Nowadays, the United States is one of the biggest wine-producing countries in the world, placed fourth after France, Italy and Spain.
According to the history of oenology in the country, which dates back about 300 years, wine-producing grapes were brought to the country by the first Europeans that explored North America.
With the passage of time, the quality of United States’ wine has improved and it has become one of the best in the world.
“THE JUDGMENT OF PARIS”
¨The Judgment of Paris¨ was a blind wine tasting competition organised by a British wine merchant. The event took place on 24th May 1976 in the luxurious Hotel Intercontinental in the French capital.
This ceremony brought together well-known winemakers to act as judges. The best United States’ wines were graded together with some of the most distinguished French wines. The result: of all the wines tested, the best were those from the United States, dethroning France as the best wine –producing country in the world.
From that moment, the United States became a benchmark in the world of wines. Its wines are getting better and becoming more famous all the time and the country is becoming one of the largest wine consumers in the world.
Although, in 45 of the 50 states in the United States produce wine, Californian wine represents almost 90% of the production.
The enviable climate of this North American state, together with a geography that favours vine growing, have made Californian wines recognisable all over the world.
The history of viticulture in this region has been going on for more than 200 years and, although there are wineries and vineyards dedicated to the production of magnificent wines all over the area, the main activity in this industry takes place in the areas of Napa and Sonoma, in the North of San Francisco Bay.
Many of the United States’ most popular wines are from the Napa region and the combination of the latest technology with the use of traditional techniques is what makes the difference in this area’s wine production.
As I have mentioned, another well-known wine-producing area in California is Sonoma. Expert oenologists credit the varied aromas and tastes of the wine produced to the large area and geography of Sonoma.
For many that work in the interesting world of viticulture, Californian wines have gained a preferential place among the best in the world.
As I have already mentioned, viticulture started about 300 years ago in the United States. However, there was a time when this tradition nearly disappeared.
I am talking about the time that Prohibition existed. This law basically consisted in prohibiting the production, transport and consumption of alcoholic beverages. It was in force between 1920 and 1933, and caused the disappearance of many wineries and numerous vineyards were left uncared for. Although the law required strict compliance by all the county’s citizens, some wineries were allowed to continue producing in small amounts, solely for Masses and domestic use. During the years that this law was in force, the levels of organised crime and alcohol smuggling on the black market rose.
The Prohibition era was a significant setback in the growth of the United States’ wine culture. When Prohibition was repealed, winegrowers had to start again, almost from zero. Many of the best vines had died and numerous vineyards had been neglected or other varieties had been planted that did not fulfil the standards to produce high-quality wine.
With the passage of time, those vineyards that had been lost were rescued and the techniques used in many cases were perfected. Thanks to all of this and the development of new technology focused on improving the winemaking process, nowadays, the United States is among the best wine producers.
National Drink Wine Day
Did you know that the United States has a national wine drinking day? Well, yes, they do and it is celebrated every 18th February.
National Drink Wine Day is basically a reminder to celebrate this drink and its tasters, since Americans are great wine consumers and drink it almost daily.
Another objective of this special day is to teach people about the health benefits of drinking wine. Reasons such as, wine contains antioxidants, improves circulation and prevents cardiovascular illnesses are strong factors to encourage healthy people to enjoy this delicious drink.
I hope it has been interesting for you to learn these facts about a New World country which opened its doors to an industry with its roots in Europe and that has also managed to place itself among the leading wine producers in the world.