How many gallons of wine does California produce annually?

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More than 17 million gallons of wine are made in California each year. California’s wine production accounts for nearly 90% of the entire American wine production, and if California were its own country, it would be the fourth largest producer in the world.

How many American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) are found within Monterey County?

With over 40,000 acres planted in varietal wine grapes, Monterey County is home to 9 AVAs that have been identified as truly one-of-a-kind winegrowing districts: Monterey, Santa Lucia Highlands, Arroyo Seco, San Lucas, Hames Valley, Chalone, Carmel Valley, San Antonio Valley, and San Bernabe. These appellations identify the wine grape’s place of origin.

What is the general difference between French and American oak barrels?

American oak tends to be more intensely flavored than French oak with more sweet and vanilla overtones. Winemakers that prefer American oak typically use them for bold, powerful reds or warm climate Chardonnays. The tighter grain of French oak allows for a more gradual integration of flavors in the wine promoting subtler, toasty flavors.

Originally published in our Gold Wine Club's The Wine Press, Mission Trail Vineyards edition featured in 2009.