California

While many North American states make wine, California (along with Washington State and Oregon) drives the fine wine industry. In 2005 it accounted for 200,000 hectares of vinous vines. Napa Valley is acknowledged to be the world's second-best source of Cabernet Sauvignon/Bordeaux blends and Chardonnays, while Santa Barbara and Sonoma Counties are home to world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Learn more about California

While many North American states make wine, it's California (along with Washington State and Oregon) that drives the fine wine (vitis vinifera) industry.

In 2005 California alone accounted for 200,000 hectares of vinous vines (as opposed to those grown for jelly or raisins), well in excess of Washington's 12,150 hectares and Oregon's 5,500 hectares. California's Napa Valley is acknowledged to be the world's second-best source of Cabernet Sauvignon/Bordeaux blends and Chardonnays (in Carneros), while its Santa Barbara and Sonoma Counties are home to world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Top-notch Zinfandel is also grown in Sonoma County.

The Californian wine industry was born in the south on the back of 18th century Spanish missionaries, and it consolidated in the north following the 1849 Gold Rush. Soon after, vitis vinifera varieties including Zinfandel made their appearance, edging out the inferior Mission grape. French and German immigrants (Krug, Schram, Beringer) helped develop the industry initially in Sonoma and then Napa, before fanning out to the Santa Cruz Mountains, south of the Bay area.

Cabernet Sauvignon was first produced as a wine in Sonoma in the late 19th century, at a time when many of Napa's reds were made from Rhône varieties and Zinfandel. The viticultural boom was accelerated by the transnational railway but was then literally stopped in its tracks by Phylloxera during the 1890s. However, as with Europe, a negative was turned into a positive as the disease allowed the industry to effect many viticultural improvements (varieties, vine densities, trellising). Prohibition threatened to further derail the industry further, were it not for an unprecedented demand for grapes for home winemaking, as well as for sacramental wine. 

Despite the Repeal in 1933, the Fine Wine (ie Napa) industry didn't recover until the 1960s, when the likes of Chateau Montelena, Heitz, Robert Mondavi and Paul Draper made their move. In 1976, several of Napa's wines outshone their French counterparts in a blind tasting known as ‘The Judgement of Paris’. Such success was short-lived however, as the industry was hit first by the oil crisis, then by the re-emergence of Phylloxera during the late 1980s; the fad for White Zinfandel was an additional setback.

The modern era continues to see an insatiable appetite for Napa wineries, pushing the price of land beyond even the reach of the Silicon Valley techies, piling even more pressure on winemakers to hit 100 points and so justify their fee and the $150-per-bottle price tags.

Californian viticulture is made possible thanks to the presence of the Pacific Ocean, its cool Humboldt Current tempering the summer heat through cyclical onshore breezes and rolling fog, so extending the ripening time of the grapes.

Additionally, to the east of San Francisco the 5,000-metre-tall Sierra Nevada mountain range triggers precipitation, which in turn feeds Central Coast irrigation channels. While the Winkler scale of heat summation points to regional differences, it appears to ignore the subtleties of terroir.

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Please note:

Wines sold "In Bond" (including BBX) or “En Primeur” are not available for immediate delivery and storage charges may apply.

Duty and VAT must be paid separately before delivery can take place.

Chateau Beaux Hauts, Drink now,

Bottle

£14.95

Case price (6)
£80.70 Saving £9.00

Bottle 6 x 75cl 126cs

£50.58
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Ramey Wine Cellars, Ready, but will improve,

Bottle

£160.00

Case price (12)
£1,728.00 Saving £192.00

Bottle 6 x 75cl 2cs

£706.98
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Verite Winery, For laying down,

Case price (Bottle 6 x 75cl)

£1,599.54

Bottle 6 x 75cl 1cs

£1,319.94
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Verite Winery, For laying down,

Case price (Bottle 6 x 75cl)

£2,463.54

Bottle 6 x 75cl 30cs

£2,039.94
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Verite Winery, Ready, but will improve,

