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Friday, January 9, 2015

Best Wineries in America

Everyone likes to publish lists for "the best of" or sometimes "the worst of." Often the ones found on the Internet seem to be just excuses to get you to scroll through pages and pages of their advertisers. Also, how do you define "best?" Awhile ago Forbes published a list of "Best Places to Retire" that included Fargo, ND and Pittsburgh, PA. Huh?

"The 101 Best Wineries in America" from a website called The Daily Meal caught my eye. They claim their best of list is based on quality, consistency, and value. Sounds perfect! Of course, it's also based on opinion. Plus the sampling size is huge--there are over 8,000 wineries to choose from. Not quite as easy as picking the ten best cars, for example.

There will always be lots of opinions as to what was left off or the order of the wineries, but it's still fun reading. There are wineries from all over the country as they seemed to want to hit lots of wine-growing states. I'm guessing you haven't heard of most of the wineries.

The list.  If you don't wish to sit through the slide show, though that's the most informative way to view their choices, you can select thumbnails to pick which wineries you wish to check out.

Some caught my eye as they are a few of my favorites for "quality, consistency, and value" -- Balletto and Pedroncelli in Sonoma County, Schramsberg in Napa, and Navarro in Mendocino. Some of the ol' standbys that should be on the list are there, like Heitz, Mondavi, Rochioli, and Ridge. Maybe when you see a wine from one of these wineries you may want to pick up a bottle and see if The Daily Meal knows what they're talking about.

The Ballettos were asked to sponsor a baseball team some of the employees were playing for. Instead the family built them a baseball field in the vineyards. Talk about a field of dreams! Balletto won a sweepstakes award for best red wine at last autumn's Sonoma County Harvest Fair.
Baseball in the vineyards
image from ballettovineyards.com