Sonoma County

Sonoma’s red wines

Sonoma County as an ideal location to craft fine wines is the birthplace of the wine industry in California. It’s located within a short drive of San Francisco, just 45 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge, right next to Napa County.

Diversity of soil

What makes Sonoma County so special wine region with its four districts of Sonoma Valley, Bennett Valley, Sonoma Mountain, and Carneros? There is more diversity of soil here than the other wine regions of California. The whole region is about a million acres and about 85% of its vineyards are family-owned.

It sees benefits from the cooling effects, benefits for certain varietals, varietals like Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. The cooler air of the afternoons, the warm California sunshine, and the cool coastal fog helps the grapes retain acidity and brought together the very best elements for wine growing in an endless diversity region, both climate, and geography.

Soils run from decomposed sandstone to granite on the coast to a lot of volcanic activity farther east.

Grape varietals

The viticultural landscape of Sonoma is dominated by a few classic grapes. Zinfandel is actually grown everywhere in Sonoma County being a native California grape. And that became a point of pride that this was California’s own grape. It was just here as a table grape, and then someone said, „Hey, let’s try making wine out of it.”

And then, all the way through the 1880s, 1880s, Zinfandel just exploded. Today, Zinfandel is considered a local specialty, but classic French grapes (Pino Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah) provide some of the country’s most impressive wines. Ample sunshine well-drained soils, great expositions. The cooler coastal sites grow Syrah with a lot more spice and pepper.

The best part in Sonoma for the Bordeaux varietal – Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, even Petit Verdot, and Malbec – they grow the best in the hillside, on the Knights Valley, by Mount St. Helena.

All in all, Sonoma County produces really great wines from full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon to sparkling wines. Today seven grapes make up 90% of commercial plantings in Sonoma County.

Sonoma red wines are perfect, it’s worth to taste them.

Photo credit: Stephanie McCabe