California wine is a reflection of the land where they are produced and of the people who craft them. The unique taste of these wines is due to the consistent weather conditions and fertile ground in which their grapes are grown. The winemakers in the various California wine regions have an appreciation for the territory in which they live and work that makes it possible to create palate pleasing world class wines.
The original Spanish pioneers had a large effect on the California wine growers. The Spaniards first planted vineyards in the 18th century as each mission was established. A vineyard would be the basic staple of each California mission that was built in the 18th cnetury. These vineyards were planted with the common black grape which was imported from Mexico. The original mission grape plantations would primarily use the common black grape or “Mission Grape” as it was often called.
The largest expansion in populace and wineries in the California areas of Sonaoma and Nappa Valleys was during the years of the gold rush. Celebrated vineyards such as Buena Vista, Charles Krug Winery, Inglenook and Schramsberg were established at that time.
California Wine Regions
California wine is produced in specific locales. They are separated in to 4 separate locations. The number one vicinity is referred to as the North Coast area which is located north of San Francisco comprising of Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, and Lake Counties. The Central Coast is the number two region which lies west of San Franicisco stretching down to Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, Santa Maria and Santa Ynez. Third on the list is the South Coast region which denotes the area south of Los Angeles all the way to Mexico which includes the Temecula Valley, Antelope Valley, San Pasqual, Ramona Valley, etc. The fourth region is the Central Valley which includes, of course, the central valley and the Sierra foothills and Lodi.
Wide Range of Grapes and Wines
The types of grapes available in the California wine country is almost as varried as its people. For instance, there are the French, Italian, Spanish grapes and new hybrids springin up each year.
You have probably heard of most of the popular grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah and Zinfandel. They also grow red wine grapes that you may be familiar with such as the Barbera, Grenache, Malbec, Petite Sirah and Sangiovese. A few of their white wine grapes are the Gewurztraminer, Pinot blanc and Riesling.
The New World Style California Wine
California wine is commonly called “New World” wine. Because of the consistently warm weather they tend to use a riper grape that gives the wine a fruitier flavor as well as higher alcohol levels. The oak aged California wine making process produces a wonderful full body taste.
California Wines Earn High Marks
The locally treasured California wine has emerged as an international treasure as well. California is one of the most diverse winegrowing regions in the world and also one of the best sources for the premier wine of the month club. Another wine club worth mentioning is the California wine club which offers offers premium California wines at great pricing.
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