For UK wine lovers the American industry is still a newcomer that’s had some really tough competition in the last few decades. A decline in popularity in Champagne and French wines opened up the market to several age-old contenders like Prosecco, English sparkling wine, Australian wine came en masse to the global market. It’s a turbulent place to be. So is American wine keeping up with this grape race.
Vino di Unito stato Del’america
To emphasise how much American wine is on the rise, here are some of the figures from inside the US, based on the Quartz article, Two decades of American taste in wine: peak Yellow Tail, Malbec’s rise, and where did France go?
Firstly, the importance of wine as a market has risen massively in the US. Since the early nineties the market has increased by nearly 50%. In this time, French wine, which used to account for half of all wine imports, has now sunk to only a quarter. This isn’t actually because the quantity was reduced (it actually increased by over 50%) but actually because wine popularity rose so quickly that other nations’ wine rose to match theirs.
One of the big contenders was previously Australian wine, however, after a storming success that pretty much swallowed the market for a few years, they saw massive decline due the national wine producers having their own race to create the best ‘budget’ wine, which actually meant serious wine drinkers no longer considered Australia, heavily damaging their market.
That big fluctuation meant American wines could edge in to their own market. Californian wines are the most popular, with Vineyards around Yountville, Calistoga and Healdsburg to the North of San Francisco.
Since then, cycling holidays in America have become really popular as people wish to cycle round more casually, while sampling the grape of all the local vineyards on the way. Headwater.com offers this holiday with a difference, letting you cycle in the regions above San Francisco over a ten day period. Highlights include ‘old style’ towns around their classic wine country, ride through the Californian Redwoods, visit the hot springs, including ‘Old Faithful’ and even visit Bodega Bay, which is featured in Birds by Alfred Hitchcock. There are options to spend an extra night or two in San Francisco, to go and visit Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Square.
Is American wine taking over the global market?
It’s safe to say that the French and Italians don’t have anything to worry about when it comes to America’s presence in the global wine market. Although it makes up a good portion of wine bought in the US, levels in the UK and Europe are still pretty low.
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