Record Wine Exports for California

Last year saw a hike in wine exports like the US has never seen before. Thanks to a budding market in Asian countries as well as a still growing recognition for American made wine have combined with a higher domestic consumption to put a bit of a strain on California’s wine makers and a bit of a price jump on American wine.                 Not long ago, wine from California was looked upon as low quality and lacking in art. This is a drastic change from 2011 where it is being elevated to something closer to a luxury item.  After winning over some well-known wine lovers, Californian wine was given a chance to be ranked and compared to French wine, where it has since flourished.

                A growing middle class in China is also a key player in this last year’s 123% demand from 2010. That is almost a quarter increase from the previous year. To the growing Asian market California wine is held as something of a gold standard and is sought after as a show of new found wealth. Picking some homegrown wine for those three bottle wine bags may be a little more expensive in years to come thanks to this striking increase in export demand, but many fans believe wine makers will keep a soft spot for loyal, local customers.

Small Harvest for California This Year

When knowledgeable wine drinkers talk about “a good year” they may still be talking about this year despite California’s meager grape harvest.  This is because even though yields are at the lowest in years, the weather has been delightfully mild. While a gauntlet of bad luck gave the grapes a hard start, what did survive got a mild growing season that promises low, stable sugar levels. Heat and cold spikes make the plants push sugar into their fruit, a lack of excessive sugars gives winemakers the green light to let the flavors develop.                 This season’s wine is going to be a considered a really sought after. Years like this may make it hard to find wine made from thin skinned grapes like Viognier may be in short supply but the wine that is for sale is expected to be quickly taken home in six bottle wine bags.  This may be a good year to invest in a bottle to age for a few years. The anticipated quality of this year’s wine will mean a slightly higher price on everything, but a chance too for some extraordinarily deep and developed flavors in the wine.  

California Wine Industry Still Growing

For those who love California wines the news has not all been good lately. With moths attacking plants and potentially threatening this years harvest in some areas. Plus the economic woes that many vineyards are facing are forcing some out of the business altogether with foreclosures at an all-time high. It may seem that the good times for the wine industry in the state are completely over. But a recent report from the California Department of Food and Agriculture gives wine lovers something to take those glasses off the wine barrel stemware holder for. Once the numbers were in for 2009 despite the financial troubles felt by just about everyone the amount of grape bearing acreage in the state actually went up. With an increase of over one percent in planted acreage this means that the wine industry in the area is still trying to grow and prosper.

While not all of these new planted acres will be producing grapes right away it does show that winemakers are continuing business as usual. With pinot noir being the biggest increase of planting wine in the state of California will continue to be some of the best and finest around.

San Diego The New Hot Wine Spot In California

When wine enthusiasts think about the wine of California most often Napa Valley is the location that comes to mind. But for those in the know San Diego is quickly becoming a wine hot spot as well with a lot of choices to offer those looking for a entertaining wine vacation. Many are surprised to find out that San Diego county is the home to 50 wineries so these alone provide ample opportunity to try new wines and fill up a four bottle wine carrier to take home new varieties for the cellar. Along with these wineries the area includes so many wine bars one could not possibly see them all in a weekend. These wine bars have atmospheres aimed at the young as well as the vintage classic lovers.

To top off the wine attractions San Diego is now embracing this wine culture and hosts several wine events a year to offer even more to those who want to experience wine in the beautiful area. With its warm inviting beaches and plenty of opportunities in the ocean, combined with excellent wines this is a area that any wine lover can enjoy spending their time off.

Quarantine Issued In Napa Valley Against Grapevine Moth

While the wine industry in South America is still reeling from the devastating earthquake, which rocked Chile and the surrounding area recently. The wine industry in North America is now preparing a hit of a different sort, which can affect production.  Napa Valley is now under a quarantine to try and prevent the further spread of the European grapevine moth. The moth was first discovered in Oakville last September and since then it appears they are spreading. In order to protect from further spread, which is augmented in the spring when larvae eat the young flowers on grape vines, quarantine has been placed inside the state. This controls the shipment of fruit and some plants in order to keep the moth from spreading farther.

Provided the quarantine is effective wine lovers will still be able to fill their Malibu picnic wine carrier with fine wines from Napa Valley with little problems. But if the moth gets out of control in the region grape harvest for the year will be devastated affecting the quantity of wine that will be made. This can in the long run affect not only bottle production but the price they will be sold for as well.

Paso Robles Becoming Hot New Wine Region

As spring is quickly coming upon us many are starting to plan their upcoming vacations for summer and for many wine lovers these trips are often to top wine regions. While Napa Valley has long been one of the top west coast destinations for enjoying beautiful wine country and tasting quality wines there are other exceptional locations that are less well known. Many wine lovers are beginning to find the Paso Robles wine country just a little further down the road. Located in the hills between San Francisco and Los Angeles just a little inlaid from the famed Highway 1 this former cow town is now home to wineries that produce top quality short run wines.

Many of these vineyards do not have much of a following outside of California but not because of lack of quality in their product. The majority of these vineyards produce less than 5,000 cases a year making their output a little too small for distributing nationally. But of course visitors to the area are more than welcome to bring along their wine bags so they can stock up their home cellars with these top quality, carefully crafted wines to enjoy after their trip to the area.