Wine is an alcoholic drink made from fermented grapes. Wine is created by yeast consuming the sugar in the grapes and converting it to ethanol, carbon dioxide, and heat. There are many different wines, such as red, white, and rosé, depending on the grapes and strains of yeast used to make them. Less commonly, wine is also made from other fruits, such as plum, cherry, currant, elderberry, pomegranate (fruit wine), or rice (rice wine).
Wine is fat-free and contains no cholesterol. A 4-ounce glass of wine has about 80-100 calories in it. Studies have shown that moderate red wine consumption can benefit the human body due to the antioxidant content. These antioxidants can lower incidences of cardiovascular disease, mortality, and type-2 diabetes.
The United States produces over 800 million gallons of wine per year, making it one of the largest wine-producing countries in the world. The winemaking industry in the United States is based on the European grape Vitis vinifera cultivation. The history of wine production in the United States started in the 16th century when European settlers made wine in Jacksonville, Florida, using Scuppernong grapes.
There is a winery in every state in the U.S. Mississippi has the fewest wineries with two, and California has the most with 4,391. Some states have more wineries than other states, but that does not necessarily mean producing more wine. For example, Oregon produces less wine than New York State but has twice the number of wineries.
The ten states that produce the most wine in the U.S., and their share of total wine production, are:
- California (84.39%)
- Washington (5.053%)
- New York (3.468%)
- Pennsylvania (1.538%)
- Oregon (1.466%)
- Ohio (0.736%)
- Michigan (0.319%)
- Kentucky (0.270%)
- Vermont (0.269%)
- Virginia (0.268%)
California is the largest wine producer in the United States, producing over 84% of all U.S. wine production. California has a total of 4,391 wineries located all over the state, including famous wine regions such as Napa Valley and Sonoma. Napa Valley is known for its Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, while Sonoma is known for its Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay. If California were a country, it would be the fourth-largest wine producer in the world, behind France, Italy, and Spain.
Washington State is the second-largest wine producer in the United States; however, it produces just a fraction of what California produces. Washington accounts for just over 5% of the total American wine production. Washington's wine production began increasing rapidly starting in the 1960s, exporting wine to more than 40 countries worldwide.
The remaining 48 states produce less than 11% of the United States' total wine production.