Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

American Wine

        Lifestyle | National Wines

iStockphoto

American wine isn't just about California - there are wineries in each of the 50 states, even Hawaii and Alaska!

America always likes to be best at whatever it does, and wine is no exception. The most ambitious producers spare neither effort nor expense in trying to produce the best wines in the world, and the results can be astonishingly good.

California has much more to offer than sensational Cabernet Sauvignon at sensational prices. And while the Golden State dominates the wine scene, it's not the only source of high-class wine in the U.S.

California produces the bulk of America's wine, and virtually every style of wine can be found. For classy Bordeaux-inspired blends, look at Napa, Sonoma and areas south of the San Francisco Bay. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are at their best in cooler parts of Napa and Sonoma, and in Santa Barbara.

A group of producers known as the Rhône Rangers are making great strides with Syrah, Grenache and other Rhône grapes, while Italian varieties such as Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Arneis and Pinot Grigio are being popularized by the Cal-Ital brigade. Then there's the hearty, spicy Zinfandel, at its best in northern Sonoma. Other states to explore are Oregon for Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, Washington state for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Riesling, and New York state for Chardonnay, Riesling and Merlot.

Fact

During Prohibition, Californian vineyards expanded from less than 100,000 acres to over 600,000 acres.

Q:

What is America's most expensive wine?

A:

Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon - it changes hands for over $1,000 a bottle.


More to Explore