Fetzer White Zinfandel 1998
Since 1968, Fetzer has stood by a simple philosophy: What’s good for the Earth is good for the grape, and what’s good for the grape is good for the wine. After Barney Fetzer launched his winery, he helped create the flavor profile that made Chardonnay the nation’s most popular wine variety, and Fetzer’s Valley Oaks Food and Wine Center anticipated the farm-to-table movement.
Fifty years later, the Fetzer collection is grounded in the character of American classics like Fetzer Valley Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon, Sundial Chardonnay and Shaly Loam Gewurztraminer—iconic wines rooted in thoughtful winemaking and a deep commitment to sustainability. Today, there’s still a delicious bottle of Fetzer to reach for on any night. These are wines that never compromise on flavor and never cut corners on quality.
Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredible range of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from tiny, family-owned boutiques to massive corporations, and price and production are equally varied. Plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Valley area, while Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.
Each American Viticultural Area (AVA) and sub-AVA of has its own distinct personality, allowing California to produce wine of every fashion: from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate vineyard acreage. Sonoma County is best known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône Blends blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with cool climate varieties such as Pinot noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, any wine lover will find something to get excited about here.
Whether it’s playful and fun or savory and serious, most rosé today is not your grandmother’s White Zinfandel, though that category remains strong. Pink wine has recently become quite trendy, and this time around it’s commonly quite dry. Since the pigment in red wines comes from keeping fermenting juice in contact with the grape skins for an extended period, it follows that a pink wine can be made using just a brief period of skin contact—usually just a couple of days. The resulting color depends on grape variety and winemaking style, ranging from pale salmon to deep magenta.