Top 10 wine stories of 2013

Editor’s note: This is from Wine Enthusiast magazine. We have added our own commentary to the list, focusing on our local region.

1. Wine, Wine Everywhere. Amazon and Facebook acted as third–party marketers for wine sales in 2013, and Starbucks, 7–11, Frontgate and Burger King, among other surprising outlets, either launched or were testing wine retail programs this year, showing that wine in the mainstream is becoming an undeniable reality,” as Wine Enthusiast reports.

We’d like to tell you about one example in our region: Montoliva. The details are here.

2. Real Men (and Women) Do Drink White Wine. Eclectic whites like Vinho Verde, Albariño and Assyrtiko—not to mention stalwarts like Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay—were at the top of many wine lists and on consumer tables as wine lovers sought lower-alcohol, multiple-glass-friendly pours that were easy to pair with food.”

In our region, wineries such as Avanguardia specialize in rare and unusual blends from premium grapes, including its Cristallo wine. As Avanguardia puts it: “This is our most unique wine and is hard to pin down a similar wine made by others. Some have said it’s like a Riesling/Gewurztraminer blend. It is dry, crisp, taut, and relatively full-bodied; fruit tends towards apples, pears, and sometimes more exotic fruits. Can acquire a Burgundian quality to the finish after some time in bottle.”

“3. A Challenging Year for Crops. Unpredictable weather in Europe, including spring frosts and summer hailstorms, have rendered the 2013 variable at best in Spain, France and Italy.”

Though it was a challenging year for crops worldwide, our Sierra Foothills region, and California for that matter, had an excellent year. As we write in our current issue: “Wine enthusiasts rejoice: Sierra Foothill wine growers are excited about this year’s harvest, with predictions it will create some outstanding wines.”

“This is going to be a great winemaking year,” predicts Mike Naggiar, owner of Naggiar Vineyards. “I’m looking at the best harvest ever,” says Mark Henry, owner-winemaker at Montoliva Vineyard.

Sierra Starr reported: “Good yields and great quality in this year’s harvest.”

“4. Social Media and Wine. 2013 saw every major wine producer, importer and media outlet using -social media such as Twitter and Facebook heavily to promote themselves and overall wine education and consumption.”

This is true in our region. Our magazine Sierra FoodWineArt is a leader, in fact. We have grown to 4,100 “likes” on our Facebook page — and promote or report on wines daily.

5. Wine as Exploration. New wine-producing regions—sometimes in unlikely places—continued to crop up in 2013, proving that wine is truly a global affair.

Our own Sierra Foothills region continues to expand as an “up and coming” region in California, drawing more visitors each year.

“6. Central Coast, the “Other” California.

“7. Americans Reach Into Their Wallets for Italian Wine.

“8. China’s Wine Growth Slows.

“9. Bordeaux Gets Approachable/Turns Back to the States.

“10. Natural/Organic Wine Goes (More) Mainstream.

“The Wine Enthusiast article is here.”

Here’s a trailer from a movie that was filmed on location at Lucchesi and Double Oak in our Sierra Foothills:

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