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14 CALIFORNIA TO THE PRESENT DAY THE STATISTICS OF RECENT HISTORY Since the revolution occurred in American wine, the wine industry’s road in California has often been bumpy and di‹cult, but never enough to turn back a steady movement of growth. A comparison of the figures from 1970, when the revolution had clearly be- gun, with those from the end of the century in 2000 shows the direction quite clearly.1 To start in the vineyards: In 1970 the acreage devoted to grapes of all kinds in Cali- fornia was 479,000; in 2000 it was 852,000. For wine grapes, the numbers

industry. Am. J. Enol. and Viticult. 10:124-159. Chapter 18. 19595. The romance of Pan-American wines. Pan-American Medical Association, San Francisco Chapter, Annual Bulletin 1958:24-27. Chapter 16. 1960. Laboratory procedures for enology. Davis: University of Cali- fornia, Department of Viticulture and Enology. (Rev. ed., 1965. 100 pp.) Chapter 7. 1962. Hilgard and California viticulture. Hilgardia 33(1) : 1—2 3. Chapter 18. 1964d. Der Weinbau in Japan. Die Wein-Wissenschaft 19(5) :225-231. 1964b. Wine. Scientific American 211(2) :46-56. Chapters 7 and 19

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, the influential trade journal, de- cided that “the Primitivo could well be Zinfandel” and could give our Zinfan- del and other American wines “a run for the money.” 4 The run began two years later, when an East Coast importer brought in a wine whose label an- nounced it to be “imported Zinfandel,” under the Mirafiore brand. Wine critic Norman Roby judged the wine to be “light, fruity, a little thin, but ac- ceptable.” At a similar tasting at the Italian Trade Center in New York, wine writer David Rosengarten found raspberry and cassis in the flavor, deeming the wine

167 The American wine industry no longer needs an outside source to validate its existence, but for two decades, from 1970 to 1990, French investment played an enormous symbolic role in its legitimacy. For the French, the United States—and California in particular— was a land of opportunity. Wineries investing here could not only bust out of their appel- lation borders, they could plant what they wanted where they wanted, make growing decisions free of their country’s stringent regulations. They could, if they liked, fl aunt tradition, or transplant its best

intellect, temperament, and soul, heart and opinion, emotion and quirky individuality that constitutes everyone we know, in- cluding ourselves—what makes us, when you think about it, worth know- ing. In an era when American wine writing already was becoming formulaic and breathy, Conversations was that rarity, a smartly readable (and rereadable) wine book. Benson captured the California wine industry at a most interesting time. It was just after the beginning of the boutique winery era of the 1960s, when the radical experimentalism of that decade was bearing fruit. The

produced very un- Burgundian wine. Most of the white wines are heavy, oily and fl at, remind- ing one of old style Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Many of the reds— more in the Côte de Beaune than in the Côte de Nuits—taste of the Midi, or of California. They are burnt, spicy, alcoholic and overrich, and they also lack acidity. Having said that, I must acknowledge that even in Burgundy, there are those who like this vintage better than I, as do many American wine critics. A chacun son goût! WEATHER CONDITIONS The last few months of 2003 were wet. This moisture would

and makes this more probable. Especially for the Delaware there seems to be evidence that some V. vinifera may be present. The new varieties were not the same as those to which the original immigrants had been accustomed in Europe. However, several generations had been born in this country and had for- gotten much of their taste for European wines. The nine- teenth century saw the development of a native American wine industry throughout the eastern United States. Wineries were established in almost every state except the northernmost New England states

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the wine men of California, New York, and Ohio as the threat—or even the remote possi- bility—of a return to ad valorem rates. Since 1875 w i n e men of the United States have been able to have enacted lower rates on bulk wine than on bottled wine.2 Such rate distinctions not only protected American wines but increased the sale of packaged wines, which was the most profitable part of the trade and which the California merchants wanted most to cultivate. The main argument of the viticulturists for protection in this period was the conventional one

Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Journal American Wine and Liquor Journal Analytical Chemistry Annales Medicinae Experimentalis et Biologiae Fenniae Annual Review of Phytopathology Annual Review of Microbiology Annales de Technologie Agricole Applied and Environmental Microbiology Applied Microbiology Archives of Biochemistry Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics Archives of Microbiology Arkansas State Horticultural Society. Pro- ceedings Associated Grower Bibliography on Grapes, Wines and Related Subjects xiii Atti

come from the Cen- tral Valley. sierra foothills The Sierra Foothills AVA includes portions of eight counties, from Yuba in the north to Mariposa in the south. But 98 percent of the Zinfandel vines are in Amador, El Dorado, and Calaveras Counties. (The statistics compiled for this region include numbers for only those counties.) For the entire AVA, Zinfandel is the leading wine grape variety, with 2,136 acres, 41 percent of the total wine grape acreage. When the modern American wine revolution began in the late 1960s, Zinfandel was by far the leading variety in this