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Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most well known, popular, and distinctive varieties. Its base in the Old World is still strong, producing the famous wines of Sancerre and Pouilly Fume in the Loire Valley as well as much of southwest France, including Bordeaux where it is thought to have originated as a result of a spontaneous field crossing of Cabernet Sauvignon. Within the appellations of Graves and Entre-Deux-Mers, it makes fine dry whites, blended with Semillon, Muscadelle and Ugni Blanc. However its importance is not to be overlooked in neighboring Sauternes helping form some of the world's most sought after dessert wines. On the other side of the world New Zealand's association with the grape has become so strong the two are almost synonymous. On the whole they tend to be bolder with more pungent exotic aromas that their European counterparts. It is also cultivated to a large extent in South Africa, Chile, Australia, and California. Initially coined and marketed by Robert Mondavi as Fume Blanc, the Californian versions were aged in a little oak in order to tame the grassy quality, although now Fume Blancs may refer to unoaked Sauvignon too. Common tasting notes include, grass, gooseberries, lemon, and grapefruit from cooler regions. Riper, sweeter fruit notes such as melons, figs and pears are found in warmer climate renditions. Careful oak ageing can develop more weight and complexity, sometimes displaying tropical mandarin and stone fruit.
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: Napa Valley
The country’s most famous wine producing region, Napa Valley stretches from the North bay of San Francisco Bay in the South, all the way up to Mount Saint Helena in the North. Although the climate is suitable for a wide range of varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon is dominant and practically synonymous with the region. To account for its geographical diversity, the valley is split up into a number of AVAs. From north to south, the valley consists of Calistoga, St. Helena, Rutherford, Oakville, Yountville, and Oak Knoll. Higher elevation sites include Howell Mountain on the east and Mount Veeder on the west. On its own, Stags Leap District is tucked into the very south east corner of the valley.
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.