California Red Wine
Extraordinary Red Wine

California Red Wines have proven themselves to be some of the finest wines in the world.

From as early as the 1800's the Southern part of California has always been the dominate wine growing regions of this State. The San Francisco area was the place where most of it was sold.

In the early to mid 1900's California wine was continuing to improve but was always in the shadows of the finest wine produced in France. However, in 1976 a tasting was held in Paris during the United States Bicentennial. A major upset occurred when two new wineries from Napa Valley came in first place. Stag's Leap winery won the red wine competition for their cabernet sauvignon beating out some fine Bordeaux reds from established older vines in France.

California gained amazing popularity and publicity from this competition. The French became more interested in the California wine making techniques and started to buy California properties.

In the 1990's the demand for California red wine grew amazingly fast with an increase in the number of wine retail stores and restaurants centered around the "wine experience". To put it plainly, consumers in the United States opened their eyes to the world of wine. A new era begins.

California Red Wine Regions:

California owes its remarkable red wine production to its wonderful climate. With it being one of the sunniest wine regions in the world and with it having a dramatic influence from the cool Pacific ocean breezes, the grape ripening season is lengthened. This increases the intensity and the flavors of the grapes. There are many California red wine producing regions but I would like to discuss the key regions below:

Napa Valley

California's most famous wine making region is Napa Valley. The fine red wines produced in this area are not only some of the finest in California but are also setting quality standards for red wines around the world.

The geography of the grape growing regions of Napa Valley is relatively small when compared to other wine regions around the world. It is Napa Valley's quality that has made them famous as they are only responsible for 5% of California's wine production.

Napa has a mixture of soil types and varied microclimates that allows for a diverse growing season. Visit here to learn more about Napa Valley's vineyards, wineries and tourism.

If you are planning a trip to California, perhaps a romantic getaway please visit: Romantic California Vacation: For top 10 things to do, dining venues and wine bars check out a guide to romantic getaways written by a couple who skied, sailed and honeymooned their way across the Golden State.

Sonoma County

The actual birthplace of fine wine production in California, Sonoma County has for a long time lived in the shadow of the napa Valley region. Sonoma County has over 170 wineries and over 35,000 acres of vineyards. The wines of this area continue to improve in quality. The most popular appellations of this area are:

*Russian River Valley - the coolest climate of the Sonoma area it produces fine Pinot Noir

*Dry Creek Valley - cool mornings and warmer days allow this region to grow the Zinfandel grape to perfection

*Alexander Valley - one of my favorite appellations of the Sonoma County where fine cabernet sauvignon grapes and final wines are produced

*Sonoma Valley - the oldest wine growing area of Sonoma County. Red wine grapes of cabernet sauvignon and merlot do very well here.

*Carneros - the perfect climate to produce pinot noir that is spicy and heavily berry flavored.

Sierra Foothills

This area produces some of the finest most robust Zinfandel wines in California especially in the Amador County. Many wineries in this area are experimenting with syrah and sangiovese.

Central Coast

This area runs from the San Francisco Bay area all the way to Santa Barbara County. Most notable in this area is Monterey which includes the San Luis Obispo County. This is where some of the best vineyards in California reside. Although best known for their pinot noir they are now growing and experimenting in syrah.

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