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New World wines: USA

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Winemaking in the United States of America has been in existence over 300 years ago but recently, the country have climbed the edge to be one of the world leading countries producing wine. Although most wine connoisseurs are of the notion that best wines come from the Mediterranean regions – France, Italy and Spain because of their adaptive climate to the growing of grapes. Wines produced in the U.S. have also been tasted to be of good quality just as wines from the Mediterranean.

Vineyard viticulture was established by Spaniards and missionaries in the U.S. during the early 1500s. As they began their  missions in the country, they cultivated Mexican vine cuttings that were brought into the country from Mexico.

For many years, the most popular wines were Bordeaux and Chardonnay. But in the 1980s, the fancy many people had for these varieties started reducing especially as more varieties were available in wine shops. This is because of the rate at which French, Italian and Spanish wine producers started importing their wines into the country as the fastest growing economy in the world. Vineyards in America began to explore newer and hybrid grape varieties from Italy, France and Spain. 

According to the statistics published in 2018 by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine, USA is the fourth largest producer in the world. Despite the fact that USA remains the world’s largest market for wine imports, the country is still able to fill the gap between imports and exports. USA is ranked the 6th largest exporter of wines behind France, Italy, Spain, Australia and Chile. The American wine industry generated a revenue of US$ 1.47 billion from export sales of 375 million liters of wines in 2018.

The most prolific wine region is Napa Valley, California was established in 1769. About 90% of American wines are produced from California with over 1,200 wineries. The Mediterranean climate in the Napa valley is highly conducive to growing quality grapes which influences the flavor, taste and quality of wines produced. It also aids the fermentation process resulting to an increase in the alcohol content. Most Californian wines contain over 13.5% of alcohol. The State of California produces several varietals of red and white wines. The most important red wine varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot noir, Syrah and Zinfandel while the best white wines are Sauvignon blanc and Chardonnay.

There are other wine regions of course in other parts of America where very good wines are produced. These are the Great Lakes of Michigan and the Colorado Rocky mountain regions. Just like the Napa valley, these regions have attractive weather conditions that supports the cultivation of quality grapes for winemaking.

The American wine industry have gone a lot more spectacular by importing Italian, French and Spanish grape varieties to produce its wines. Therefore without difference, the United States wines are of the same taste and quality with wines from France, Italy and Spain. Plant breeding technology to grow hybrid grape varieties has enabled wine regions in the U.S. to produce wines of all kinds and quality.

The USA wines are gaining the interests of Americans and foreigners such that many of them like to spend their entire vacation around vineyards. Many tourists go on tour to Napa valley wineries such as Ravenswood and Clos Pegase to have a sample taste of these exceptional wines. 

U.S. wines of high quality and vintage are without doubt one of the best you should consider adding as a complement to your wine experience. 

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