Toward the end of Ernie’s life he worked on a “statistical” book of California grape production. This was not a simple exercise meant to document varieties and tons but meant as an exposé of what he rightly understood to be deceptive wine labeling. The clear conclusion was that in most premium wine grape regions there was a lot more wine being sold than the grapes grown there could possibly produce. In most cases this is probably not illegal but extremely deceptive nonetheless.
In the US, wine representing an appellation is required to be 85% from that appellation. Some wineries in expensive appellations give winemakers instructions to be sure to use the “leftover” 15% with lesser valued grapes. I am not saying that these grapes are poor but just that they are not of the appellation and their presence is never revealed. I think I want to know what is in the bottle.
Berryessa Gap – 100% Yolo County!