Wine from California

According to the Wine Institute, there are over are over 200 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in the United States and over 100 AVAs in California alone.

Each AVA is recognized as having unique growing conditions such as climate (i.e. temperature, humidity), soil (i.e. drainage, acidity) or altitude that results in certain characteristics in the finished wine.

When an AVA is designated on a wine label, 85% of the grapes used to make that wine must have come from that AVA. If a non-AVA, Appellation or region, is designated on a wine label, at least 75% of the grapes must come from that area. It should be noted that the designation of an AVA does not guarantee the quality of the wine, but may sometimes infer a general characteristic of the wine.

In very general terms, California wine grape growing regions can be divided into the following:

Wine Region

Example AVAs

North Coast

Sonoma Valley, Napa Valley, Alexander Valley, Guenoc Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Los Carneros

Central Valley

Anderson Valley, Lodi, Clarksburg

Sierra Foothills

Amador County, Shenandoah Valley, El Dorado, Fiddletown

Central Coast

Livermore Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains, Monterey, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley

South Coast

Temecula, San Pasqual Valley

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Lakeville Cellars 2007 Maxwell Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

Ripe fig, honey and crisp melon notes precede a layer of lemon, herb and tangy acidity. Full-flavored and delicious.

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