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United States

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About United States

In 2018, the United States of America (U.S.) was the fourth largest wine producer globally; however, it’s important to keep in mind the country’s production levels in comparison to its population. Spain was one spot ahead of the U.S. for global wine production, yet their country had not even one-fifth the population of the U.S. in 2018. The U.S. is a vast country with a large variety of cultures, climates, and regions. Every state seems to differ from the rest in easily noticeable ways. When comparing New York to California, one would assume that it makes sense for grapes to be grown in California (a state which produces around 90% of wine in the U.S.), but believe it or not, the 'concrete jungle' is also home to vineyards and is producing quality wine at levels it never has before. The oldest winery in the States (est. 1809) is located just fifty miles northwest of New York City. This winery would have suffered during the American Prohibition from 1920-1933. Alcohol consumption was outlawed, and while the production of finer drinks dwindled, Americans instead turned their attention to ‘speakeasies’ and hard liquor. During these thirteen years, the number of wineries fell from 700 to 140. It took another 70 years to rebuild America’s wineries to the state they were at before the prohibition was set in place. Many vineyard’s grapes were replaced with young, tough-skinned varieties that gave way to cheap, sweet wine. American’s stopped valuing quality production during the prohibition, and didn’t seem to seek it out until roughly 1967. This was somewhat the rebirth of the wine industry for the U.S. because vintners had only a small amount of historical culture to follow when it came to production and knowledge. Over the past fifty years a taste for fine wine has been redeveloped and many wineries around the country have won prestigious awards for their output. Some of the top varieties of note in the U.S. are chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot.

FACTS

Population
327.2 million (2018)

Area
9.834 million sq km (6.110 million sq mi)