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California Wine Varietals - Who Knew?

Have you ever wondered what kinds of grapes are grown in California? Being a "numbers person", I always wonder about statistical things. I know that is kind of boring to a lot of people, but numbers can be kind of interesting, especially when we are talking about wine!

I got this information from the September 2008 California Wine magazine from the San Francisco Chronicle. The figures are from the 2007 grape harvest.

The top wine varietals grown in California, according to the article, are:

Whites

Chardonnay - 589,664 tons of grapes
Sauvignon Blanc - 106,119 tons
Chenin Blanc - 84,919 tons
Pinot Gris - 79,342 tons
Viognier - 15,757 tons
White Riesling - 13,880

Reds

Cabernet Sauvignon - 425,172 tons of grapes
Zinfandel - 406,630 tons
Merlot - 304,078 tons
Syrah - 126,945 tons
Pinot Noir - 89,518 tons

Chardonnay and cabernet are at the top of the lists, of course, but other varietals are gaining ground on them.

I was particularly surprised at how much zinfandel is grown in California - almost as much as King Cabernet!

Also, there seems to be lots more reds grown in the Golden State than whites. Does this mean that people are taking the "French Paradox" seriously and drinking reds for health reasons?

California produced a whopping 3.24 million tons of grapes in 2007, which makes California the fourth largest producer in the WORLD - following France, Italy and Spain.

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