California’s Liquid Gold – The California Wine Festival in Santa Barbara
By Suzanne De Cornelia
California is the world’s foremost place to make wine, and as attendees of the California Wine Festival this July 16th-18th in Santa Barbara will discover-it is a most romantic place to taste and savor it.
The French attribute the wine’s charm to its terroir. Terroir extends influences beyond soil composition, microclimate, grape quality and vineyard management to include the spirit of place. To me terroir includes the romance of Old California, heart-stopping sunrises and sunsets, the tang of the great Pacific, the astonishing variety and fragrance of California nature, even the quality of our golden light that goes into California wines, too.
California is America’s leading agriculture state. We produce high quality meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits, oils and olives, and artisan breads, herbs, cheeses and wines. Farmer’s Markets are our Meccas. Their intensely fresh, bursting with flavor and colorful organic and sustainable ingredients are why California restaurants place among the top in the world. The expression ‘God is in the Details’ explains why the same rich soils that grew our apples, citrus, berries and flowers, enriches our wine grapes that create a rich and buttery glass of Chardonnay, with its aromas and flavors of citrus, apple and pear, and notes of toast and vanilla to pair with our state’s famous Dungeness crab. We respect these fine nuances and details.
Since the Spanish missionaries planted California’s first vineyards in the late 1700s, winemaking methods have evolved through successive waves of immigrant Italian, German, Portuguese and French winemakers. And today, California’s multi-generational, small family owned enterprises have adopted sustainable practices, with many becoming organic or biodynamic to protect their families, communities, consumers and the environment.
The payoff is tremendous. California is the world’s fourth largest wine producing region, exports 95% of U.S. wines, produces 309,000 jobs and $51.8 billion in economic value for California, and 875,000 jobs and $125.3 billion economic value nationwide. California winemaking attracts nearly 20 million tourists each year.
Robert Mondavi, one of a handful of California’s leading wine pioneers, summed up California’s golden treasure, “Wine to me is passion. It’s family and friends. It’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It’s culture. It’s the essence of civilization and the art of living.”
On July 16-18 come taste California’s wine and spirit in Santa Barbara. Come and drink our liquid gold. http://californiawinefestival.com/
© 2008-2012-Suzanne de Cornelia. All worldwide rights apply. This article may be reprinted on websites as long as the entire article, including website link and resource box are included and unchanged. Suzanne is a freelance writer and Web 2.0 expert. Her novel “French Heart” will be released in Summer 2009. Contact Suzanne on FaceBook, follow her on Twitter @SuzanneDeC. And click-on her site now for a terrific blogroll of free resources: http://suzannedecornelia.com/