U.S.A. winemaking is even older than the country itself. Native species of grapevine have covered the land since long before the voyages of Christopher Columbus or Leif Erickson, who famously named the land he had discovered after the plentiful vines. While these native American grapes have been used to make plenty of wine, the most important U.S.A. wines are still of the European species Vitis Vinifera, which was first introduced in 1629 by Franciscan monks in New Mexico.
Wine from Vitis Vinifera is now produced in at least 30 U.S.A. states, with the most important among them being California, Oregon, Washington, New York, and Virginia. The introduction of more grape varieties, more refined techniques, and a commitment to the development of U.S.A. wine has led to a strong new generation of wine-growing states including Texas, New Mexico, Vermont, New Jersey, Idaho, Missouri, Arizona, Michigan, and Ohio.
The most important event in U.S.A. wine history was likely Prohibition, which stalled the development of its young wine industry. However, ever since the landmark 'Judgement of Paris' tasting in 1976 that saw U.S.A. wines compete on equal ground with their French counterparts, the wines of the U.S.A. have commanded global recognition as among the best in the world.