The USA tried to make wine since the 17th Century, against many historic contingencies - from native varieties that tasted bad to Prohibition (ensuring even less professional results). But the USA’s massive market and range of climates - including hot dry ones - have finally established a wine powerhouse. Top of the minor leagues are New York, Washington and Oregon States, with moderate to cool-climates making mainly aromatic whites, Bordeaux varieties and Pinot Noir (Oregon Pinots being notably lush, elegant icons). But bigger than all else is California, where not-too-hot areas near San Francisco produce beautiful Burgundy varietals while great swathes of the State’s near-desert produces both top-class and mass-produced examples of USA’s billboard styles: rich, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and oaked Chardonnay.
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