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Six varietals predominate California wines. They are: the white Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, and the red Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. There are other common varietals that you will find but not as often as the six above. You will find among the white wines Viognier, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Gris. Among the reds, the Syrah grape is becoming very popular. So are the California Italian wines of Barbera and Sangiovese. Cabernet Franc, a common filler in Cabernet and Merlot wines, is also becoming more popular. According to www.calwine.com, a Web site dedicated to California wines, the top sellers are: - 2004 T-Vine Duarte Vineyard Syrah - 2002 Cakebread Cellars Merlot - 2003 Cakebread Cellars Merlot - 2003 Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay Napa Valley - 2001 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|