California

Definition - What does California mean?

California is a New World Region located on the western coast of the United States, bordered by Oregon to the North, Nevada to the East and Arizona to the Southeast. It is the most popular and largest wine-producing region in the country, with 107 American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) spread across 420 thousand acres and more than 1200 wineries. It is responsible for almost 90 percent of the wine produced in the country.

Californian wine areas are separated into five major regions:

  • North Coast
  • Central Coast
  • Sierra Foothills
  • Southern Coast
  • Central Valley

California's most popular and recognizable AVAs are Napa Valley, Sonoma, and the Shenandoah Valley.

WineFrog explains California

The first vineyard dedicated to producing wine in California dates back to the 18th century. Since then, there has been an increase in viticulture, and now, more than a 100 different types of grapes are grown in California. Some of the most famous grape varieties grown here are Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, which are all noble grapes.

The high levels of production in California are due to the varied climates within the state that influence the variety of AVAs in the region. Almost all wine regions in California have a different soil type, climate, and topography. This is responsible for the high number of AVAs and the varieties of grapes grown in the state.

California is now known for its remarkable New World wine styles along with its dessert and sparkling wines.

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