If you said New Zealand, you would be correct. The problem with corks involves a nasty little infection 2,4,6-Trichloranisole (TCA). The contamination happens during the cork sterilization process and leads to a number of ‘corked’ or infected bottles. Screw caps are a better alternative and offer few problems. Almost all of New Zealand’s wines have screw tops.
Is it possible to make a red Chardonnay?
Yes, without a doubt. The Green Creek Winery in Polk County, North Carolina released a Chardonnay Rosso around 2007 that was arguably the first commercial red Chardonnay. Green Creek’s Estate Chardonnay grapes were used and the skins from picked Chambourcin grapes were added to induce the wine’s red color. A barrel sample sent to the Wine Enthusiast for a staff tasting resulted in the group’s inability to identify the wine type. Green Creek Winery said the new wine has a ‘unique’ taste that offers a new choice to wine drinkers who have switched from white wines to red wines.
Where does California stand among the world's wine producing nations?
California is the fourth largest wine producer in the world, after France, Italy and Spain. The Golden State, accounts for around 10% of the world’s total behind France’s almost 16 1/2 %. It provides 85-90% of the entire United States’ wine production, easily outdistancing its nearest rival: Washington State. California is the home to 4,285 bonded wineries (according to 2014 statistics) out of a total of more than 10,400 throughout the country. Wine grape acreage in California totaled over 608,000 acres (in 2015) with Chardonnay being the most planted varietal and resulted in more than 325,00 wine industry jobs.
Originally published in our Gold Wine Club's The Wine Press, Scheid Vineyards edition.