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Written by Nikitas Magel   

Deserving of separate mention were a few wines that stood out alone for their show-stoppingly high QPR.  Although it bears acknowledgement that a producer's prices are often predicated not only on the quality of the wines themselves but also on the value of the land on which the vines are grown, at risk of stating the obvious, good value wines warrant the consumer's attention.  In an era when imports from Europe, South America, Australia, and New Zealand have consistently proven to be fiercely price competitive, it continues to be an inordinate challenge to find California wines under $12 that are worth more than the glass in which they're bottled.  I was more than pleasantly surprised to discover a handful that, without doubt, were among the best examples of white wines poured at the event, retailing at this lower price point:

Memorable wines notwithstanding, the event overall left me with the distinct feeling that Calfornia's wine industry not only continues to expand, perhaps even exponentially, but more significantly, continues to mature.  I saw clear evidence that different regions are actively experimenting and progressively discovering ideal sites in which to grow particular varietals — a practice that results in increasing specificity and specialization of the state's viticultural areas, which ultimately translates into terroir-mindedness.  Regions once deep in the shadows of higher profile ones are now coming into their own, rendering the renown of more established regions less relevant with regard to varietals that often excel elsewhere.  In this developing scenario, everybody is a winner.  And to see such a sizable number of them come together to showcase the fruits of their hard labor and deep love, was truly inspiring.

For more information on the association and its annual tasting event, visit Family Winemakers of California online or email FWC directly.

 

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