There are plenty of people who enjoy wine without fanfare. They uncork the wine, pour it and are happy if it tastes good. They’re even happy if it’s “not too bad”!
Then, there’s the rest of us. We like to know where the wine came from.
Who made it? Is it a family? How many generations? Why do they make wine? Did they grow the grapes themselves, or buy them? Where are those vineyards, anyway? In an appellation we’ve heard of? Have they made this wine before? Did they add other varietals to the wine, or is it a stand-alone 100% varietal?
These are stories wine tells us.
There’s nothing wrong with simply uncorking a bottle and enjoying, no questions asked. But there’s something to learn when you question why one wine taste great and another wine doesn’t measure up.
As California winemaking and viticulture have come of age, Golden State wine has become better and better. And its stories have become more interesting.
As the competition heats up among wineries, they are doing more and more to make a better wine each year.
The explosion of very small, artisan brands in California, often begun by passionate winemakers who buy all their grapes and own no winery facilities, has been a surprising and exhilarating phenomenon.
Yes, the big conglomerates dominate the market. But for those of us on the lookout for better and better wine, the small family wineries and these adventurous new generation winemakers are creating some wonderful stories in the bottle.