Today, the U.S. produces almost 11 percent of the world's wine, and that number is growing. There are wineries in all 50 U.S. states, and the Napa Valley of California is widely considered one of the most prized vineyard lands on Earth. The bounty from this one region has elevated U.S. wines to world-class status and helped set a standard that other producers measure themselves against.
For the major European wine producers, winemaking has been an art handed down from generation to generation for many centuries, but the history of winemaking in the U.S. has been relatively brief, a paltry 300 years or so. It hasn't all been smooth sailing, either. Prohibition, a ban on alcoholic beverages that made it illegal to manufacture or sell wine and spirits between 1919 and 1933, sent the promising U.S. wine industry underground for more than a decade in the 20th century.