My Itinerary:



Top Wine-Consuming State
California ranks first in wine consumption in the U.S., followed by Florida, then New York. In a recent study by Wine Opinions, food and wine magazines were cited as the top source of information about California wine regions. A close second is visiting the wine region. Check out An Insider's Guide to California Wine Country as compiled by some of the California wine region associations.

Variety is the Spice of Life in the Golden State
There are more than 100 American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) in California. Each is a distinct winegrape growing area recognized by the U.S. government, a testament to the variety of microclimates in the state. There are more than 60,000 registered California wine labels.

Sustainable Wine Practices Take Root
The trend in sustainable winegrowing and winemaking practices is growing quickly in California. Vintners and growers who represent 40 percent of the annual wine case production and one quarter (125,000) of the state's wine acreage currently participate in the Code of Sustainable Wine Growing Practices program. Check out how The Greening of California Wine Country has taken root in some of the other wine regions in California.

The Family Farm Spans Generations in California
Family-owned businesses account for more than 90 percent of U.S. businesses, responsible for half of the country's gross domestic product and about three-quarters of America's new jobs. Most of California's 2,000 wineries are also owned by families, adding to the unique character that makes a trip to California wine country so memorable. Check out this article on California Wine Families - The Next Generation.

Just How many Grapes are in that Bottle of Wine?
It takes about six to eight clusters, or approximately 600 to 800 wine grapes (2.4 lbs) to make a bottle of wine. One barrel of wine contains 740 lbs of grapes, equivalent to 59 gallons or 24.6 cases of wine.

What would great wine be without great food?
A trip to wine country is also an education into what new and fresh in seasonal cooking. Local restaurants focus on pairing regional wines with natural, farm-grown ingredients, often sourced from community farmers' markets. There are more than 400 certified farmers' markets throughout California, many of them in the state's wine regions. Check out this article on California-Style Wine Country Restaurants & Farmers' Markets