1. All eyes on Oregon
Within the 11 million acres of Oregon’s Columbia Valley are eight of the state’s 11 distinct American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). Even so, winemakers are constantly identifying more sub-appellations, so watch for more and more distinctive wine from this region. Look for pure fruit aromas and flavors from notable winemakers.
2. The moment for merlot
Cabernet may always be king, but 2017 may finally be the year for merlot, the velvety, richly fruited “queen.” Merlot’s appreciation is long overdue, and this Bordeaux varietal still rarely receives attention in the wine news; producers and writers are more likely to mask it under the Bordeaux name or a blend.
3. Sparkling wines still sparkle
Wine buyers of all ages and demographics continue to seek sparkling wines. These bubbly, versatile bottles are celebratory yet approachable enough for every day, too. Watch for more and more options as winemakers take note.
4. Au Naturel
Health consciousness and the farm-to-fork trend are prevalent today, and in the wine scene, this translates to more than just “organic” wine. Due to increasing advances in technology, fewer wineries are touting “hand-harvesting” and “hand-sorting.” But practices of dry farming, the absence of chemical stabilizers, and the use of natural yeast will appeal to the buyers who not only want to know what they’re consuming, but also want to know where it comes from and how it was made.
5. Chill out with frosé
Frosé, a blended concoction of ice, fruit, and of course, rosé, hit the wine scene toward the end of summer 2016, but the slushed take on summer’s signature wine isn't going anywhere in 2017—especially when temperatures start to rise.
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