Case price (Bottle 6 x 75cl)

£2,463.54

Bottle 6 x 75cl 30cs

£2,039.94
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Verite Winery, Ready, but will improve,

Case price (Bottle 6 x 75cl)

£2,463.54

Bottle 6 x 75cl 29cs

£2,039.94
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Shafer Hillside, Ready, but will keep,

Case price (Bottle 6 x 75cl)

£2,521.20

Bottle 6 x 75cl 3cs

£2,088.00

Bottle 6 x 75cl 1cs

£2,000.00
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Opus One, Ready, but will improve,

Case price (Magnum 3 x 150cl)

£1,783.20

Magnum 3 x 150cl 3cs

£1,473.00
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Opus One, Ready, but will improve,

Case price (Magnum 3 x 150cl)

£1,909.20

Magnum 3 x 150cl 3cs

£1,578.00
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Harlan Estate, Ready, but will keep,

Case price (Bottle 6 x 75cl)

£8,100.00

Bottle 6 x 75cl 1cs

£5,699.94
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Screaming Eagle, For laying down,

Case price (Bottle 3 x 75cl)

£7,800.00

Bottle 3 x 75cl 2cs

£5,549.97
En Primeur

Bottle 3 x 75cl 7cs

£6,210.00
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Screaming Eagle, For laying down,

Case price (Bottle 3 x 75cl)

£7,800.00

Bottle 3 x 75cl 4cs

£5,774.97
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Screaming Eagle, Ready, but will improve,

Case price (Bottle 3 x 75cl)

£8,400.00

Bottle 3 x 75cl 3cs

£6,269.97
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Screaming Eagle, For laying down,

Case price (Bottle 3 x 75cl)

£8,400.00

Bottle 3 x 75cl 4cs

£6,359.97
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Screaming Eagle, For laying down,

Case price (Bottle 3 x 75cl)

£9,000.00

Bottle 3 x 75cl 2cs

£6,899.97
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Dominus Estate, Ready, but will improve,

Bottle 12 x 75cl 1cs

£375.00

Bottle 12 x 75cl 1cs

£425.00
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Dominus Estate, For laying down,

Bottle 6 x 75cl 1cs

£595.00

Bottle 6 x 75cl 1cs

£730.00
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Dominus Estate, Ready, but will improve,

Bottle 6 x 75cl 1cs

£999.00
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Dominus Estate, Ready, but will improve,

Bottle 12 x 75cl 1cs

£480.00
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Ridge Vineyards, Ready, but will keep,

Bottle 6 x 75cl 1cs

£1,120.00

Magnum 3 x 150cl 1cs

£898.00

Magnum 3 x 150cl 2cs

£928.00
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Dominus Estate, Ready, but will keep,

Bottle 6 x 75cl 1cs

£1,049.00
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Hundred Acre Winery, Ready, but will improve,

Bottle 3 x 75cl 1cs

£900.00
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Shafer Vineyards, Ready, but will improve,
UK CUSTOMERS ONLY

Bottle 12 x 75cl 1cs

£375.00
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Opus One, For laying down,

Bottle 6 x 75cl 1cs

£1,450.00

Bottle 6 x 75cl 1cs

£1,500.00

Bottle 6 x 75cl 1cs

£2,800.00
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Colgin Cellars, Ready, but will improve,

Bottle 12 x 75cl 2cs

£4,800.00
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Lokoya, For laying down,
New To BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl 1cs

£1,950.00
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Colgin Cellars, Ready, but will improve,

Bottle 12 x 75cl 1cs

£5,000.00
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Opus One, Ready, but will keep,
New To BBX

Bottle 6 x 75cl 2cs

£1,700.00
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Dominus Estate, Ready, but will keep,

Bottle 6 x 75cl 1cs

£935.00
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Dominus Estate, Ready, but will keep,

Bottle 6 x 75cl 1cs

£1,100.00
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Showing 1-30 out of 102 items