Since 1992, a winery in northwestern Louisiana has been producing some of the finest red and white wines from Muscadine grapes. The United States has a short but vibrant history of winemaking, and it is now the fourth largest wine producer in the world, with California leading the way. California is renowned for its bold, fruity wines that focus on French varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. The North Coast region of California is home to some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon wines in the world.
These wines offer lush flavors of black fruits that melt into layers of cedar, dusty minerality, and tannins mixed with tobacco. Zinfandel is also popular in California and is brimming with candied fruit and tobacco flavors. Sonoma and Lodi are two of the most popular regions for Zinfandel production. Petite Sirah performs particularly well in California's warmer climates and offers rich black fruit flavors backed by firm cocoa-like tannins.
Washington State is best known for its red wines made from Syrah and Grenache grapes. These wines are generous and bold, with bittersweet red fruits, rich meaty flavors and spicy alcohol. Merlot-based blends are also popular in Washington State and offer pure black cherries with enchanting floral, menthol and violet nuances. Oregon's Willamette Valley is ideal for Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay production.
The best Pinot Noir wines have deep black fruits, peppery flavors, and a dusty minerality. New York is quickly becoming known for Riesling, elegant Merlot-based blends, and rosé. Finally, sparkling wines are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. California's northern coast and Oregon are home to some of the best sparkling wines in the country.
New Mexico and Washington State also offer some excellent values. The United States has come a long way since its first winemaking efforts in the early 1990s. With so many different regions producing high-quality wines from a variety of grapes, there is something for everyone to enjoy.