Across this vast landscape, USA wines are flourishing from east to west. Here we talk you through their best products.
We are all aware of Californian wines. However, fact is that the U.S. has several regions that produce good to excellent wines.
Wine making in the country goes back nearly two hundred years. The early European settlers discovered an abundance of grapes in the coastal areas of North America.
Wines at this time began to be produced from those local grapes. These tasted more like spirits than wines.
This was when the missionaries who were moving to the ‘promised land’ to do their job of purifying souls began bringing different varieties of grapes from Europe for cultivation.
California remains the largest producer of wines and Napa Valley is famously known as “the wine country” and has more than 400 wineries. At the same time it is important to note that the best table wines from the U.S. come from Livermore Valley which is not far from San Francisco.
Even though the country had been producing wines for a long time, the drink began to become popular around the 1960s and reds are the most favoured. Once the demand for good wines was on the increase the Americans began to recruit some of the best vintners from France and Italy.
While talking about red wines, those made from Pinot Noir are considered the healthiest. This is due to high content of and thus high levels of antioxidants and low sugar content.
Let us have a look at some of the better wine producing regions in this country.
Livermore Valley and Napa Valley – California
Livermore Valley in Almeida county has more than 1,500 hectares under cultivation. The entire estate was at one time owned by a man called Robert Livermore. The best reds that come from this area are Cabernet Sauvignon and what they call Bordeaux blends.
The good varieties from here cost upwards of twenty dollars. They also produce some good Chardonnays that are similarly priced. Napa Valley is more popular among visitors. The best wines they produce here are Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs.
The well known ones set you back over 50 dollars per bottle and can go up to several hundred dollars depending upon the vintage.
The valley is especially favoured for the region being richer in natural beauty, the splendid rolling hills, The Napa Valley Wine Train which is a vintage train that serves excellent food in its restaurant. The entire valley offers a selection of fine restaurants, in particular Yountville which is a town very popular for restaurants for the more affluent.
Finger Lakes – New York
This is one of the lesser known wine regions that offers quite excellent Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.
The beautiful region with exquisite small towns is either not known to many or does not get the attention it deserves. The area offers several wine trails and Cayuga Lake Wine Trail is thought to be the most popular.
The best time to visit is from May to September when the ice has melted and nature truly comes alive. Wines from the region produced in recent years cost upwards of 20 dollars.
Monticello – Virginia
The region produces some of the best Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Vognier.
A little word on Viognier, Condrieu in Rhone Valley can only be produced from these grapes. In other countries Vognier is found in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and some south American countries.
Whites made from these grapes are quite delicious and heavy bodied.
The Monticello Wine Trail comprises 33 member wineries. Most of the wineries are family owned and cost over 30 dollars a bottle.
Verde Valley – Arizona
This region also has over 20 small wineries and produces some of the best grapes including Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc. Many of these are excellent and the prices are usually over 20 dollars.
While you go there on one of the wine trails there are a good many places to visit. Many, after they have enjoyed wine tasting and buying, head for Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, Devil’s Bridge and Oak Creek Canyon. The region is rich in natural beauty.
More vino? Wine not?
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