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How Napa Carneros’ Climate Affects Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Production

The Carneros AVA straddles the southern parts of Napa and Sonoma Counties. It is the coolest wine region in Napa, but not in Sonoma. The Sonoma Coast contains some vineyards grown in more marginal climates. The Napa side of Carneros is hillier and a bit warmer than the Sonoma side. Merlot may very well be the future here. Artesa Winery is located in this part of the region.

As you move away from the San Pablo Bay, temperatures begin to rise and the terrain becomes rolling hills. Merlot, Syrah , and even Cabernet Sauvignon are successfully grown here. Located in the St Helena AVA, Clos Pegase sources Cab from Carneros.

Although warmer microclimates exist, most of Napa Carneros’ climate is defined by wind and fog from the bay. This has a cooling effect and allows the region to grow world class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Etude Wines, McKenzie Mueller, and Ancien Wines are among the many local wineries that excel at producing these grapes.

Some of the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grown in cooler parts of Carneros is used for sparkling wine. Owned by the Taittinger Family, Domaine Carneros is an impressive winery that focuses on Carneros bubbly.

> Napa Carneros Wineries

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