As owner of a winery and also a restaurant, I often get asked a lot of questions about wine and also about the wine industry in general. So here are some great wine facts for you to savour.
1. There are 20 million acres are planted to grapes worldwide.
2. Among the world’s fruit crops, wine grapes rank number one in the amount of acres planted.
3 164 countries import California wines.
4. Prunes were the primary fruit crop in Napa Valley during the 1940’s.
5. 30 million gallons of wine were lost in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
6. On August 19, 1873, phylloxera was first discovered in California.
7. 10,450 acres of Napa County vineyards have been replanted in the last 15 years because of phylloxera.
8. 4,450 more acres of Napa County vineyards will need replacement.
9. It takes 4 to 5 years to harvest a commercial crop from newly replanted grape vines?
10. 10,000 varieties of wine grapes exist worldwide.
11. It costs around $1 per bottle to age wine in a French oak barrel.
12. It costs around $3 per bottle to age wine in only new French oak barrels.
13. When was the first known reference to a specific wine vintage? Answer: Roman Historian Pliny the Elder rated 121 B.C. as a vintage “of the highest excellence.”
14. How old was the wine being “reviewed”? Answer: 200 years old! Pliny the Elder wrote the history of the Roman Empire around 70 A.D.
15. A bottle of opened wine stored in the refrigerator lasts about 6 to 16 times longer than it would if stored at room temp.
16. There are 400 oak species.
17. 20 of them are used in making oak barrels.
18. 5% percent of an oak tree is suitable for making high grade wine barrels.
19. The 1996 grape crop in Napa Valley was down 20% – 25% from normal.
20. California, New York and Florida are the top three U.S. states in terms of wine consumption.
21. 58% percentage of legal-aged Americans contacted in a Nielson phone survey drink wine.
22. 55 percentage of restaurant wine sales are red wines.
23. $2.64 is the average cost of the grapes used to produce a $20 bottle of wine?
24. Dom Perignon (1638-1715), the Benedictine Abbey (at Hautvillers) cellar master who is generally credited with “inventing” the Champagne making process, was blind.
25. Thomas Jefferson helped stock the wine cellars of the first five U.S. presidents and was very partial to fine Bordeaux and Madeira.
26. To prevent a sparkling wine from foaming out of the glass, pour an ounce, which will settle quickly. Pouring the remainder of the serving into this starter will not foam as much.
27. Old wine almost never turns to vinegar. It spoils by oxidation.
28. In King Tut’s Egypt (around 1300 BC), the commoners drank beer and the upper class drank wine.
29. It is the VERY slow interaction of oxygen and wine that produces the changes noticed in aging wine. It is believed that wine ages more slowly in larger bottles, since there is less oxygen per volume of wine in larger bottles. Rapid oxidation, as with a leaky cork, spoils wine.
30. Before harvest, the canopy of leaves at the top of the vine is often cut away to increase exposure to the sun and speed ripening. wine tours in willamette valley