Course: Understanding Wine

Class 7: New World Model: California

california's major varieties

Most international and regional varieties can be found growing in one or more of California's diverse regions. Although the process of finding the ideal locations for each variety is ongoing, a number of outstanding matches have been identified.

The Old World concept of terroir -- the interaction of climate, soil, geography and variety -- is gaining ground as specific characteristics are becoming associated with individual varieties grown in specific appellations.


California's Big 7 Grapes

The international varieties comprise the majority of California's production, along with Zinfandel and a number of regionally important varieties. Each of the main varieties has adapted to various regions in California, and distinctive wine styles have emerged.


This is California's most popular and most widely planted white variety.

Originally planted in warmer areas, Chardonnay is...

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