What was the most-planted white grape in the Napa Valley before Prohibition began in 1920?

A. Chenin Blanc

B. Sauvignon Blanc

C. Pinot Blanc

D. Riesling


Before Prohibition, many of the most important vintners in the Napa Valley were German. Immigrants such as Jacob Schram, Frederick Beringer, and Charles Krug forged the first wine industry in the Napa Valley using the grape they knew best: riesling. Even by the 1940s when Stony Hill Winery famously planted the largely unknown chardonnay grape in the Napa Valley, riesling plantings were four times greater than that variety. Vineyard acreage devoted to riesling declined precipitously throughout California in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, but a new surge of excitement for the varietal means that plantings are once again on the upswing. Still, today, riesling plantings comprise just over 4000 acres in California; chardonnay, 95,000 acres.

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