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US Women are Wine-OHs and More WIne Facts

Mari Stull
By Mari Stull
Posted on Jul 06,2009
Filed Under Food And Wine , Local Tastes,
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How much wine does the US produce?
America produces about $45 billion of wine annually.  California is the leading wine producing state in the U.S. — making about 90 percent of American — and there are wineries now in all 50 states.
 
Does the US make a lot of wine compared to other countries?
We are the fourth leading wine producer in the world, after Italy, France and Spain.
 
What is the most popular wine from the US?
Zinfandel.  Blame it on White Zinfandel.  Also, the most widely planted varietal in California.  Wine gaining most popularity is Pinot Grigio.
 
What do Olympic Gold Medal figure skater Peggy Fleming, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, racecar drivers Randy Lewis and Jeff Gordon, “The Bachelor” reality TV star Andrew Firestone, football icons Dick Vermeil and Joe Montana, guitarist Carlos Santana, Francis Ford Coppola, and Bob Dylan all have in common?
They are among the several celebrities who either own or co-own winery.
 
What does “estate grown” on a wine label mean?
“Estate grown” on the label means that the winery and the vineyard where all the grapes are grown are located in the same viticultural area. The winery owns or controls the vineyards, and the wine was made by the winery at its facility on the estate.

Does "estate grown" mean higher quality?
Not necessarily.  There is a lot to be said about sourcing the very best grapes from the very best vineyards instead of depending upon just one vineyard.  If I grew grapes in my backyard in Old Town, I could label my wine as "estate grown", but guarantee you it would be absolute plonk!
 
What’s the difference between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio?
No difference except the origin of the names.  Pinot Gris takes its name from its pinkish-gray grapes (“gris" means "gray" in French and "grigio"—as the wine is called in Italy—means "gray" in Italian.) This wine has recently skyrocketed to popularity in the U.S., and thrives cooler coastal spots.  If you are a Pinot Grigio fan, try some of our stellar Pinots from Oregon and Washington State - normally labeled as Pinot Gris.
 
When and where was the first wine made in the US?
Would you believe Florida?  Yup, between 1562-1563 the French Huguenot settlers in Jacksonville, Florida produced wine from the Scuppernong grape  It's a varietal grown in the Southeast US.
 
What type of winegrape was still widely grown in the US during Prohibition?
Zinfandel, which was often shipped to home winemakers who could legally make up to 200 gallons of wine annually for home consumption.  A few wineries were also allowed to make sacramental wines.
 
Wine Facts at a Glance
    
750 ml. bottles in a case of wine                                                       12
Bottles produced with one ton of winegrapes                     Approx. 797 or 65 cases
Amount of winegrapes in one (750ml) bottle of wine          600-800 grapes or 2.8 lbs.
Bottles produced by one grapevine                                              Approx. 5   
Percent of wine sold in U.S. purchased by women                  55.4% (we knew that)

Cheers,

The Vino Vixen is Mari Stull - Founder of Club BV*, former Vice President of Virtual Wine Selector, and member of the Society of Wine Educators.  Have a wine question or comment for Mari? She can be reached at VinoVixen@vinovixen.org.



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