The Colonial Roots of the US Wine Industry

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“We could in the United States make as great a variety of wines as are made in Europe, not exactly of the same kinds, but doubtless as good…” Thomas Jefferson, 1776 In 1562, Jean Ribault arrived in North America, leading an expedition to establish a haven for Protestants from France. They founded Fort Caroline, the…

Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Sonoma Coast is an AVA that encompasses vineyards that run along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean within the larger region of Sonoma County. Because the vineyards that grow in this area are closest to the ocean, they’re also the coolest and get the most moisture from the fog that rolls in off the ocean….

Red Zinfandel, White Zinfandel

White Zinfandel is one of California’s all-time most-successful accidents. Zinfandel, the grape from which both red and white wine is made, is almost black in color. Although the vine is infamous for its unevenly-ripening berries (often, ripe black berries will hang next to a tart, green, small berry on the same bunch), White and Red…

High Altitude Vineyards

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Few factors affect the taste and quality of a wine more than climate. This broader term encompasses everything from altitude to weather. Given this season one of our episodes focuses on Malbecs from Mendoza, Argentina, we thought looking at how altitude affects wine was worthy of further examination. Malbecs grown in Mendoza, Argentina’s largest wine…

Paso Robles Zinfandel

if-you-like-paso-robles-zinfandel

Zinfandel has a colorful past. Even though it was long thought to be an indigenous American grape, sometimes dubbed “California’s own,” its origins are Croatian. Zinfandel’s origins were not known for certain until as late as the 1990s, when researchers at UC Davis and in Croatia worked closely to determine that Zinfandel is the same…

The South American Wine Industry

According to Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson’s seminal World Atlas of Wine, South America is, after Europe, “the world’s most important wine producing continent.” European vines were cultivated in Peru as early as 1531 – long before those vines reached any part of the New World except Mexico. South America’s viticultural landscape has been influenced…

Mendoza Malbec

if-you-like-mendoza-malbec

Even though Malbec is currently most associated with Medoza, Argentina, the grape’s origins are French. Experts have traced Malbec to Auxerrois, a small region in Northern Burgundy, and to Southwest France. The grape currently thrives in several French regions. It is perhaps most associated with Bordeaux (where it is one of the five allowed varieties,…

Columbia Valley Chardonnay

Though some might argue that delicate is not a word that has much to do with Chardonnay, many producers in Washington State are taking that sentiment to task and turning out fine examples of Chardonnay that show the wine’s refined side. Chardonnay as most Americans know it is a wine that really came of age…

American Wine: Late to the Game, but Quick to Catch Up

Although some of most well-known wine regions of America have been making wines since the 1800’s, that’s not all that impressive in the face of European countries that have been major producers for hundreds of years. That being said, however, the USA made the leap to being one of the world’s best producers pretty quickly…

Finger Lakes Rieslings

if-you-like-finger-lakes-rieslings

The Riesling grape is widely presumed to have German origins, but today the grape is grown and made into high-quality wines across the world from Washington to Australia. It’s a cold blooded grape that thrives on bone-chilling winters. Riesling is almost always used to produce single varietal wines and unlike other white grapes like Chardonnay,…