Sonoma - North Coast

Northern Sonoma is one of California's largest AVAs, covering a total area of almost 350,000 acres (142,000ha). Measuring roughly 30 miles (50km) from north to south, it stretches from Sebastopol and Santa Rosa right up to the border with Mendocino County. Only marginally smaller from east to west, it falls just short of spanning the distance from Napa Valley to the Pacific coast.
In North Coast Sonoma, are located the sub-zones of Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley and Russian River Valley.

The Russian River, and the valley that traces its course, may be viewed as the main artery of Northern Sonoma. The river rises in the coastal mountains of Mendocino, and although it passes through Sonoma County for just one quarter of its length, the area it drains here constitutes the lion's share of Northern Sonoma's vineyards. The river plays a vital role in viticulture all over the region – its influence extends far beyond the AVA that bears its name.
The inventory of grape varieties in Northern Sonoma's vineyards reflects that of California as a whole. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the red-wine varieties, complemented by small quantities of its parent varieties Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. The Cabernets' Bordeaux stablemate Merlot remains significant, even if plantings are far from what they were in the 1980s and 1990s. The United States' iconic red-wine grape Zinfandel is planted in warmer, drier spots, particularly in Dry Creek Valley, while Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are predominant in the area's cooler mesoclimates. Rhône Valley stalwarts Syrah and Viognier, although far from prolific, maintain a respectable representation here.

Grape Types


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