance to phylloxera and their winter hardiness, although the early settlers found the grapes quite different in flavour from those of their European homelands. These native vines often hybridized by chance with other labruscas or even other American vine species, and produced a second generation of native grapes commonly grown today, of which the blue-black-skinned concord is the most planted variety. These formed the backbone of the early New York wine industry, although they are often derided today for their foxy flavour. (So pronounced is this flavour that such varieties were exempted when the US laws on varietal labelling increased the minimum permitted percentage of the cited grape variety from 51 to 75%.)
The major red-pink native varieties are catawba and delaware, both of which are winter hardy and vigorous. Since Catawba has been used in charmat process sparkling wines, it is often subjected to thermovinification, or given limited skin contact to yield pink juice. Delaware, on the other hand, is prized for use in fine sparkling wines, and it is fermented cold in stainless steel tanks without skin contact. It has higher sugars and lower acids than Catawba. Both grow in the Finger Lakes and Lake Erie regions.
The white native varieties currently grown include niagara, dutchess, Elvira, and Diamond (sometimes called Moore’s Diamond), with Niagara showing the most promise as a table grape and for sparkling wine. Other varieties are declining due to susceptibility to disease, poorer tolerance to cold temperatures, limited use for table grapes, grape juice, and wine, and low grape prices, as well as the state’s accelerating vinifera revolution. Most remaining acreage of these is in the Finger Lakes, Lake Erie, and Niagara Escarpment AVAs. The Niagara grape, however, is vigorous, winter hardy, and productive, and has a large following among those who enjoy its decidedly foxy flavour. It is grown mostly in Lake Erie and the Finger Lakes, but there is also a little in the Hudson valley. It is fermented cold, and finished with some residual sugar to balance its intense aroma.
Of dark-skinned native varieties, Concord is widely planted, being grown in every area of New York except Long Island, and is highly productive. It has low sugars and high acids, and the wine is invariably sweetened, resulting in residual sugar ranging from 1% for table wines to more than 10% for dessert wines. Thermovinification is used to extract colour for sweet red wines, or grapes may be pressed without skin contact when used in sparkling wines. Other red grapes include Fredonia, which was developed in the early 1900s at New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) in Geneva (see cornell). Fredonia is similar to Concord, but ripens a useful two weeks earlier. Today it is planted mostly in Lake Erie, and used as a table grape or for juice. Ives is used similarly to Concord, and is planted mostly in the Finger Lakes. isabella, which used to be very popular, has been largely replaced by other varieties.
Traditional vine spacing for native varieties is 10 ft by 6 ft (3 m by 2 m) with vines trained to wires for maximum sunlight interception. William Kniffen developed the widely used umbrella, four cane, and double Kniffen vine-training systems in the 1850s. chaptalization is permitted and is usually necessary here, while acidification is forbidden and usually unnecessary. deacidification is often practised, and malolactic conversion is increasingly encouraged.
New York- French Hybrids
French hybrids represent the majority of acreage devoted to dry table wines. Most were developed by French hybridizers, working intensively from 1880 to 1950, to create new varieties that were hardy and disease and pest resistant. Newer hybrids (and some crosses) have been bred at NYSAES. The most important white hybrid is seyval blanc, which grows in every New York wine region except Long Island, and which, much to the confusion of some consumers, can be made clean and fruity in stainless steel, or can be the much more complex result of barrel fermentation and malolactic conversion. vidal blanc and, particularly, vignoles both lend themselves to making late-harvest, dessert wines, Vignoles sometimes being beneficially affected by noble rot. aurore, once the most widely planted white hybrid grape in New York, has given way to the prestige of Seyval Blanc. Two New York white hybrids, developed at NYSAES and released commercially in 1982, are Cayuga GW3 and Melody. Both of these are vigorous, resistant, and productive, and make fruity off-dry wines. Wine made from Melody is reminiscent of its Pinot Blanc parent. A third white, traminette (1996), echoing Gewurztraminer, is finding favour with consumers. The red French hybrids are declining in acreage. The most famous are baco Noir and chambourcin, which are vinified in all styles from nouveau to port-like; maréchal foch, which can also make a good nouveau using carbonic maceration; de chaunac; chancellor, which needs some oak ageing to add complexity; and Chelois (Seibel 10878), which works well in blends, especially with Baco Noir.
