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Indigenous to the Rhone Valley, Roussanne is capable of producing some of the richest and fullest bodied white wines. Its name is derived from Roux (French for russet) due to the copper tinge it develops on the vine. Its nose displays evocative notes of ripe pears, apricots, honey, and tea leaf, which when combined with its marked acidity make it an easily distinguishable varietal. Becoming increasingly fashionable in the Rhone where it is fleshed out with its field buddy Marsanne, it forms the white wines of St. Joseph, Hermitage, Crozes Hermitage and St. Peray. The latter of which makes a sparkling wines from its grapes. It is also one of four white grapes permitted in the southern Rhone village of Chateauneuf-du-Pape adding additional aromatic complexity to the key red grapes Grenache Syrah and Mouvedre. Chateau de Beaucastel are a great example of a Rhone producer utilizing the grape in varietal form. Thanks to the California's dedicated Rhone Rangers, the grape is spreading across more of the new World with pioneering Central Coast wineries such as Tablas Creek and Alban Vineyards. While area under vines in California is still small (177 acres as of 2005) it is also taking off in parts of Sonoma as well as high elevation sites in the Sierra Foothills, and parts of Washington State.
Country: United States
Although wine is made in all 50 states, it is understandable, with almost 90% of the country's production, that California is synonymous with domestic wine. As of 2010 harvest, reports indicate that Washington, New York & Oregon account for additional 6% of production, meanwhile Virginia, Missouri and Texas's wine industries are growing to a point beyond that of just a tourist attraction.
California is one of the most diverse wine producing regions of the world. Although it has a history spanning over 200 years, it has experienced most of its growth in the last fifty years. The regions of Napa Valley and Sonoma County have become as renowned as France’s Bordeaux and Burgundy. While Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay are by far the most popular fine wine varieties, producers in the Golden State have also experimented with an unparalleled array of diverse varieties, including Zinfandel, Syrah, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, and Tempranillo.
Sub-Region: Sonoma County
With a wide range of climate and soils reflected in its 13 AVAs (as of 2012), Sonoma County could almost be considered a whole wine country within itself. It is one of the largest wine regions and significantly overshadows Napa in terms of quantity produced. The main AVAs include: Alexander Valley and Dry Creek, known for good Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel; Knights Valley and Sonoma Mountain, for its Cabernet Sauvignon; and Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Mountain, for their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
White wine is a wine whose color can be pale-yellow, yellow-green, and yellow-gold colored. The wine is produced from a variety of grape varieties. The flavor and color comes from the juice of the grape and sometimes the skin of the grape as well. Interestingly, not all white wine comes from white grapes. Some select red grapes are used as in Champagne.