California Wine

by Karen Bates
(last updated September 17, 2014)

When you think of California, one of the first things that might come to your mind is wine. California is famous for its wine production, and the state has many different wineries in areas with perfect grape-growing conditions. Some of California's wine regions include Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Mendocino County, Santa Barbara, and more. Many festivals and wine tasting events take place throughout the state to celebrate California's wine-making tradition.

Winemaking has been taking place in California since the 1700s. Spanish missionaries from Mexico introduced the idea of making wine to California, and since then California has become a very popular place for growing wine grapes and producing wines of many kinds.

One reason why California is so well-known for its wine is because of how many different varieties of grapes can grow there. There are over 100 grape varieties grown in California, making it a great place to go for wine-tasting and winery visits. Many parts of California can be described as having a Mediterranean climate, much like where Italy's well-known wines are created.

There are several kinds of grapes that California is known for producing. Some of them are:

  • Merlot. Merlot, a red wine grape, creates a medium-bodied wine that is one of the most popular wines on the market. It has hints of fruit tastes like plum and berries.
  • Chardonnay. This grape creates a white wine. It can also be used for sparkling wines, and Chardonnay is a very popular choice among wine drinkers. The style of Chardonnay wine in California is quite unique and is widely enjoyed.
  • Zinfandel. Zinfandel is a red grape that creates a robust wine. It can also be made into a blush variety of wine.
  • Pinot Noir. This grape produces a red wine. Pinot Noir wine tends to have a light or medium body.

Various things decide exactly how a wine will end up tasting. The process of fermentation, of course, is a huge factor, but there is more to it than that. Soil, sunlight, temperature and climate in general all impact how a grape will turn out. This is one reason why wines from different places do not all taste the same. California wine certainly has its own unique characteristics, all dependant upon the growing conditions of the grapes used to make the wine.

California wine is certainly unique, and people all over the world enjoy its special qualities.

Author Bio

Karen Bates

An English student who enjoys writing and art, Karen has had her poetry published in her university's literary journal and has several novels in the works. ...


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