Great wine begins with great grapes. Capitalizing on the state’s diverse geography and climates, California wine-grape growers can grow a wide range of grape varieties and styles. The Golden State boasts more than 100 different varieties of wine grapes, thanks to its diverse topography, soils, climates and growers.
With respect for tradition and a propensity for innovation, California’s wine-grape growers are able to produce some of the best grapes, and wines, in the world. Here’s a look at some of California’s most notable wine grapes:
Zinfandel is pronounced ZIN-fan-del.
California’s warmer climates provide the ideal growing location for these intensely-flavored red grapes. Some of the state’s most sought-after zinfandels are produced on old, knotty vines, which produce rich, deep flavors.
Taste: Full-bodied, rich and lively, zinfandel smells like a patch of wild blackberries. The flavor consists of berry fruitiness, exuberantly ripe and juicy, often with a refreshing zing of acidity kicking in at the end.
Perfect Food Matches: Hearty foods, including roast pork, sweet or hot Italian sausages, osso buco (braised veal shanks), barbequed chicken or spareribs, spicy beef stews or casseroles and first-rate cheeseburgers.
Varietal grape photos: Copyright © The Regents of the University of California.