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Wine Country: United States

There was always a love hate relationship between the American population and alcohol. But it managed to survive Prohibition and is being produced in all fifty U.S. states, with California as their leader. Today California wine is evolving at a brisk pace, but actually its root dates back more than 200 years, to the arrival of the first European immigrants.

Throughout the years California gained four highly recognized wine making regions. Leading the pack is Napa Valley. This region started the modern California wine industry, setting standards and quality benchmarks that are not limited to California but have influenced the rest of the world. Cabernet sauvignon reigns supreme in this area.

Some of the finest and most famous Cabernet Sauvignons in the world come from Napa Valley. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc are also grown in this region.Napa Valley may be the most famous but Sonoma County is the original wine producing region in California. The grapes grown in this region are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet and Merlot.Along the Pacific Coast is the Central Coast region. Its cool wind of the ocean has a major effect on the growing conditions of the entire region. The Central Coast produces excellent Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Gewurztraminer. West from Sacramento is the Sierra Foothills. This region is known for its powerful and robust Zinfandels. Though Zinfandel is still king of the region, wineries are producing fine Syrah and Sangiovese.

With all these successful wine producing regions, California is able to rival its European counterparts with award-winning wines and drawing tourists by the millions each year to tour and taste authentic vintages for which California has become world-famous.