Itís only been within the past 30 years that American wineries have made since a large mark on the world. For hundreds of years itís been the French and the Italians that have defined the world of wine, so how did America become a front runner? Hereís a brief history of the grape and itís evolution in the United States.
Spanish missionaries planted the seeds for winemaking in 1779 in and area that is now known as California. At the time the land was still Mexicoís and the missionaries were bringing the seeds to the San Juan Capistrano Mission. A century later European immigrant farmers began to move to this area. These immigrants were mostly Italian, but there were also French, German and Hungarian farmers that had knowledge about the winemaking process. These farmers moved to California to produce wine. Since the French, Italians and Germans had a preference for red wine, most of the early American wines were red. Even the people who came to California during the gold rush stayed behind and found a different kind of fortune, the kind found on a vine.
Some of the vineyards that these farmers planted over 100 years ago are still in existence today. Many of the fine wine shops in California carry wines containing grapes from these vines. Those same wines are often award winning vintages. These wines are a major part of the United States wine family vine and are a must have for collectors.
Prohibition almost completely destroyed the wine growing and producing industry in the United States. After prohibition was overturned, the Depression and World Wars also put a damper on the production of wine. Without buyers, it was hard for producers to stay afloat. It wasnít until the late 1970ís that winemaking started to become what it is in the US. Before the 1970ís there were very few producing wineries in the United States. 90% of them were based in California specializing in red wines, true to their predecessors.
Today there are thousands of wineries spread out around the United States. The states best known for wine production are California, Oregon, Washington and Michigan. The growth and popularity of wine in the past 30 years is amazing and shows no signs of slowing down. Many wine enthusiasts hope that it never does.