Allan Green, owner and winemaker of Greenwood Ridge Vineyards in Anderson Valley (Mendocino County), has the largest wine can collection in the world. It's an interesting honour because, as far as he knows, he is also the only person accumulating them.
Green received his first wine can in 1980 and now most of his 400 or so cans he keeps at home in a room that's lined floor to ceiling with shelves. That first can was an attempt to jump on the bandwagon of the successful tin packaging of beer in 1935. Acampa Brand California Muscatel from Acampa Winery in Lodi (San Joaquin County) was one of the first to give it a try in 1936. With this can in his possession, Green's fledgling collection was off and running.
An early addition that remains a favourite is "Smile-with-Vin-Tin-Age" California Port, produced in Elk Grove (Sacramento County). It features, as he describes, "a bow-tied, red-faced guy lifting his glass in salute who looks as if he is enjoying his wine to the extreme." Contents: 20% alcohol.
If he has what he calls the "unfortunate circumstance" of obtaining the wine cans when they're full, he disposes of the contents. After all, canned wines aren't exactly meant to be aged. When asked the inevitable question, "Would Greenwood Ridge ever consider cans?" Green's answer comes as a question of its own: "If you made a fine wine that you were very proud of, would you put it in a can?"
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