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Sonoma County Wine Country

The Sonoma Valley AVA is the cultural heart and soul of Sonoma Wine Country. The northern part of the valley is quite narrow, and widens in the south where it is exposed to wind and fog from the San Pablo Bay. Just to the west, the Sonoma Mountain AVA has a warm climate that is renowned for Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Both AVA’s have excellent examples of Sonoma Wineries.

Just to the north, the Bennett Valley AVA is quite a bit cooler than its more elevated neighbor. Sonoma Wineries in this area are largely planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Carneros is in the extreme southern part of Sonoma County. The Sonoma side of the region is quite a bit flatter, more wind-swept and subsequently cooler than the Napa side. Some of the best Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and sparkling wine from Sonoma Wineries are from this AVA.

Russian River Valley is a large Sonoma County region that has an excellent track record of producing wine with many different grapes. Chalk Hill and Green Valley are both sub-AVAs of Sonoma County. While Chalk Hill is located in the warmer eastern hills, Green Valley is situated in the cooler, western part of Sonoma County near the Pacific Ocean.

The Sonoma Coast AVA is another large region that extends the entire length of Sonoma Wine Country. There are many outstanding Pinot Noir producers here, and more are arriving all the time. If you are looking to taste Pinot Noir, this is a great region to visit Sonoma Wineries.

Quite a bit inland from Sonoma County’s Coast is Alexander Valley one of the best Cabernet Sauvignon producing regions in the state. Because of the number of outstanding Sonoma Wineries and proximity to Highway 101, the AVA is a great place to visit in Sonoma Wine Country.

Just over the western hills, Zinfandel dominates in the Dry Creek Valley and Rockpile wine regions. While Zinfandel also does well in Knights Valley, this AVA is best known for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma Wineries are known for these varietals.

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