On Wine


The South Against The North

Menocino County Wine Map

by Fred McMillin


No, this is not about the USA's Civil War. Instead it's about the fact that very early in California wine-growing it was concluded that the North produced better wines than the South.

However, we got to wondering if the rise of Santa Barbara wines means the South has caught up at least with the far North's Mendocino County?


Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara County Wine Map

So, we matched a large number of Mendocino wines with their southern counterparts.

Here are the results:

On Wine: South Against North
Santa Barbara vs. Mendocino
Region Wine
North $14, Riesling, Bonterra Vineyards, Lake—Mendocino County, 2009
North $18, Red Wine, Sunset Cellars, Mendocino County, 2003
South $18, Riesling-Dry, Epiphany Cellars, Santa Barbara County, 2007
South $18, Chardonnay, Fess Parker Winery, Santa Barbara County, 2008
South $22, Chardonnay, Sanford Winery, Santa Barbara County, 2007
South $24, Syrah, Fess Parker Winery, Santa Barbara County, 2006
North $25, Zinfandel, Steele Wines, Mendocino Ridge, 2005
North $26, Bordeaux Blend, Foggy Bridge Winery, Mendocino, 2005
South $27, Pinot Noir, Fess Parker Winery, Santa Barbara, 2007
North $30, Petite Sirah, Parducci, True Grit, Mendocino County, 2005
South $30, Pinot Noir, Steele Wines, Santa Barbara County, 2006


The South won. My picky panel gave the South six winners compared to five for the North.


And a Final Wine Smile

Global Gourmet reader Charlotte Maeck writes that the amount of information in this column is "wine-boggling."


Tastings: Edgar Vogt
Statistics: Ophie Mercado


Fred McMillin

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for over 30 years on three continents. He was voted one of the U.S.A's 22 Best wine writers by the Academy of Wine Communications. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.

Copyright © 2011, Fred McMillin. All rights reserved.

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