Visit for links to my other writings from architecture/construction, food and drink, gardening, healthy and green living to medical and surviving grief

Monday, May 15, 2017

Wining Through California And Not Going To Napa Or Sonoma

Planning on a wine-infused vacation in California?

Don’t do your palate an injustice by only doing the tastings in Napa and Sonoma. 

No doubt their vino is superb, but so are the many diversified varietals from the far north to southern portion of the Golden State. In addition, some of the less-popular regions hold wine tastings for less than $10.00 or even better – for free.

Raise your glasses, pirates! There is nothing to whine about on any of these places.

Sierra Foothills
Where the Gold Rush began and the Sierra Nevada foothills begin lies a host of award-winning wineries. Here in the AVA’s five counties (Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado as well as Nevada and Placer), are 1,000s of microclimates. 

Hot summer days followed by nights of cool mountain air give the grapes distinctive hardiness. Typically, Big Reds like Barbera, Sangiovese and Syrah are the region’s output in addition to full-flavored Zinfandel. Great winery towns include Placerville, Plymouth and Murphys.
Boeger Winery - Placerville

Inland Valleys
This is America’s garden. Agricultural riches like almonds, asparagus and tomatoes feed millions grown from the Sacramento and Central Valleys to Lodi and the Delta down to Madera County. Grapes have meant big business for over a century. Their wines are extremely diverse. Big jammy-like Zinfandel from Lodi with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot coming from the region of the Delta. Towns with wineries include Acampo, Oroville and Clarksburg.

Lodi winery signs

Southern California
If Hollywood, Malibu and Disneyland is all you think when you hear Southern California…be prepared for some grape adventures. Since the 1700s vineyards have grown in the Temecula and Cucumonga Valleys, across the San Diego and Los Angeles area. Now tasting rooms serve Italian and Rhône varietals such as Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Zin and port-style wines. Towns with wineries include Ramona, Warner Springs and Lancaster

Milagro Winery by Russ Harris

Far North
In the land of towering redwoods and the Pacific crashing against rocky coastlines, wine is created in quieter, sometimes eclectic, wineries. Grapes grow under diverse conditions. The interior of the six counties in Shasta Cascades region is warm, while cold harsh weather predominately occur on the coast. The wine is equally varied. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir remain oenophiles’ favorites as does Brut sparkling wine. Towns with wineries include Trinity Center, Eureka and Arcata.

Pinot noir grapes

Central Coast
California’s largest wine region has the longest history, starting with the 18th-century Franciscan monks. Vineyards were planted as they established missions along the famed El Camino Real. Fog trapped between the ocean and mountain ranges means a longer hang time for the grapes garnering superior tasting Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Roussanne. Towns with wineries include Paso Robles, Livermore and Santa Maria.

Morning fog in Paso Robles

North Coast
The scenery is as gorgeous as the wines found here. Napa and Sonoma are joined by the counties of Lake and Mendocino in producing highly esteemed Cabernet Sauvignon, among other varietals like Pinot Noir and Syrah. Tastings, unlike other regions, can be pricy, But, if you chalk it up to one-in-a-lifetime experience the money might be worth it. Towns with wineries include Hopland, Ukiah and Lower Lake.

North Coast vineyards

No comments:

Post a Comment