Return to New World Wines


Compared to Europe, the histo­ry of viti­cul­tu­re in the USA is still very young. Nevertheless, with 450,000 hec­ta­res of viney­ards, the USA is among the top five in the world. However, one third of this area is used for the cul­ti­va­ti­on of rai­sins. Wine is pro­du­ced in almost all of the fif­ty sta­tes, but only California, New York, Washington and Oregon have achie­ved inter­na­tio­nal reco­gni­ti­on to date. California accounts for nine-tenths of total pro­duc­tion. As you might expect, the natu­ral con­di­ti­ons for gro­wing gra­pes are very dif­fe­rent for such a lar­ge coun­try. California alo­ne has a wide varie­ty of cli­ma­tes, ran­ging from coas­tal are­as whe­re gra­pes have dif­fi­cul­ty ripe­ning to the Central Valley, whe­re it is basi­cal­ly too hot for ele­gant wines. That viti­cul­tu­re is still in its infan­cy is also shown by the fact that so far only in Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley have the top viney­ards been iden­ti­fied and plan­ted with vines. However, cool-climate regi­ons are alre­a­dy being iden­ti­fied and, as in Washington, excel­lent, ele­gant wines are being pro­du­ced.
America is both a major wine pro­du­cer and a major wine con­su­mer, pro­du­cing 12% of the world’s wine. Although wine is pro­du­ced in every sta­te in the U.S., California is by far the most signi­fi­cant wine regi­on, accoun­ting for about 85% of all wine pro­du­ced in America. Other sta­tes that are signi­fi­cant wine pro­du­cers include Oregon, Washington, New York and Virginia. Over one hundred gra­pe varie­ties are grown in California, inclu­ding French, Italian, Spanish, and hybrid gra­pes. Thanks to California’s relia­bly warm wea­ther, wine­ma­kers can use very ripe gra­pes, resul­ting in frui­ty wines that are very remi­nis­cent of the style of New World wines.
California wine is enjoy­ing incre­asing inter­na­tio­nal popu­la­ri­ty. In par­ti­cu­lar, the Zinfandel gra­pe varie­ty is con­side­red a typi­cal American red wine gra­pe varie­ty. Powerful yet frui­ty red wines are pro­du­ced from the gra­pe varie­ties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz. The undis­pu­ted num­ber one in terms of white wine in the USA is Chardonnay. Depending on the gro­wing regi­on, the Chardonnay gra­pe varie­ty pro­du­ces full-bodied wines that are usual­ly given the finis­hing touch by aging in oak barrels.

Most important gra­pe varie­ties (WHITE)
Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc.

Main gra­pe varie­ties (RED)
Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, PinotNoir,Grenache, Cabernet Franc

The USA is expe­ri­en­cing signi­fi­cant pro­blems on the German mar­ket, as the volu­me of impor­ted wine fell by 32.8% in the peri­od from December 2022 to November 2023, accom­pa­nied by a pri­ce increase of 23.8%. The value of imports fell by 16.7% in the same peri­od. In par­ti­cu­lar, imports of Californian red wine fell by 35%, while white wine imports fell by 4.6%. Red wine con­ti­nues to account for 81 per­cent of imports, with 69 per­cent impor­ted as bulk wine at an avera­ge pri­ce of 141 euros per hectoliter.