Why Gordon Ramsay Believes Californian Wines Are Among The Best In The World

Gordon Ramsay has never kept his reverence for wine a secret. Ramsay, who once cooked for Princess Diana, states on his signature wines website, "Wine has always fascinated me — a complex marriage of tradition, art, science, land, and people, all captured together in a glass." Moreover, when discussing wine strongholds, the "Hell's Kitchen" host has made it known that California's vinos can hold their own against those from France, Italy, or any other winemaking region.

"My time in California has convinced me that Californian wines stand with the best in the world," said the celebrity chef. "Passionate winemakers in California's cooler climate regions are producing delicious, balanced wines that complement our cuisine."

Ramsay's feelings towards the Golden State may be why he chose to collaborate with the Monterey, California-based vineyard Seabold Cellars when creating his own line of vegan wines. With close to 3,000 wineries and 4,600 vineyards, California is definitely a powerhouse in the world of wine, but are her bottles of red, white, and rose on par with those of the French variety?

Over 95% of U.S. wine exports

The reality is that California wines are, indeed, France's equal, and in some cases, better. To wit, in 1976 at the famous "Judgment of Paris" wine tasting, a 1973 Stag's Leap Cab came out on top during a blind taste test conducted by a group of French wine judges. At that same tasting, a Napa Valley Chardonnay also found itself besting its French competitors. From that point forward, California wines have gained copious accolades and a reputation to match, making it easy to understand why Gordon Ramsay feels the way he does about the quality of their aqua vitae.

In fact, more than 95% of all U.S. wine exports come from California — with Continental Europe being among the fans of her chardonnay, cabernets, syrah, and pinot noir. But it is worth noting, however, that Cali only exports 3% of its wine. This is largely due to the fact that most vineyards are small and the demand for their wines locally is so great, they simply do not have the inventory to export. 

If you want to drink like Ramsay and see what the hype is all about for yourself, start with this definitive list of the 25 California wineries all enthusiasts should know about.