While it’s no surprise that California took the lion’s share of the top ten wines, there are many that appear on the list that are completely unexpected. Wine is made in all 50 states. Obviously, some states don’t grow their own grapes, i.e., Alaska, because of climate issues. They’re either too cold or too hot. The weather simply won’t allow it!
That being said, wineries will either make wine out of fruits other than grapes, or they will import their grapes from a state that does have vineyards. For the purpose of this article, only wine made from grapes is considered.
Of course, the usual suspects are all represented. California, Oregon, and Washington. However, there were a few that were a surprise to even me! New York, Virginia, New Mexico and Texas weren’t that much of a surprise because there has been good wine coming from those states for years. However, Michigan, Colorado, Maryland, and Colorado were real surprises for me. I have not been keeping up on their wine production!
The biggest surprise was that a winery from Brooklyn, New York, is on the list! Red Hook Winery, deep in the heart of Brooklyn, sources its grapes from the Finger Lakes region of New York State. There are two winemakers, Abe Schoener and Robert Foley who each makes a different style of wine, and it’s said to they’re all quite good. As an aside, Abe specializes in skin-fermented and whole cluster whites. I have an email out to them asking if they ship to Nevada. Some of the wine shipping laws in various states are archaic holdovers from the days of Prohibition, and unfortunately, that means that many of us may never be able to taste the wines from other states unless we travel to those states to seek them out.
Some of my favorite non-Central Coast wines are on the list. They include Peay, Ridge, Patz & Hall, and Sinsky, just to name a few.
Two of the top three wines, by the way, are Central Coast wines. Calera (San Benito) was number three and Au Bon Climat (Santa Maria) was number two. Ridge of Napa was number one.
Some of the other Central Coast wineries include Saxum, Tablas Crrek (#11), and Peachy Canyon of Paso Robles; Foxen of Santa Maria, Andrew Murray, Beckman, and Qupe of Los Olivos, and Sandhi and Jaffurs Wine Cellars of Santa Barbara. Yes, there were several others, as well.
The methodology according to The Daily Meal was pretty straightforward. Experts in the field, which included sommeliers, wine writers, chefs, and restaurateurs nominated the wineries and later voted on the final list. The criteria were that the wineries had to show excellence in three areas: wine quality, consistency, and value.
We’ve thoroughly plumbed the rich and diverse depths of the American wine landscape, and we are proud of the following list – and of course, grateful to the experts who aided us in determining which American wineries stood out to them.” – Jess Novak, drink editor, The Daily Meal
I can say no more than that. Enjoy the link to the report, and prepare to be amazed!