How California Winemakers Have Us Hoodwinked Part II – Wine Types

August 24, 2011

I was on a road trip and ended up at a meadery. The owners had come from back east, and was saddened by the wine market out here on the West Coast. See, on the East Coast, they have wines from the New York region that uses native North American grapes. Out here, California has convinced the market that there are only 6-8 kinds of grapes to make wine out of, most of which are French with the exception of Riesling. Nothing native.

Thing is, being around hobby winemakers, I’m discovering a lot of other really really good wines, like Sangiovese and Tempranillo, both of which are Italian. It sounds like this year they are going to be making Barbera this year.

A year ago, I bought two decks of cards with a wine theme, so that means that they identified 104 different wine grapes! At the time, I could only name those few French grapes, two sweet white wines, and syrah.

So I am saying, try some other kinds of wines. And if you are a beer drinker, try something besides a lager beer. Get the market to open up. There are some really good things out there, but they don’t have the marketing power of California, so they are smothered, and they shouldn’t be. California’s marketing isn’t always the healthiest for areas outside of California.

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2 Responses to “How California Winemakers Have Us Hoodwinked Part II – Wine Types”


  1. […] Yesterday’s rant had to be followed up with a wine review of a wine not from California, one that was not a typical variety like cab or chardonay, and even better if it was from a grape native to America. I have chosen Olequa’s Leon Millot. […]

  2. Chris Says:

    I live on the central coast of California and have no problem buying albarino grapes which are very not french or of the 6-8 you refer to. Gruner from Austria, tempranillo(from Spain, not Italy), anglianico are among the many varietals grown around my area. Tempranillo and Sangiovese locally grown are pretty commonplace in local wines.

    I agree that we need to try lots of different beverages but I do not think California is the problem. Actually I feel what is going on around me is a very strong push to expand the variatels available. Most decent wine events I go to the winemakers are all geeking out on different varietals. People outside the state maybe just aren’t demanding it?


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