The Mexican Wine Industry

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Although most think of Mexico as the land of tequila, Mexico’s wine industry is actually the oldest in the New World. It got its start in 1521, one year after the Spanish invasion, when conquistadors started planting vines. Then, in 1524, Hernán Cortés, the governor of New Spain (Mexico), decreed that each Spanish settler who had…

Phylloxera: Tiny Pest, Huge Impact

Hunawihr (Alsace) - House and vineyard

      In the late 19th century, an insect commonly referred to as phylloxera, spread throughout Europe destroying every vineyard in its path, and then made its way to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, continuing its rampage. At the time it was thought to be the biggest disaster in the history of wine,…

US Wine Fun Facts

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Here are some fun and interesting facts we thought you’d enjoy about US wine consumption and production. Did you know…..? Consumption Fun Facts •US wine consumption has been growing steadily for years and in 2010, we passed France to become the world’s #1 consumer of wine by volume, according to wine industry consultants Gomberg, Fredrikson…

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

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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

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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,…