Wednesday, 29 June 2016

American wine

American wine has been produced for over 300 years. Today, wine production is undertaken in all fifty states, with California producing 89 percent of all US wine.The United States is the fourth-largest wine producing country in the world after France, Italy, and Spain.

The North American continent is home to several native species of grape, including Vitis labrusca, Vitis riparia, Vitis rotundifolia, and Vitis vulpina. But the wine making industry is based on the cultivation of the European Vitis vinifera, which was introduced by European settlers. With more than 1,100,000 acres (4,500 km2) under vine, the United States is the sixth-most planted country in the world after France, Italy, Spain, China and Turkey.

The first Europeans to explore North America, a Viking expedition from Greenland, called it Vinland because of the profusion of grape vines they found. The earliest wine made in what is now the United States was produced between 1562 and 1564 by French Huguenot settlers from Scuppernong grapes at a settlement near Jacksonville, Florida. In the early American colonies of Virginia and the Carolinas, wine making was an official goal laid out in the founding charters. However, settlers discovered that the wine made from the various native grapes had flavors which were unfamiliar and which they did not like.

This led to repeated efforts to grow the familiar European Vitis vinifera varieties, beginning with the Virginia Company exporting French vinifera vines with French vignerons to Virginia in 1619. These early plantings met with failure as native pest and vine disease ravaged the vineyards. In 1683, William Penn planted a vineyard of French vinifera in Pennsylvania; it may have interbred with a native Vitis labrusca vine to create the hybrid grape Alexander. One of the first commercial wineries in the United States was founded in 1787 by Pierre Legaux in Pennsylvania. A settler in Indiana in 1806 produced wine made from the Alexander grape. Today French-American hybrid grapes are the staples of wine production on the East Coast of the United States.

Wine regions

There are nearly 3,000 commercial vineyards in the United States, and at least one winery in each of the 50 states.

West Coast – More than 90% of the total American wine production occurs in the states of California, Washington and Oregon.
Rocky Mountain Region – Notably Idaho and Colorado
Southwestern United States – Notably Texas and New Mexico
Midwestern United States – Notably Missouri and Indiana
Great Lakes region – Notably Michigan, northern New York and Ohio
East Coast of the United States – Notably western New York State and eastern Long Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida.

Largest producers
As of 2005 The largest producers of American wine.
E & J Gallo Winery - Accounts for more than a quarter of all U.S. wine sales and is the second largest producer in the world.
Constellation Brands - With foreign wine holdings Constellation is the largest producer in the world and includes Robert Mondavi Winery and Columbia Winery in its portfolio
The Wine Group - San Francisco-based business which owns the Franzia box wine label, Concannon Vineyard and Mogen David kosher wine.
Bronco Wine Company - Owners of the Charles Shaw wine "Two Buck Chuck" line which accounts for nearly 5 million of Bronco's annual average 9 million cases per year.
Diageo - UK based company with American holdings in Sterling Vineyards, Beaulieu Vineyard and Chalone Vineyard
Brown-Forman Corporation - Owners of the Korbel Champagne Cellars brand
Beringer Blass - Australian based wine division of Foster's Group and owner of the Beringer wine and Stags' Leap Winery brands
Jackson Wine Estates - Owners of the Kendall-Jackson brand

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