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How California's pursuit of balance is now producing breakthrough wines

Published:  02 April, 2015

The 21st century has seen a remarkable upsurge in the plantings of Pinot Noir throughout California, from a crush of 53,050 tons in 2000 to 248,469 in 2012. Concentrated on areas such as Sonoma, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Napa, and Mendocino, the upturn in the grape's fortunes has been matched by quality. The Sideways effect is much cited, but more important has been the discovery of sites, often near the coast, suited to this difficult grape variety and a different approach from the traditional Californian style of fruity, jammy Pinot.

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