What is the Other 46?
The Other 46 is quite simply, any wine which was not made in California, Oregon, Washington state or New York state.
Here’s why it’s important (I’ve also chosen to exclude California from the chart since we produce almost all of the bulk wine in America and therefore about 90% of the total production and then this chart ends up not being very helpful at all):
Oregon’s barely visible right? How many articles have you read about Oregon wine? Or Washington wine? How many about Idaho, Texas, Michigan, Arizona or New Mexico?
That’s the general point, there’s an entire wine industry larger than many of the secondary production states (in terms of size at least) which simply isn’t talked about in the mainstream wine press.
That’s something that is thankfully beginning to change and before you ask about us at Uncorked Ventures since we only cover three states and therefore aren’t helping much here, I don’t have any issue covering wine production in other states that we don’t normally visit.
The Other 46 movement is an important one for the wine industry. If we’re going to have a moment of clarity, there’s a very real competition happening for American wallets right now between craft beer and low production wine. Craft beer might be winning by opening where people actually live, without talking incessantly about where their hops are grown. Does anyone ask? Do you care? I don’t.
Wine is doing better than most people realize, in large part because there is so much wine produced by small, inherently local wineries. I try and cover those type of California, Oregon and Washington wines for my wine clubs, but there isn’t any reason to not try the winery down the street from your house. You’ll likely be pleasantly surprised by the quality of what’s offered and while the marketing folks at large California wineries HATE the idea, the winemakers simply figure that once you start drinking wine regularly, you’ll eventually want to try some from the most established growing regions in the world, Napa Valley included of course and longer term that’s good for them.