Sonoma County, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and Napa Valley, quietly surpasses Napa in wine production. Renowned for Pinot Noir and Sparkling Wine, Sonoma Valley, dubbed "The Valley of the Moon," offers an optimal grape-growing climate. Predominant varietals include Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir, with Merlot and Zinfandel also popular.

The region's oldest vineyards boast Zinfandel, termed America's "heritage grape," often intermingled with rare cultivars. Kistler Vineyards excels in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with their 2021 Pinot Noir acclaimed for elegance and terroir expression from the Russian River Valley.

Suppliers in Sonoma

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All wines in Sonoma
Sonoma

History of Sonoma wines

In Sonoma city, the 1923 mission station, now restored, marks Northern California's viticultural origins. Despite playing a pivotal role in California's wine expansion from the mid-19th century, Sonoma Valley was soon overshadowed by Napa.

Classifications of wines from Sonoma

As a cohesive wine region, wine producing areas located in Napa Valley are legally allowed to label its wines as Napa Valley. In Sonoma, the situation differs. Sonoma Valley, along with its sub-appellation Sonoma Mountain, is just one of many regions in this extensive county, boasting a rugged coastline and majestic redwoods.

The AVAs in Sonoma include:

  • In Alexander Valley’s elevated mountainous sites are situated above the valley floor, here Merlot and other Bordeaux grape varieties hold significance. However, in this region the predominant varietal represents Cabernet Sauvignon, but also Cabernet Franc is also cultivated and vinified in this region.
  • In the Bennett Valley the grape varieties Merlot and Chardonnay has garnered early acclaim. Also Cabernet Sauvignon has long been grown in the part of Bennett Valley that overlaps with the Sonoma Mountain AVA
  • The Carneros AVA extends into the southern end of the region that is shared with Napa Valley.A combination of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are cultivated here.
  • Chalk Hill is renowned for its production of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The region owes its reputation to the presence of chalky soils that impart distinctive characteristics to the wines produced.
  • Dry Creek Valley is especially esteemed for its Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon varietals.
  • Fort Ross wine area is famous for two varieties, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, that stand indisputably as the most prevalent grape varieties in Fort-Ross Seaview. However, an unexpected contender for popularity is the South African red varietal Pinotage.
  • Fountain grove District is located in central-eastern Sonoma County. Its wine growing region is bordered by Russian River, Knights, Sonoma, and Napa Valleys.
  • Green Valley of Russian River Valley region can be defined as a cool-climate area that specializes in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah. They also have select Zinfandel vineyards.
  • In the Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the vineyards alongside Bordeaux varietals. But also by Chardonnay, Syrah, and Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Moon Mountain’s vineyards face southwest, benefiting from sun exposure and coastal crosswinds.
  • Northern Sonoma is Sonoma County's second-largest AVA and it unites six major viticultural areas, which are all renowned for diverse varietals.
  • The status of Petaluma Gap reflects climate and topography features rather than political boundaries. The area extends into Sonoma and Marin counties.
  • Pine Mountain - Cloverdale Peak features an extended growing season and abundant sunlight that benefit red wine grapes. Especially Cabernet Sauvignon, which is the predominant varietal in this area.
  • Rockpiles winegrowing area is renowned for its Zinfandel, including a signature clone sourced from nearby St. Peter's Catholic Church.
  • Russian River Valley is known iconic varietals like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and old-vine Zinfandel.
  • Sonoma Coast’s two main varieties, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay shine in this cool-climate region. However, Syrah is also emerging as an exciting alternative.
  • Sonoma Mountain cultivates Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir which thrive in this mountainous terrain due to the influences of sun and wind exposure.
  • In Sonoma Valley’s oldest vineyards features the Zinfandel grape. However, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the wine growing area. But, Merlot, Chardonnay, and other emerging varietals thrive here also.
  • West Sonoma Coast is situated on Sonoma County's western edge. The region boasts rugged terrain and maritime climate, therefore, it specializes in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah.


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