The State of California Wine Tasting
California is one of the most popular states in the US for travelers to visit - From cosmopolitan cities to stunning natural landscapes there are a variety of things to do. For many people California wine tasting tops their bucket list of quintessential California experiences. Luckily there is no shortage of great vineyards and wineries in California, and plenty of places where people can try and buy local wines!
California is one of the largest producers of wine in the world, and California wine tastings can be found at wineries within California’s wine region, and in other areas of the state. Wine regions in California are broken into four regions including North Coast, Central Coast, South Coast and Central Valley. The North Coast involves wineries in counties north of San Francisco including the well known Napa County and Sonoma County. The Central Coast stretches along the coast south of San Francisco to Santa Barbara and includes wines produced in places like Santa Barbara County and Monterey County. In the South Coast are wineries ranging from Malibu and Ventura counties just North of Los Angeles to Mexico including those found in the San Pasqual Valley and Ramona Valley. Finally wineries in the Central Valley are located in the state’s Central Valley and in the Sierra Foothills.
Cali Wine History
While California is well known and respected for the variety of wines they produce, and many people enjoy California wine tasting, things did not start out this way for the California wine industry. Vineyards had been planted in California from as early as the 1800’s, but California wines were not considered of good or high quality until May 24, 1976. On that day a blind tasting competition known as The Paris Wine Tasting of 1976 was held, pairing a number of California grown wines against several prestigious French wines. As seen in the recent 2008 movie version of this now famous Paris Tasting competition, BottleShock , with Bill Pullman (don’t miss this YouTube clip of the Bottle Shock movie).
Up to that point France had always been considered the best wine producer in the world, but in 1973, the now famed Chateau Montelena Winery from Napa Valley won the tasting competition (comprised by a panel of nine French judges no less). California wines and wine production were taken much more seriously by the global community. Many California vineyards focus on producing a New World wine, which is often lighter and fruitier than the Old World (European) wines. Today California wine tastings are a popular pursuit for many.
Why California is Perfect for Wine Grapes
California has a temperate climate that is ideal for producing a number of wines. California wineries have successfully grown grapes from France, Italy and Spain as well as hybrid grapes. The state produces a variety of red wines including Merlot and Pinot Noir, white wines such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, and even dessert wines. The location of a winery, the type of grape used, and even the weather conditions for a particular year (factors like how much rain fell on a vineyard, and the amount of sunlight the grapes were exposed to) are just a few factors that can affect the flavor of the wine. With all the varieties of high quality wines available, a California wine tasting experience means a different experience with every sip of wine you take!
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