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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • Merlot

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • 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

  • Del Frisco's Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2010


    Smooth, bold and balanced Cabernet Sauvignon. Goes beautifully with any steak. Check it out in the restaurant. Read More

    Wine review by sbr1105

  • Charles Shaw Pinot Grigio California 2010


    The Pinot Grigio is an excellent wine. My only recommendation is that do not use the artificial cork. It is very difficult to open. Use instead Screw Cap. (Matanza Winery is using it!) Easier to open and less expensive for you. You should consider also to 1.5 liter bottles. Andre, San Rafael, CA Read More

    Wine review by mark

  • OT,in Al's defense, I don't think I really matters whether it's in Napa or Sonoma as he'll likely be in both counties.However, I'm totally behind you about the BYO thingy.  Al's accumulating wine faster than he drinks it.  That is a SIN.  For the life of me I cannot build beyond my 90+/-  bottles.  I drink some and replace some, but those are co... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Thursday Wine Discussions

  • Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon California 2010


    No written review

    Wine review by erickafilm

  • Charles Shaw Merlot California 2012


    No written review

    Wine review by mark

  • Acacia Pinot Noir Carneros 2012


    No written review

    Wine review by mnotani

  • If 2010 was cold and things couldn't ripen, then how to explain 2011 tasting like the kind of merlot that's popular?  '11 was really lean and cool. I think '10 was moving along as a cool vintage and had been, in many cases, raised accordingly, but then the heat spikes burned a lot of fruit.  The key was selection--surprisingly, a lot of the reds... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Clos du Bois North Coast...

  • Crane Lake Sangiovese 2011


    I like this wine because for the price. it tastes well ! I'm realizing that a good wine does not have to be expensive, although it may not win any awards, than again maybe it should. Read More

    Wine review by Pickit4flavor

  • Mira Winery Pinot Noir Stanly Ranch 2011


    An impressive Pinot Noir that is easy to drink and has a lovely finish. You can taste all the notes that compliment each other perfectly. Read More

    Wine review by Mira Winery

  • DMCKER, Also to answer your previous post: o Isaac, how many roadtrips do you guys take out of Berkeley on a weekend or three (or better yet weekday)? Any personal connections going already with winemakers in Napa, Sonoma, Marin, Mendocino, Lake Counties, down in the Santa Cruz mountains and the Pinnacles, or even up in Lodi?Ha! We don't get to ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic HELP! Conducting a Survey for...

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