Yesterday, the San Francisco Chronicle published its annual 'California Wine' section. It was subtitled 'Sunny days - Now's the best time in years to enjoy the state's bounty.' In it were numerous articles about regional wines, corresponding foods, fall events, wine tasting, and different grapes. Unfortunately, this group of articles isn't available as a separate section online; but here is the link to their "wine" homepage.
No aspect of regional northern California culture brings out more the long standing local Cisalpine heritage than the wine industry. Not just the older wineries, but newer ones; as well as Cisalpines who came here in later times like Robert Mondavi. One of the wineries featured is the Fanucchi Vineyards in Fresno County.
In one of the articles entitled 'A toast to California wines', it states "California wine is booming as never before. You can see it clearly in the numbers. As we'll relate in the following pages, the state's wine industry remains on a nearly two-decde surge of popularity, accounting for more than $34 billion in sales last year."
In another article from the section entitled 'California wine enjoys a long boom', a sub-section shows the following facts:
*California's wine economy
-$61.5 billion in overall economic impact in the state
-330,000 jobs generated
-$12.3 billion in wages
-$14.7 billion generated in state and federal taxes
I often like to try foreign wines, and it's easy for for locals to forget that we live in very likely the best wine producing region in the world. One interesting development in recent years has been the growth of wine in Sonoma County; although I don't really know if it actually comes close to challenging the famous Napa County wine region in sales. Another interesting aspect of this industry is that there are big growers who don't even have a label of their own, and find it profitable enough in the farming end of the business.
The wine community of Lodi in the Central Valley--a city named after Lodi, Lombardy--had a full page ad to promote their wines, with their website LodiWine.com. If you're near a Chronicle distributor, you could just walk in and purchase the Sunday paper of August 26; especially if you wanted to attend some of the late Summer and Fall events. I find sfgate.com to be hard to search and navigate. Lastly, St. Helena is the heart of the wine industry in North America. It truly is a great place to visit. Our people were predominant in making this industry from it's inception.