Definition - What does Sonoma mean?
Sonoma is a wine growing region along the northern California coast of the United States. The region stretches from the Mayacamas Mountains in the east all the way to the Pacific Ocean in the west. The region has 16 appellations and is considered to be the largest wine producing region in Northern California.
The diversity of geography and climate within the region allows for the production of diverse wines, from Zinfandels and Cabernets grown in the mild Valleys to the Pinot Noirs from the cooler eastern elevations.
WineFrog explains Sonoma
With over 60,000 planted acres of wine vines and close to 400 wineries, Sonoma is a thriving wine growing region. Located north of San Francisco, Sonoma produces a large variety of varietals and wine styles due to its diverse coastal, valley and mountain climates. The region has 17 different appellations:
- Alexander Valley
- Bennett Valley
- Carneros - Sonoma
- Chalk Hill
- Dry Creek Valley
- Fort Ross - Seaview
- Fountaingrove District
- Green Valley of Russian River Valley
- Knights Valley
- Moon Mountain
- Northern Sonoma
- Pine Mountain - Cloverdale Peak
- Russian River Valley
- Sonoma Coast
- Sonoma Mountain
- Sonoma Valley
This appellation distribution demonstrates the distinctive micro-climates within the region.
Grapes were planted in Sonoma as early as 1812, however, Agoston Haraszthy is credited with planting the first wine grapes in the region in 1855 and with importing over 100,000 cuttings from Europe after being sent to Europe to study viticulture by the California government during the 1860’s.