Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99

John F. Williams

Freedom to blend

Freedom to blend

One of the major differences between American winemakers and their European counterparts is that here wine is largely made and sold based on grape variety rather than a growing area. So, a Californian will make a cabernet sauvignon or a merlot while a French vintner will produce a Pauillac or a Saint-Emilion. Both winemakers have to deal with regulatory issues unique to their location, but in some ways the French vintner has a little more leeway. A Pauillac or Saint-Emilion is often a blend of grape varieties. The formula can change from year to year, depending on the harvest and quality of the grapes. The Californian, however, can be hamstrung by regulations that require any wine...