|American Wineries and Wine
America has been producing wine for over three centuries. Although every state produces wine, some are considered better than others. Of the American wineries, the most successful come from the states of California, Washington, Oregon, and New York. California generally leads the way for American wine.
The introduction of European grapes by settlers seeking new fortunes in America kick-started the wine trade on the new continent. Countries such as France, Italy, Turkey, and Spain had long been producing wine and the trade was booming in Europe for a few hundred years before the trip to America became a reality for any large numbers of settlers. When they moved to America, they brought their trade along with them and began to make the first American wine!
Now, American wine is a multi-billion dollar industry with America being the fifth most popular exporter of wine in the world (the countries above still remain the most popular). In fact, California, America's largest wine-making state exports more wine than the entire continent of Australia every year. The Aussies are generally known for the beer drinking prowess although wine consumption is on the rise perhaps due in part to laws that allow alcohol home delivery.
Here in America, wines must adhere to strict appellation laws introduced by the ATF in the 1970s. The laws state that for American Viticulture Area (AVA) labels to appear on bottle of American wine, 85% or more of the grapes used must be grown in monitored and predetermined areas of each state. For the wine to be sold and shipped legally, it must have an AVA guarantee stamp on the bottle. This ensures the quality of the product of American wineries.
The most popular American label is Ernest and Julio Gallo. The Gallo label accounts for more than a quarter of all American wine production and is the second most popular label in the entire world. The label flourished since it was set up in 1933 at the end of the prohibition era in America. It has transformed the area of Sonoma County in California into one of the most popular and famous wine regions in the world. Their mission has always been to produce high quantities of quality wine which can be sold at a discounted rate. They have proven that cheap wine does not have to be lacking in quality. A regular bottle of E&J wine can cost as little as $10 yet regularly ranks along side other wines in the $50-$100 price range. Such wine makes a fine choice for a gift basket.
Constellation Brand wine is also extremely popular in America and is imported throughout Europe. Starting after the end of World War 2, 1945, in New York, Constellation has the largest portfolio of wine and beer producing brands in the world, earning profits of almost $4 Billion for the past five years in a row.
The third largest wine company in the world is also American. The Wine Group is famous for the Franzia brand and also for its wide selection of kosher wines, aimed at America's many Jewish customers. The Franzia brand is based in California but the group's acquisitions extend far beyond the shores of America with several prosperous ventures in other top wine regions in Chile, Europe and Australia.
The world still generally considers the best wines to come from France where it is priced accordingly along with its expensive Champagne. These are often more exclusive, selling top quality wines made from hand-picked grapes at huge prices to collectors and connoisseurs. American wineries, especially those the Columbia River Valley of Washington tend to produce good quality wines at a fraction of the price and that is what makes them so popular. Visitors to this region often stop by to visit nearby Washington State University, which has a close association with local vintners through its Campaign for Wine.
These fine American wines should be properly stored and displayed in wine racks for more than aesthetic reasons. Doing so will help to preserve the cork and prevent build up in the bottle from sedimentation. Wine cellar racks are a smart investment for any wine connoisseur.