New York- Vinifera
In the 1950s, Charles Fournier, winemaker at Gold Seal winery in the Finger Lakes and former winemaker at veuve clicquot in Champagne, hired Dr Konstantin Frank, a V. vinifera expert from ukraine, to make experimental plantings of rootstocks and V. vinifera varieties in a cold climate. By the early 1960s they had produced commercial V. vinifera wines. The most adaptable varieties were brought from Europe and, in descending order of total acreage in 2014, the state’s white V. vinifera varieties were Riesling, Chardonnay, and Gewurztraminer. They are grown successfully in all of New York’s regions, and while Sauvignon Blanc is not widely planted, it can make exceptional wines on Long Island, where the growing season is long enough to ripen it. Of the red V. vinifera varieties grown in New York—Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon—Merlot and Cabernet Franc show particular promise. They both ripen earlier and give greater yields than Cabernet Sauvignon, are adaptable to different soil types, and can make fine varietal wines as well as blending well with other red Bordeaux varieties. Cabernet Sauvignon does best on Long Island, needing its long growing season to ripen, while the maritime climate of Long Island has proved too moist and warm for Pinot Noir, which performs better in the warmer areas of the Hudson Valley and Finger Lakes. V. vinifera plantings are increasing, as is vine density, sometimes as close as 3 ft × 5 ft. In the warmer Long Island region, the open lyre training system is gaining favour. In colder areas, especially the Finger Lakes, a multi-trunk FAN system is preferred to provide insurance against winter freeze of some canes.
Are used for irrigation, and in some vineyards to control frost (the water freezes to form a protective coating of ice round the young vine buds). Sprinkler irrigation has largely been replaced by drip irrigation, which uses much less water, and does not leave wet leaves vulnerable to fungal diseases and possible salinity damage. It is important to avoid waterlogging, which can readily cause injury to the newly growing roots. It has also been used in hot regions of Australia for vineyard cooling, by operating the system intermittently during the hottest part of the day, but this is not economical and wastes water.
Is an approach to wine-grape production which recognizes that the productivity of individual vineyard blocks can show marked spatial variation in relation to variation in the land (soil, topography) underlying the vineyard. Thus, vineyard management is targeted rather than implemented uniformly over large areas. Research in Australia suggests that grape yield within a single vineyard under conventional uniform management will typically vary 10-fold (i.e. 2–20 tonnes/ha).
Critical to this approach to grape and wine production is the collection and use of large amounts of data relating to vine performance and the attributes of individual production areas (vineyards, blocks, sub-blocks, zones, etc.) at a high spatial resolution. This approach relies on a number of key enabling technologies including the global positioning system (GPS), geographical information systems (GIS), remote sensing, proximal sensing, and yield monitors, which, when used in conjunction with the GPS, enable geo-referenced records of yield to be collected ‘on-the-go’ during harvest. Such technologies, and the data derived from them, enable precision viticulture (PV) practitioners to manage vineyards by ‘zones’ rather than by blocks using targeted management to tailor production according to expectations of vineyard performance, and desired goals in terms of both yield and/or grape composition and wine quality. This is feasible given recent research which has shown that patterns of spatial variation in vineyard performance tend to be constant from one vintage to another, which in turn lends itself to the adoption of zonal viticulture and selective harvesting, and the use of data collected in previous years to predict likely performance in subsequent years.
Targeted management may mean the timing and rate of application of water, fertilizer, ameliorants such as mulch or sprays, or the use of machinery and labour for a range of vineyard operations such as pruning, shoot or crop thinning but selective harvesting is the most widely adopted form of targeted management. See zonal viticulture.
Yield monitors and proximal fruit and canopy sensors are available as ‘on-the-go’ sensing technologies for attachment to existing vineyard machinery; methods to simultaneously predict yield and assess grapevine canopy conditions and grape composition are under development.
American expression that has come to be associated with the controversial practice of postponing the harvest beyond traditional ripeness. This can result in partly shrivelled and dehydrated berries that yield overripe flavours and such high alcoholic strength that musts often need dilution with water. Proponents of long hang time argue that wines made from such grapes have better aroma and flavour and softer tannins. The practice appears to be less popular in the second decade of this century than it was in the last decade of the 20th. Very ripe, dehydrated grapes weigh less than those picked at conventional ripeness, generally resulting in lower payments for growers paid by weight.
