North America

South Coast

  • On the far side of Los Angeles are vineyards known collectively as the South Coast. This was a center for 19th century viticulture in America, much more important in its time than the North Coast, but the area died out because of prohibition and Pierce’s Disease – a problem that is once again decimating the vineyards.

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  • Moraga
    The area has a warm Region III climate and little rain. One standout is Moraga in Bel Air. AVAs in the south coast include the tiny Pasqual by the ocean, and Temecula, which is a hot region ravaged by Pierce's Disease.

    Central Valley
    California's Central Valley, stretching over 200 miles from Dunnigan Hills, north of Sacramento, south past Fresno, is a large region, responsible for 70% of the state's volume of wine. The climate is hot (Region IV – V), the soils are fertile and yields are often high.

    South of Dunnigan Hills and the sprawl of Sacramento, Lodi is in the area of the Sacramento River delta, with its cooling influence. Other AVAs of this delta area are Clarksburg and Merritt Island. Another area within San Joaquin county is Madera. These areas are located at the cooler end of the valley and have produced solid quality table and dessert wines.

    Sierra Nevada AVAs
    East of these areas lay the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains where several AVAs exist. North Yuba, north of El Dorado, was created for Renaissance Winery. El Dorado AVA has 1,000 acres of high elevation vineyards terraced into the hills. Zinfandel is a popular grape, as it is in Amador county and the Fiddletown region within it. This is the home of some of the biggest, most alcoholic Zinfandels produced in the state. Shenandoah is another nearby region, located partly in El Dorado and partly in Amador county. This is home to the famous Grandpere vineyard, planted in the 1860s and rediscovered by Darryl Corti and Bob Trinchero. Other Sierra Foothills regions include Calaveras County.

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