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?
So, we matched a large number of Mendocino wines with their southern counterparts.
Here are the results:
Santa Barbara vs. Mendocino|
|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.
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, 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.
This page created February 2011
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