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The production of American wine dates back to the 17th century. At the time, European settlers experimented with the native vines (vitis labrusca). The 1960s saw the rebirth of American wine, thanks to the efforts of winemakers like Robert Mondavi in developing California’s potential to create high quality wines. The state becomes the supplier of 90% of the American wine market in terms of production volume. Californian red wines are rich, fruity, quite robust. It is renowned for its vinification of Cabernet Sauvignon, which expresses ripe and complex flavors and toasty aromas, while Zinfandel offers a rich, fruity or spicy aromatic profile. Californian Merlot produces corpulent, very intense wines while its Pinot Noir (cultivated in the cooler regions) is rich, complex, silky, and its Syrah expresses structured wines with ample aromas of black or red fruits.
Californian wines shine by the variety of its Chardonnay, some being made in the Burgundy style while the more traditional estates focus on structure and corpulence.