Some great values from California

So I wanted to do a blog about some of the latest best value trends out there for California wine appreciators. There’s a lot of good options out there currently for both white and red wines. Some of them are really not from wineries you would spring forward to buy up a case but at the same time those are often the wineries that you get the wonderful suprises with great value. I would suggest checking out a few of these:

  • 2009 Bogle Vineyards Petite Sirah ($11)
  • Marietta Old Vine Red Lot #56 ($12)
  • 2009 Colby Red ($13)
  • 2010 The Pinot Project Pinot Noir ($14)
  • 2009 Joel Gott Wines 815 Cabernet Sauvignon ($18)

I would be really interested in the 2010 pinot noir from the Pinot Project and also the Marietta Old Wine because they seem to have some distinct characters behind the wineries. The interesting thing to note about all of the wines is that the grapes that the wineries have used for these wines come from a range of sources all over the state of California and very different types of grape sources. It’s a wonderfully diverse range of selection and I think there is probably something for everyone in this list. Check them out and let me know if you have any preference for those on the list. Happy drinking.

some great wines with great value from california

New California Winery – Monastic Wine

Monastic winery

So I had an interesting find for wineries in California there is a new one called New Clairvaux Vineyard. It is a winery that is run by trappist monks that make wine since 2000 when they first planted the new vineyard. Some info from their website:

“The Abbey of New Clairvaux is the first Cistercian Monastery in the Americas to grow, vinify and bottle its own wine.  Their monastic and viticultural traditions reach back to the 12th century with renowned Cistercian Vineyards, such as Clos de Vougeot in Burgundy and Kloster Eberbach in the Rheingau. Today the dedicated labor of the Abbey’s Trappist monks and the skilled hands of a fifth generation winemaker, bring together the traditions of European grapegrowing and winemaking.”

Very interesting and the revitalization of the traditional style of trappist wine making that is centuries old brings a new angle to the California wine region. I cannot wait to try this new wine and see what it tastes like. I am wondering how  many other wineries are working in the same style in California or across the U.S. and how many are also still performing this way in Europe. They also offer some cool retreats at their winery and you can participate in all different events and get a chance to taste the wines they produce. Check them out! Here’s a cool review.

Location, location

California wine country is located in Northern California, primarily in the region’s valleys between the mountains and the Pacific Coast to the West. Wine in the region has been produced since the mid-19th century and its quality has grown to award-winning status. The region as a whole houses more than 1,200 wineries.

Map of California's wine regions

Map of California’s wine regions

At present, Napa Valley has over 400 wineries, whereas in 1974 the grape farming region only had 25 wineries. Sonoma, located just to the West of Napa Valley is second to Napa as a wine producer. History shows that grapes were planted in Sonoma as early as 1812. Close to 75 percent of the region’s agricultural production is from its grapes.

In 2004, close to 150,00 tonnes of grapes were harvested in Sonoma, accounting in $310 million. Since then, the number has nearly doubled.

A region that falls outside of Norther California’s wine regions is Temecula. This suburb, located just outside of San Diego is also known for its wines. This region also has award-winning wines including bold, red wines such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Although this region produces less wine that the northern part of California, in the 19th century Temecula was the state’s top producing area. Today, Temecula has less than 50 producers.

Welcome to California, grapes

Wine is a big deal. From ancient Roman times, to the cultured 21st century, wine is a big part of culture. Nearly every civilization in the world has wine. The Romans thought wine was the elixir of the gods. They harvested grapes, made their own wines and even traded with other civilizations. Modern day Romans, or the Italians, remain experts in both red and white wines.


However, American culture is fairly new to wine. The American Indians had many drinks that they made, however, most of them were made from herbs from trees or in the forest. But modern-day California is notorious for its wines and rare grapes. For example, California is known for its Syrah and Merlot blends.

The state of California is responsible for more than 90 percent of the country’s wine production. In addition, it falls just under Australia as the world’s fourth-largest wine producer.  The state’s climate proves to be the perfect conditions for growing grapes, which include Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Zinfandel.

California also produces a number of sparkling and dessert wines. Some so delicious, and of such a high quality that they would give France a run for their money. That said, my wine recommendation today is to try a California Muscat.