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American Wine Grapes

American wine grapes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Red grapes, such as pinot noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot, are often used in making red wines, while white grape varieties like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling are typically used to create white wines. American table grapes, a species known as Vitis lausca, are also used in winemaking. These grapes are noted for their strong, fruity aromas and taste.

There is an extensive list of American wine grapes grown in the United States. California is the leading wine-producing state, with varieties ranging from Albarino to Zinfandel. Washington, Oregon, and New York also have their own wine industries, though the varieties of grapes used will differ. A few little-known grapes from American soil that you might want to look into are Baco noir, Blanc du Bois, and Norton.

Pinot noir is one of the most popular red wine varieties in the United States and aoad. Grapes of this variety have been grown in the U.S. since the late 18th century, and many of the world's best pinot noirs are still made there. Rich, complex, and elegant in flavor, pinot noir is often called "the hearteak grape" due to its notoriously finicky growing requirements.

Cabernet Sauvignon is another beloved red wine grape variety, created in the 18th century when red cabernet franc crossed with white sauvignon blanc. This powerful and full-bodied red wine commands robust flavors of dark berries, tobacco, and cedar, and is well-suited to aging in oak barrels. A number of American wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes have won international awards.

Merlot is another rich and robust red wine grape variety from American soil. Originally from Bordeaux, France, Merlot vines were transplanted to the United States in the late 19th century. American-made Merlot wines are typically rounder and softer on the palate than Cabernet Sauvignon due to their low tannin levels. Expect notes of cassis, mocha, and leather on the palate.

White Table Grapes, such as Chardonnay and Riesling, are among the most popular American wine grapes. These grapes have higher levels of sugar than red varieties, making them ideal for creating medium- and full-bodied white wines. Chardonnay typically has a combination of creamy, buttery notes with aromas of peach, apple, and lemon, while well-crafted Rieslings often exhibit notes of apricot and honey.

The combination of American climate and soil provides the perfect environment for a wide range of different grapes for winemaking. For the best experience, try exploring some of the lesser-known American wine grapes like Baco noir, Blanc du Bois, and Norton. You might just discover a new favorite varietal!