California - a wine region with tradition and a golden future
More than 1,200 wineries - from small family businesses to large wine industry enterprises - share a cultivated area of 1,943 km². In contrast to the small-scale and comparatively densely stocked Europe, there is still plenty of room for further rapid development of wine culture in the Golden State. California can already look back on a remarkably long tradition of winegrowing by US standards: The first vineyard was planted in 1769, seven years before the United States declared independence.
The climatic conditions for winegrowing could hardly be more favourable than in California. Warm to very hot summers, which usually bring enough rain despite occasional drought, alternate with mild winters. There is hardly any danger of frost, which can ruin the harvest in late autumn and endanger the young shoots in spring. In addition, there is an extraordinary variety of soil conditions, so that ideal locations can be found for the many different grape varieties with their different requirements.
World-famous wine-growing regions in California
The wine-growing regions in California are divided into four major regions: North Coast in the north of San Francisco Bay, Central Coast between San Francisco and Santa Barbara, the continental Central Valley inland and South Coast on the Pacific coast south of Los Angeles.
Recognized wine-growing areas are known in the USA as AVAs or American Viticultural Areas. These AVAs are partially congruent with the four major regions in California. Of worldwide renown and characteristic are for example:
Located in the greater North Coast region of Napa County. Since Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley in 1976 in the blind test in Paris even outperformed the seemingly overpowering French competition, wines from this growing region have positioned themselves globally in the first row of the top wines. The cuvées from the Napa Valley in particular are held in high esteem by wine connoisseurs worldwide.
Located in Sonoma County in the North Coast region and one of the most productive growing areas in the USA. The Sonoma Valley is characterized by a very extensive and diverse range of grape varieties, including in prominent places red Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel as well as white Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Gewürztraminer and, with Riesling, the Germans' favorite white wine.
This is by far the largest wine region in California and includes important growing areas such as the Sierra Foothills AVA and the Lodi AVA. Famous, for example, are the red wines of the Zinfandel variety known as Old Vines, which grow on particularly old vines and are cultivated in Lodi AVA. Also very popular are the Sierra Foothills AVA red wines made from Syrah and Petite Syrah.
More than half of the cultivated area in the Central Coast AVA is devoted to Chardonnay, which makes this wine growing area very important, especially for the cultivation of white wine. Other high-quality white varieties grown in the Central Coast AVA include Pinos Gris or Pinot Gris, Roussanne, Sauvignon blanc, Grenache blanc and Albariño.
Recommendations for Californian top wines at VINELLO
Browse the online shop to discover your personal favorites among the much sought-after Californian wines now. As an introduction we recommend, for example, one of the following four stars among the grape juices from the West Coast of the USA:
Old Vine Zinfandel California - Gnarly Head: This is a nice example of one of the already mentioned red wines from old vines from the Lodi AVA in the Central Valley: Deep red colour, body richness as well as expressive berry- and make the Old Vine Zinfandel California the ideal companion for strongly spiced barbecue and rump steak.
Merlot Blue Label Diamond Collection - Francis Ford Coppola Winery: The grapes for this generally very soft red wine come from the Sonoma, Monterey and Paso Robles growing regions. The fruity aromas of blackberry and plum are joined by a pleasantly grounded note of fresh wood, rounded off by mineral nuances and a hint of vanilla. As a table wine, Merlot Blue Label Diamond Collection harmonises perfectly with fish dishes and Mediterranean vegetables.
Rosso & Bianco Shiraz - Francis Ford Coppola Winery: Aging in French and American oak barrels gives this sumptuously spicy wine a particularly multi-faceted character. It is made from red Shiraz (Syrah), Petite Syrah and Zinfandel. The additional addition of white Viognier gives it its bright purple hue and a fragrant floral aroma. Rosso & Bianco Shiraz is excellent with pasta and potato dishes.
Order California wines online at VINELLO
Have you got the desire to put together your own exploration tour of California? Just browse through our product range - VINELLO has many wonderful classics and exciting new discoveries in its program. Discover the variety of wines and also benefit from our sommelier advice. Secure purchasing and guaranteed prompt delivery ensure that your journey of enjoyment can begin quickly and lead you directly to the pleasure of wine.