Reds on the Rise

California winemakers explore alternative grapes in emerging regions

Reds on the Rise
Sonoma’s Martha Stoumen is pushing the boundaries of California wine by working with grapes such as Nero d’Avola. (Andrew Thomas Lee)
From the Dec 15, 2020, issue

There is a growing movement of inspired winemakers in California who are working with red grapes besides Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Zinfandel. This crusade is made up almost entirely of small producers who specialize in single-variety bottlings and blends produced from a range of off-the-radar grapes, including Spanish and Italian varieties. 

Senior editor MaryAnn Worobiec undertook her first survey of California’s alternative reds, reviewing more than 100 in blind tastings. The results were impressive, with plenty of wines to recommend in a variety of styles, from regions such as Lodi, the Sierra Foothills, Mendocino, Paso Robles and Santa Barbara. Get her analysis and reviews here.

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