About American Wine

America is fast becoming one of the largest wine producers in the world, although a large proportion of the consumption is within the local market. The wines are typically big and fruity in style, with both the red and white varieties often receiving American oak fermentation and ageing.

Key Grape Varieties and Regions
  • Central Valley: White Zinfandel
  • Sonoma: Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
  • Napa: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc
  • Carnernos: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
  • Paso Robles: Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Santa Barbara: Pinot Noir
  • Oregon: Pinot Noir


The partnership between USA and Europe in the wine industry has a foundation that lies within the vines. Thankfully for Europe, USA came to the rescue when it was discovered that their vines’ rootstock was Phylloxera resistant. European vines produced better fruit though so the two were merged into the hybrid rootstocks that are now planted all over the world today

USA has its own labelling regulations although this is based around geographical indication rather than the grape variety as is common in most other countries. Like most of the other wine producing countries outside of Europe, you’ll have no problem working out what grapes are in your bottle of wine from USA

In the Vineyard

The climate here is generally moderately warm and therefore irrigation of vineyards is widespread, although in the coastal areas of California Pacific fogs cool the grapes. Leaving the grapes to enjoy a long hang time is also common in America as this helps varieties to ripen, particularly those with thick skins such as Cabernet Sauvignon.

Hennings Wine says

American wine is not just sweet White Zinfandel, although of course this is a very popular choice for the summer months. Pinot Noir from USA can be stunning if pricey so look out for great offerings like The Crusher.

Looking across to the old vine style of red, Zinfandel is much better for the cooler months with soft red fruit and a delicate spiciness. America also covers the high end wines very well, with some densely concentrated and very well made wines; look out for the Ridge wines, which have been known to silence even the biggest wines of Bordeaux in blind taste offs!

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