New World Wines - Part 2

In part 1, we explored some of the Old World wine producing regions. In this edition, we cross the Atlantic to the Americas and introduce you to some of the New World wine producing regions.

"New World wines" refers to wines produced outside the traditional wine-growing areas of Europe. These regions are Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States. New World grapes are riper and wines tend to be more full-bodied and alcoholic.

New World Wines from the United States

The United States is the fourth largest wine producing country in the world and is home to several native grape varieties such as Vitis labrusca, Vitis riparia, Vitis rotundifolia, Vitis vulpina, and Vitis amurensis. The majority of wine production happens in the West Coast.

California. Ninety percent of the wine produced in the United States comes from California. Notable regions are Napa Valley and Sonoma in the North coast and Paso Robles in the Central Coast. While there are over a hundred grape varities grown in California, the seven most popular varieties are Cabernet sauvignion, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot noir, Sauvignion blanc, Syrah, and Zinfandel.

Washington. Ranking second as the US's biggest wine producer (California being #1), Washington is home to over 80 grape varieties. The main grapes used in wine production are Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Grenache, Malbec, Merlot, Nebbiolo, Petite Syrah, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Syrah, Tempranillo, Viognier, and Zinfandel.

Oregon. Oregon has 303 wineries and its top five grape varieties are Pinot noir, Pinot gris, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Riesling. Other significant varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, Müller-Thurgau, Pinot blanc, Sauvignon blanc, Sémillon, and Syrah.

New World Wines from Argentina

Situated between the Andes mountain range in the west and the Atlantic Ocean in the east, Argentina is the world's fifth biggest producer of wine. The most typically Argentine grape is called the Torrontés.

Mendoza. The Mendoza province is Argentina's main producer and is considered the heart of Argentina's winemaking industry. Popular grape varieties are the pink-skinned Cereza and Criolla Grande, Malbec, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

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New World Wines from Chile

Notable for being one of the few vine-growing regions to be phylloxera-free, Chile is the >fifth largest exporter of wines in the world, and the ninth largest producer.

Central Valley or Valle Central. As Chile's main growing zone for Chilean wine, Central Valley is its most productive wine region. Within Central Valley are four other wine-growing regions: the Maipo Valley (known for Cabernet Sauvignon), the Rapel Valley (also known for Cabernet Sauvignon), the Curicó Valley(most widely known for its Chardonnay), and the Maule Valley (large plantings of the local Pais grape).

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