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Varietal: Pinot Meunier
Pinot Meunier is the Champagne regions most treasured and popular variety. Its success is due to the fact that it buds late and ripens early. On such a northerly latitude where the climate is so marginal, a variety that is more resilient and less susceptible to frost is useful. Some attribute Pinot Meunier to making a more rustic wine compared to those made from Pinot Noir or Chardonnay. However like any variety, with the right treatment it is very capable of producing refined wines showing appealing fruitiness in youth and with age developing a complex nutty and mushroom quality. Krug who use a high proportion of the variety demonstrate very well the grapes potential for producing fine age-worthy wines.
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.