10 Incredible California Wines to Explore

Karen MacNeil, author of the best-selling book "The Wine Bible", picks 10 wines that embody just why California wine is so fascinating.

Originally posted by Decanter on April 7th, 2016 by Staff

Twenty years ago, I moved from New York City to the Napa Valley, in the sheer belief that living near vines would make me a better wine writer, and would touch my heart in ways imaginable and not. And I think it has. 

When I arrived, I had only a passing knowledge of Californian wines. California seemed a kind of wine Camelot – a place of awesome beauty and high ideals. But to me, the wines were a mystery. For my part, I loved Sancerre and Mosel Rieslings; I craved old Rioja; for me back then, nothing supplanted great Bordeaux.

Slowly, through immersion and maybe osmosis, I’ve come to know California during what has been the most exciting and innovative period in its two-century history. The wines that follow are not the California wines any of us first knew when California began to emerge on the world stage.

California Wines Have Grown Up

California wines have grown up. There’s still a little Beyonce╠ü in her step, but her inner Grace Kelly has started to be revealed.

Here are 10 California wines I find fascinating...

They come from all over the state, from appellations both well known and yet to be known. When each of these wines was first made, it charted new stylistic territory. Since then, in quality and complexity, each has continued to raise California’s bar. All of these wines have been singled out in the new, second edition of The Wine Bible.

California Wine

About The Wine Ambassador - Lou Zant, the founder of Wine Ambassador, is just a regular guy, with no fancy experience or specific background in the wine industry. Lou says that the things he does not know about wine makes it seem like he’s the most unlikely guy to start a wine club! Quite to the contrary. We believe that Lou is the perfect guy to be the Ambassador of California Wine because he is just like the rest of us and therefore he knows what we need and want.

Lou loves wine, especially California wine. The Wine Ambassador was brought about by Lou’s vision of connecting people just like him to the amazing wines that are hidden in plain sight. Lou’s ambition is to invite people to be apart of something bigger, offering them a place to discover incredible unknown wines.

Thus, as the Wine Ambassador, Lou is hoping to introduce fellow wine lovers incredible wines, so they can experience them for themselves.

Lou has some strong beliefs about “Wine Clubs,” and we think you will appreciate his views.

  • I don’t believe in wine clubs anymore; but I do believe in building a wine community.
  • I don’t believe you have to be an expert on wine to be a part of the truest form of “wine culture.”
  • I believe the most important opinion in the wine country is yours.
  • I believe wine is meant to be shared, discussed, and celebrated.
  • And above all, I believe that the wine always taste better when you know the story…

For more information about Lou and The Wine Ambassador, follow him on Facebook - where you’re always welcomed.

To read more about California Wines visit Decanter by clicking here...