Misleading, unregulated, and much-used term on California wine labels meant to, sometimes falsely, imply provenance cooler than the central valley.
What two events increased the popularity of Napa wines?
1976- Judgement of Paris
1985- Groth Cabernet Sauvignon received a perfect 100 point score from Robert Parker
What makes Napa so ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon?
Napa’s location on the San Pablo Bay causes an induction effect at night which delivers morning cloud cover. The morning fog slows certain aspects of ripening. Also AVAs within Napa that are above the clouds (Howell Mtn, Atlas Peak, etc) have higher elevation to use to their advantage. Higher diurnal range in different parts of the valley also help.
What is so special about Napa’s soils?
They are low in fertility. They are also volcanic soils which means they add a certain dustiness to the taste of the Cab.
What are the two different types of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon?
Napa Valley Floor Wines- Lush and Refined
Napa Hillside Wines- Dusty and Bold
Famous Vineyards of Combesville in the Napa Valley?
Farella Vineyard, Coombsville, (producers: Di Costanzo, Farella Vineyard, Realm Cellars, Agharta)
Kenzo Estate Vineyards, Coombsville / Wild Horse Valley (producers: Kenzo Estate)
Famous Vineyards of Atlas Peak in the Napa Valley?
Stagecoach Vineyard (producers: Arrow & Branch, Arkenstone, Caine, Miner, Chappellet, Paul Hobbs, MacLaren)
Pahlmeyer Estate Vineyard (Atlas Peak area) (producers: Pahlmeyer)
Famous Vineyards of Oakville in the Napa Valley?
Beckstoffer To Kalon (producers: Schrader, etc)
Harlan Estate (producers: Harlan)
Screaming Eagle (producers: Screaming Eagle)
Showket (producers: Peter Michael, Showket, Bevan )
Heitz Martha’s Vineyard Oakville (producers: Heitz)
Beckstoffer Missouri-Hopper (producers: Alpha Omega, Bacio Divino, Bure Family, Morlet, Hess Collection, Venge Family)
Dalla Valle (Eastern side of Oakville) (producers: Dalla Valle)
Famous Vineyards of Rutherford in the Napa Valley?
Staglin Vineyards (producers: Staglin Family Vineyard)
Beckstoffer Georges III (producers: Bell Cellars, Bryter Estates, Hunnicutt, Keating, Schrader)
Famous Vineyards of Stag’s Leap District in the Napa Valley?
Fay Vineyard (producers: Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars)
Famous Vineyards of Saint Helena in the Napa Valley?
Spottswoode (producers: Spottswoode)
Capella S (producers: Abreu)
Madrona Ranch (producers: Abreu)
Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyards (producers: Alpha Omega, Realm, B. Cellars, Myriad, Arrow & Branch)
Chappellet (in Prichard Hill Area) (producers: Chappellet)
Bryant Family (in Prichard Hill Area) (producers: Bryant Family)
Famous Vineyards of Calistoga in the Napa Valley?
Eisele Vineyard (producers: Araujo)
Famous Vineyards of Howell Mountains in the Napa Valley?
Thorevilos Vineyards Between Saint Helena and Howell Mountain (producers: Abreu)
Herb Lamb Vineyards Between Saint Helena and Howell Mountain (producers: Colgin, Herb Lamb, Turley, Trujillo)
Beatty Ranch Vineyards (producers: Vie Winery, Far Niente, Howell Mountain Vineyards)
Famous Vineyards of Spring Mountain District in the Napa Valley?
Cain Vineyard (producers: Cain Five)
Famous Vineyards of Diamond Mountain District in the Napa Valley?
Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill (producers: Diamond Creek)
Where are the Finger Lakes Located?
In upstate New York, south of Lake Ontario
Where are most of the vineyards located around Finger Lakes?
Around Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca and Cayug Lakes
What helps to moderate the local microclimate of the Finger Lakes?
The deep lakes of the region. Stored heat is released during the winter.
Where are the vineyards planted in the Finger Lakes?
On steep hillsides overlooking the lakes, which helps with drainage, great sun exposure, and a reduced risk of frost
What are the four AVAs in Michigan that share similar characteristics?
Lake Michigan Shore
Old Mission Pennisula
Washington State ranks________________
Second in the United States in the production of wine right behind California.
Where does 99% of production occur in Washington State?
In the desert like eastern half.