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Tinkering. That's what most winemakers and growers in California were doing with Rhône varietals in the 1980s. Syrah and Mourvèdre were just curiosities, minor experiments. In 1985, when John Alban tasted his first bottle of Viognier, a Château du Rozay from Condrieu in France, there were all of 8 acres of the variety planted in California.
For the full article, check out the new issue of Wine Spectator, on newsstands November 1, 2007.
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