Sonoma Coast Chardonnay The vineyards along the Sonoma Coast feature marine influences that define this sweeping appellation, an area that stretches from the beautiful San Pablo Bay all the way to the Mendocino County line. The Sonoma Coast American Viticulture Area (AVA) covers over 480,000 acres, with roughly 7,000 acres planted with vines. Temperatures are moderate, with evenings dipping to 40s as a result of the fog off Bodega Bay and day time highs typically in the low 70s. Growing grapes in the dramatically cool western reaches of Sonoma County is complex and demanding, with the end result truly worth the risk. The resulting fruit produces wines that are elegant and intensely structured.
Russian River Valley Pinot Noir The climate is shaped by the regular intrusion of cooling fog from the Pacific Ocean just a few miles to the west. Much like the tide, it ebbs and flows through the Petaluma Wind Gap and the channel cut by the Russian River. The fog usually arrives in the evening, often dropping the temperature 35 to 40 degrees from daytime highs that can reach into the 80’s during summer. The fog retreats to the ocean the following morning. This natural air-conditioning allows the grapes to develop full flavor maturity over an extended growing season — often 15 to 20 percent longer than neighboring areas — while retaining their life-giving natural acidity.
Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon By far the most famous appellation in California is the Napa Valley. Encompassing virtually all of Napa County as well as 14 distinct AVAs (American Viticultural Area), this extensive valley system, is home to the cradle of California’s viticultural history.
Napa Valley opens to the south where the climate is shaped by the maritime influences of the great San Pablo Bay. This regular influx of cool, damp air creates a meso-climate that is significantly different from that of the Northern reaches of the valley where the day’s heat can remain trapped and accumulates over the course of the summer growing season.
The other great influences on the climate of the valley are the mountains that frame its contours. With the Mayacamas Range separating Napa from Sonoma on the west and the Vaca range defining the valley’s eastern boundary there are many varied exposures, elevations, and soils here that have been deemed worthy of special attention.