California and around the world, wine is entering a new era as
Americans are drinking not only more, but better wine.
A case in
point : Mendocino County, California which is often called "America's Greenest Wine Region."
Located north of Sonoma County (and about a 1 1/2 hour drive from San Francisco). the Mendocino wine region is scenic, mountainous, and with has a long
tradition of natural grape growing that goes back to the mid-1800's,
when Italian immigrant families settled in the area to become
Mendocino's first winegrowing
With the advent
of Prohibition in the early 20th century, the small, struggling Mendocino wine industry
to a standstill. Following Prohibition's repeal, new wineries
continued to pick up at a steady clip when, in the 1970's, the
number of small vineyards boasting handcrafted wines of exceptional
quality - suddenly began to skyrocket.
In the 1980's,
Mendocino County was finally brought into the international spotlight
when wine producers from France discovered Anderson
Valley. Today, Mendocino has become a world leader in
natural farming practices and a world center for organic wine production.
Perhaps more eventfully, in 2004 local voters were faced with becoming the meek
David to the Goliath U.S. farming industry when - in a surprising
upset - they soundly defeated a controversial proposition to introduce
genetically altered crops to the area.
quietly, but proudly, continues at the forefront old-fashioned
wine production using organic, hand-crafted methods to produce
wine's ultimate natural environment is at the family dinner table,
with good food shared with friends and loved ones. That's how
Italian immigrants in California enjoyed wine in the 19th century.
It's a robust tradition that - thanks in part to Mendocino County
- still survives into the 21st.
More about Mendocino wineries around the Web:
Mendocino County wine - Wikipedia overview with a short history, and information on area wineries, wine varieties, climate and geography, with photos and related resources.