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Ste. Chapelle Late Harvest Riesling 2000
From Alabama to Wyoming, each of the fifty US states produces wine—with varying degrees of success. Many of the colder northeastern states focus primarily on American or French-American hybrid varieties like Concord and Vidal, while Muscadine is the grape species of the warm, humid southeast. In Alaska, grapes are grown indoors in a greenhouse; other states specialize in fruit wines, like the pineapple wine of Hawaii. New York and Virginia have thriving wine industries, and New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Michigan, Idaho, and Ohio are all worth keeping an eye on.
Apart from the classics, we find many regional gems of different styles.
Late harvest wines are probably the easiest to understand. Grapes are picked late so that sugars build up and residual sugar remains after the fermentation process. Ice wine, a style founded in Germany and there referred to as eiswein, is an extreme late harvest wine, produced from grapes frozen on the vine, and pressed while still frozen, resulting in a higher concentration of sugar. It is becoming a specialty of Canada as well, where it takes on the English name of ice wine.
Vin Santo, literally “holy wine,” is a Tuscan sweet wine made from drying the local white grapes Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia in the winery and not pressing until somewhere between November and March.