Mighty U.S.A

When we think of wine from the U.S.A., our mind automatically turns to California, and whilst this state produces substantially more wine than any other, the wine industry in this vast country extends way beyond that. It’s not all about “big and brash” here either. Lots of smaller wineries are now grabbing the attention they deserve and in fact, this is a great time to start exploring wines from the U.S.A., as a kind of “renaissance” period has just started.

The state of New York is going through a bit of a rebellious wine revolution, but it’s the West Coast that really draws our attention, and it’s not just California either. The states of Washington and Oregon have both forged a reputation for producing top quality wines, with Oregon in particular showing its outstanding potential for Pinot Noir and cool climate whites, such as Pinot Gris.

California is the real gem though and when we ignore the mass production epicentre that is Central Valley, we can explore a multitude of premium sub-regions, each with their own unique character and micro-climate. Napa Valley and Sonoma County are no doubt the crowning jewels but drill deeper, and you will be truly rewarded with some fantastic wines.

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Start of our journey

As is the case with other New World countries, wine in the U.S.A dates back centuries and the industry has gone through key moments in its history, such as Prohibition. For us, the significant shift was seen in 1976, when top wine critic, the late Stephen Spurrier organised 2 tastings events focussing on top quality Chardonnays (from California versus France) and Reds (Bordeaux reds versus California.

This event became known as “The Judgment of Paris” and saw the majority of Chardonnays (6 out of 10 tasted) and Reds from California (6 out of 10 tasted) win through, with the 1973 Chateau Montelena and the 1973 Stags Leap, both from the U.S.A earning the top spots. This event, although controversial, changed the perception of wine in California and truly set it on a course to become a premium wine region.

For now, our wines are focussed on the West Coast, but this is only the start of our journey and for sure, we will expand our USA listing in time and bring you more regional options:

Key regions to explore include:


North Coast

Principle Sub Regions - Mendoccino, Clear Lake, Sonoma, Napa Valley.

Key Varietals - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc.

Central Coast

Principle Sub Regions - Monterey, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara.

Key Varietals - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre (GSM bland)Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Viognier.

Sierra Foothills

Key Varietals - Zinfandel, Barbera, Syrah, Petit Sirah.


Key Varietals - Syrah, Merlot.

South Coast

Key Varietals - Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon.


Columbia Valley

Key Varietals - Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Gris.

Willamette Valley

Key Varietals - Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling.

Southern Oregon

Key Varietals - Cabernet, Syrah, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris.


Columbia Valley

Key Varietals - Bordeaux Blend, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc.