Napa/Sonoma Counties Wine

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Napa and Sonoma counties in the North Coast of California are two of the most famous centers of wine in the United States. Wine production in both regions began in the 1800s when European settlers transplanted vines from the homeland. Their stories are similar, with various periods of boom and bust since then, most notably during the Prohibition. From the 1960s on, these regions have seen enormous growth, with diverse winemaking styles from traditional to modern, large scale commercial and small scale boutique, popular jug wines and bank-breaking cult wines, and the rise in significance of organic/sustainable practices. 
Though there is a large range in microclimates and topography spread between these regions, one can categorically state that Napa is typically warmer than Sonoma. Napa has hot and dry summers with cool winters. The Pacific Ocean has more of a cooling effect on Sonoma, with foggy valleys toward the coast, getting hotter and drier moving further inland. 

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Popular wines made in Napa/Sonoma Counties under $20

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Varietals Produced in Napa/Sonoma Counties View all

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

Subregions of Napa/Sonoma Counties

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Napa/Sonoma Counties on Snooth

  • Schug Pinot Noir Carneros Heritage Reserve 2006


    No written review

    Wine review by aepark

  • Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon California 2010


    No written review

    Wine review by wnewport

  • Franciscan Cuvée Sauvage Chardonnay 2006


    Hints of apple skins, clove and smoked ham. Very complex and wild. I really liked this.-Tasted at the winery 9/20/09Found a single bottle at a wine store, so being that I enjoyed it at the winery, I got it and had it for Christmas dinner. Went great with the ham! Such a rustic and wild type of chardonnay, it will benefit from some breathing ... Read More

    Wine review by VegasOenophile

  • X Winery Los Carneros Chardonnay 2007


    Low on the butter (thank Christ) but a bit more vanilla than I like. Mean it in a good way that at it's best moments, drank like Hawaiian Tropic Suntan Lotion with coconut-y-ness. Read More

    Wine review by jasonkauf

  • Bonneau Wines Los Carneros Chardonnay Catherine's Vineyard 2007


    Warm yellow gold color, at 50 degrees F, aromas of ripe pear and green apple, viscous and round pear, apple and vanilla, balanced with good acidity, continues to a lengthy finish. A terrific Carneros Chardonnay! Read More

    Wine review by InWineTruth

  • Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon California 2010


    No written review

    Wine review by ecistrunk

  • Schug Pinot Noir Carneros Heritage Reserve 2006


    Light, but still reasonably complex with delicate cherry and strawberry flavors. Nice tannins. Though this particular offering from Schug was oaked more than the Sonoma Coast and Carneros pinot noirs that I tasted, it did not create an overpowering or exceedingly full wine, but rather helped to add a subtle complexity. Overall, pretty nice. Read More

    Wine review by Pyrifera

  • Californias Sierra foothills appellation spans across some of the least heralded great wine producing regions of the state. Unlike Napa and Sonoma, Cabernet Sauvignon did not serve as a historic touchstone here, though the history of wine production is almost as long. In contrast to the hype and glitter of newer regions propelled to fame by fadd... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Strike it rich in the Sierra...

  • Franciscan Cuvée Sauvage Chardonnay 2006


    No written review

    Wine review by thejanes

  • The North American Wine Bloggers Conference will be in Napa and Sonoma Counties July 24th - 26th, 2009. Between 200 and 250 wine bloggers and wine & spirits industry related people to attend this years event.We hope you can join us and at any level of participation. Whether you join us to learn or to ma... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine Bloggers Conference -...

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