Embracing the Obscure

Posted by | Posted in White's Wines | Posted on 05-14-2013

As regular readers know, I write a free, twice monthly wine column that’s distributed to newspapers across the country.

These columns are hosted by Palate Press: The Online Wine Magazine. If you don’t see my column in your local newspaper, please send an email to your paper’s editor and CC me (David – at – Terroirist.com).

My latest column, in which I praise courageous American winemakers for producing unusual varietals and exploring unheralded regions, went out this morning.

Embracing the Obscure

This past weekend in Sonoma County, California, 17 vintners gathered for a wine tasting they dubbed “The 7 Percent Solution.”

As the organizers explained, “roughly 93 percent of Northern California vineyard acreage is planted to eight major grape varietals. The remaining 7 percent is home to numerous lesser-known varietals, [which] are finding anchor with a small but growing number of winemakers.”

The event enabled consumers to explore the wines being produced by California’s revolutionary vintners — those willing to embrace the state’s vast and varied climate by avoiding popular grapes and bottling the obscure. Whether they’re producing unusual varietals or exploring unheralded regions, these winemakers are worth celebrating.

That certain regions of California might be better suited to, say, Albarino than Chardonnay makes sense. Across the globe, commercial wine is produced from a whopping 1,368 different grape varieties. It defies logic to assume that grapes native to central France will thrive in all the world’s new vineyards.

Check out the rest of the piece on Palate Press: The Online Wine Magazine.

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