In many ways, Californian wine sums up the phenomenon of New World wine. Free from the restraints of any traditional wine making techniques, these new wineries were able to use innovative new methods to create the style of wine they wanted to make. In California they found plenty of land and plenty of sun to ripen the grapes and soon high quality Californian wine was appearing on European supermarket shelves. The scale of the wine industry in California is truly startling. If the US sate was an independent country it would be the fourth biggest producer of wine by volume in the world. It also produces 90% of all US wine.
The birth of Californian wine
The history of Californian wine may stretch back to the 18th Century but the wines truly came of age in a blind tasting event in Paris in 1976, which came to be known as the Judgement of Paris. Here, Californian wines went up against the best from Burgundy and Bordeaux and stunned judges by taking most of the prizes for both red and white wine. From that moment on, world opinions about the quality of Californian wine changed forever.
The geography of Californian wine
The best-known of the Californian wine regions are probably the Sonoma and Napa valley areas but there are actually more than 100 'American Viticultural Areas' analogous to an AOC area in France. California may be known for its hot and dry climate but most of these vineyards are located quite close to the coast and the extensive bay areas like that of San Francisco. This provides a cooling influence and adds moisture to the air. In actual fact, most California vineyards have adequate rainfall to grow their grapes without irrigation.
Getting to know Lebanese wine
The Gilbert & Gaillard wine guide was born in France but is today far more international in flavour and coverage. The guide is printed in nine languages and reaches more than 600,000 readers across the globe. The simple 100 point scoring system works well across international boundaries, allowing lovers of wine to compare bottle from very different backgrounds. The tasting notes, meanwhile, add a greater understanding of the characteristics of the wine and the food matching suggestions provide ideas to get the most out of ever bottle. With the guide to refer to, the wonderful world of Californian wine is yours to enjoy.