California, the famous wine state in the USA, has in recent years captured the tastes of Norwegian wine lovers with an impressive portfolio of quality wines.
American wines have earned a well-deserved reputation in Norway.
The US government’s success in Norway comes from many things. First, the quality of California wines is generally high.
Robert Parker effect
The best wine producers place great importance on sustainability, with the best emphasis on optimal handling of the grapes to ensure perfect ripening. They work to ensure that the wines are of local quality, either from where they were grown or in relation to the grapes from which the wine is made.
In addition, the younger generation has gained a reputation, based on different tastes than was common in the past.
The influence of Robert Parker (meaning high alcohol and barrel notes) on wine sales is still an important, but no longer important, factor to success in the United States. Instead, social media has spawned an entire army of good tasters touting balanced, fruit-driven wines with a homegrown flair.
An exciting area to explore
The availability of Californian wines in Norway also contributed to the interest. A wide range of wines, from the most famous wineries to small producers, is available to Norwegians who want to explore this exciting region. Some have been disappointed by the small customizations of the most popular manufacturers, but the trend is for them to increase from year to year.
The investment by Norwegian wine importers in California wines has been impressive, and Norwegian consumers benefit from a wide selection that represents the best that California has to offer. The selection to order has the widest selection, but select wine shops also “specialize” in wines from the sunshine state.
Dynamic and diverse
California is one of the most dynamic wine-producing regions in the world, with a climate and geography that provide endless opportunities for diverse production. From cool and misty coastal Sonoma County, to the sunny valleys of Napa and Paso Robles, California’s wine regions are a mosaic of different terroirs that give rise to a wide range of styles.
In our opinion, it is one of the most exciting areas when it comes to wine quality, simply because today the best wines are not the best. A fast-paced and dynamic industry that brings out new talent every year.
The famous Napa Valley
One of the most popular wine regions is Napa Valley. This famous valley has a long history of producing first class wines, especially from Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay grapes. With a unique blend of warm days, cool nights, and well-drained soil, Napa Valley makes wines with rich fruitiness, elegant structure and balance. Wineries such as Beaulieu, Opus One and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars set the standard for quality and are sought after by Norwegian wine lovers.
Despite its NOK 2,399 price tag, St Helena’s Spottswoode sails as a point of reference for just how good the wines from Napa Valley can be. It’s suitable for 40-year storage, yet ready to drink at the same time – with a unique balance of fruit, barrel and alcohol.
Safe Picks: Sonoma and St. Rita Hills
Although Napa Valley has become a popular and well-known region, California also offers other exciting wine regions that deserve attention.
The St. Rita Hills and Sonoma County, both south and north of San Francisco, have cooler climates compared to Napa Valley and are known for their complex, refined Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines.
With varied topography and different microclimates, wine regions can produce an impressive variety of wine styles, from fresh, fruity wines to more structured, spiced wines.
The Racines and Au Bon Climat wineries in the St. Rita hills are among the many favorites when looking at quality in relation to price. They offer concentrated, beautiful, food-friendly wines with a uniqueness yet to be discovered by the price-chasing market. Also, pay attention to the little-known Livermore wine region. The Wente family, which is also the origin of the most widely used Chardonnay clone, provides quality wines at prices around NOK 300.
Another area worth mentioning is Paso Robles, located in the Central Coast region. It is famous for its sunny location and ideal soil for growing Rhone and Zinfandel grapes. Wineries such as The Fableist Wine Company, Ambyth, and Firestone have established themselves as producers of quality wines, and are popular with Norwegian wine lovers who appreciate strong, full-bodied wines.
Next time you’re looking for a bottle of wine that will impress and delight your taste buds, why not opt for a California wine?
With its rich history, diverse terrain and dedicated producers, California is a region that continues to offer wine styles to suit every taste.
The future is bright in the case of sunshine.
“Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff.”