Once again, September brings us the official California Wine Month. Though our customers never shy away from California wine (it’s our top selling region year after year), now is the time to stock up on your favorite bottles to help celebrate the great Golden State.For all of our social fans, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed to tell us your favorite California Wine. We’ll put together a list on our site of “Wine.com Fan Favorite Cali Wines” and offer a special discount later this month!Some things about California Wine you may not know…-California makes 90% of all U.S. wine and is the world’s 4th leading
wine producer after France, Italy and Spain. (Which means that if California were a separate country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine producer.)
– 3,540 bonded wineries
– 211.9 million cases = California wine sales volume into the U.S. market, with shipments growing 26% since 2002’s 168.7 million cases.
– $19.9 billion retail value: Estimated retail value of California wine sales in the U.S. 61% share of U.S. market by volume.
– Three of every five bottles sold in the U.S. is a California wine.
– 4,600 grapegrowers
– 543,000 acres of winegrapes: Winegrapes are grown in 48 of 58 counties in California; 115 federally approved American Viticultural Areas.
– More than 110 winegrape varieties.Find more fun statistics on California wine at www.wineinstitute.org
Central Coast. Thinking of the region may have you wondering, where exactly is it? How much land does it encompass? Isn’t it for cheap, bulk wine that goes into those jugs on the bottom shelf of the grocery?
Central Coast takes up the land just south of San Francisco to just north of Los Angeles – about 250 miles down the California coast. That’s a lot of land. To be precise, as an AVA (American Viticultural Area), it consists of nearly 4 million acres. Nearly 100,000 of those are planted to wine grapes. And yes, it used to be known for creating mass amounts of not-so-hot grape juice that made some not-so-hot jug wines that were cheap, but not too tasty. But in the past couple of decades, the “boutique” side of the Central Coast has worked to catch up with that “bulk” side.So what are the “hot” regions of the Central Coast? Here are our favorite Central Coast areas and some Let’s start up north…Monterey: Name of a county and a town, this area just south of San Francisco Bay is an ideal climate for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. You have smaller AVAs like Santa Lucia Highlands (Delicious Pinot!) and Arroyo Seco. Wineries with consistent track records and quality? Bernardus, Hahn, Chalone, Calera, and Bonny Doon.San Luis Obispo: The county that is home to the growing-in-fame region of Paso Robles, this warmer region is home to Paso Robles (ideal for Zinfandel, Bordeaux and Rhone blends), Edna Valley (luscious Chardonnay) and Arroyo Grande (excellent reds all around). Some to look at include Tablas Creek and Justin.Santa Barbara: Furthest south, you’ll find Santa Maria Valley. You may think this balmy Southern California area would be good for warm climate grapes, but due to the east-west orientation of the hills surrounding the river, the Pacific air rushes in and keeps those grapes cool, so this area is ideal for Pinot and Chardonnay. Further south you get awesome Syrah & Rhone blends. We are fans of Au Bon Climat, Qupe, Cambria, Fess Parker and Sanford.
It’s California Wine Month! This marks the seventh consecutive year that the state has recognized September as the month to celebrate California wine. According to Governor Jerry Brown’s statement, “Our state’s wineries create jobs for 330,000 Californians and revenue from retail sales of $18.4 billion, including $1.14 billion in exports sales to 122 countries.”
That’s a hefty dose for the California economy!A few other fun facts about the California wine industry:
– California is the fourth largest wine producer in the world
– The state grows grapes in 48 out of 58 counties, and has 112 declared American Viticultural Areas (AVAs)
– More than 90% of all wine produced in the U.S. comes from CaliforniaSo raise a glass of California wine and toast the state that put American winemaking on the map.
Today is Cabernet Day, the day you are supposed to enjoy and celebrate with a glass of – you guessed it! – Cabernet!
Primarily a Twitter event, using the hashtag #cabernetday, this is the second year for the event, which spans the globe, starting in Australia and ending in California (or maybe Hawaii…). It’s pretty informal – all you have to do is drink some Cabernet and tweet about it using the hashtag. Doesn’t matter where it comes from, how old it is or who produces it – just drink some Cab!It’s a fun opportunity to maybe open something you’ve been saving or wanted to try for a while. So drink up and share! And let us know if you have any great finds or good deals -we’re always looking to find something new.Cheers!
The customers of Wine.com were California Dreaming in 2010, according to the numbers – the region topped our list of most bottles sold and came in with about 40% growth. And why not? California represents some of the most delicious wines in the world, from value to collectible, and the diversity of varieties is so broad, it pleases a Pinot lover as well as a Zinfandel fanatic. That said, we still saw a lot of Napa Valley purchases – that region’s growth was up 92%. Guess that goes with the numbers that show Cabernet Sauvignon was the number one grape variety as well.
But beyond the California borders, we’re excited about what other regions people are trying, like Beaujolais. Often associated with only Beaujolais Nouveau, drinkers are discovering the delicious diversity and quality of Beaujolais Villages and Beaujolais Crus. Not to mention, 2009 was a fantastic vintage for the region, so great wines at great values were good for all. Bordeaux was also up – another region that enjoyed the 2009 vintage. Portugal came in third at 79%, and that was not just for Port. Dry reds from Portugal, as well as refreshing whites, are finally getting the recognition they deserve. South Africa rounded out the top 4 growth regions – maybe a World Cup boost?
So it looks like 2010 was a year of both traditional drinking and adventurous tasting. We look forward to what 2011 brings!