Top Ten Sonoma County Appellations

Top Ten Sonoma County Appellations

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  1. Russian River Valley
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    The Russian River Valley lies adjacent to and west of the city of Santa Rosa and incorporates the southern reach of the Russian River, where the river bends westward and cuts through the Coast Range to the Pacific Ocean. The AVA is characterized by regular cooling fog from the coast. The fog flows through the Petaluma Wind Gap and the channel cut by the river. The fog generally arrives in the evening or early morning and retreats before noon in the day. The appellation was granted AVA status in 1983 and accounts for about one-sixth of the total planted vineyard acreage in Sonoma County. In 2005 the AVA was expanded by 30,200 acres to 126,600 by recognizing previously overlooked portions of the fog regions. Presently the Russian River AVA includes more than 15,000 acres planted to wine grapes. About 80 wineries are present in the Russian River Valley. The area is known for its success with cool climate varietals, notably Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
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  2. Sonoma Valley
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    Sonoma Valley is known for its unique terroir with Sonoma Mountain protecting the area from the wet and cool influence of the nearby Pacific Ocean. The Sonoma Mountains to the west help protect the valley from excessive rainfall. The cool air that does affect the region comes northward from San Pablo Bay through the Carneros region and southward from the Santa Rosa plain. Sonoma Valley has played a significant role in the history of California wine.
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  3. Dry Creek Valley
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    Dry Creek Valley in the Russian River Valley centers around Dry Creek, a tributary of the Russian River, and is approximately 16 miles long and 2 miles wide. The appellation is known particularly for its Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel production. Dry Creek Valley AVA is home to the majority of the Sonoma Gallo vineyards, who established winery facilities in the valley in the early 1990’s.
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  4. Alexander Valley
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    Alexander Valley runs along the Russian River north of Healdsburg to Mendocino County. It is one of the most densely planted vineyards in Sonoma County. Viticulture has existed in the area since the 1850s but the wine industry has only recently experienced success beginning in the 1960s with Simi Winery. Significant purchases of vineyard land by E & J Gallo Winery in 1988 and Kendall-Jackson in 1996 also raised the status of the Alexander Valley. Alexander Valley wines include Cabernet, Chardonnay Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel.
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  5. Los Carneros
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    Los Carneros spans the low hills of the Mayacamas Mountains dividing both Napa and Sonoma Valleys just north of San Pablo Bay. The larger portion of the AVA stretches into Sonoma County with grapes grown here also being allowed to use the Sonoma Valley AVA designation. The area’s close proximity to the Bay has made it an ideal location for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay production with producers from international Champagne houses such as Moët et Chandon (Domaine Chandon California), Taittinger (Domaine Carneros), and Cava producers planting vineyards or sourcing grapes from the area.
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  6. Sonoma Mountain
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    The Sonoma Mountains, includes the town of Glen Ellen and is bordered on the west by the Sonoma Valley AVA. The area is known for the diverse micro-climates that occur within the crevices and folds of the hillside terrain and as such is home to production for a wide range of varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Zinfandel.
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  7. Rockpile
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    Rockpile is situated at the northwest point of the Dry Creek Valley AVA, past Healdsburg. The area was first planted by Italian immigrants at the turn of the 20th century. Many of today’s vineyards were formerly occupied by a reservoir created by the Warm Springs Dam on the Russian River. The area is known for its fruity, ripe Zinfandels.
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  8. Sonoma Coast
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    Sonoma Coast contains more than 500,000 acres, mostly along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean. It extends from San Pablo Bay to the border with Mendocino County. The appellation is known for its cool climate and high rainfall relative to other parts of Sonoma County. Pinot Noir grapes grow especially well in this region, where they benefit from slightly cooler day temperatures.
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  9. Knights Valley
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    Knights Valley occupies the boundaries between the southern end of the Alexander Valley AVA and the northern end of Napa Valley. Some of the earliest vineyards in the area were owned by Beringer Vineyards. The area is known for its Cabernet Sauvignon.
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  10. Chalk Hill
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    Chalk Hill is a sub-appellation of the Russian River Valley located near the town of Windsor along the foothills at the southern end of Alexander Valley and along the Santa Rosa plain. The name Chalk Hill comes from the unique volcanic soil of chalky white ash which enhances the planting of white wine varietals like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The majority of the region’s wineries are located on the western slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains.
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  11. Fort Ross – Seaview
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    The 27,500-acre Fort Ross-Seaview American viticultural area is located in the western part of Sonoma County and contains 18 commercial vineyards on 506 acres. It lies entirely within the Sonoma Coast AVA and does not overlap other AVAs. Vineyards within this area are generally located on rounded ridges with summits extending above 1,200 feet consisting of steep, mountainous terrain made up of canyons, narrow valleys, ridges, and 800- to 1,800-foot peaks. The climate above 900 feet is influenced by longer periods of sunlight and is warmer than that in the surrounding land below.
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  12. Bennett Valley
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    Bennet Valley is one of Sonoma County’s newest AVAs and is a principal grape supplier to Kendall-Jackson. The AVA is surrounded to the south, east and west by the Sonoma Mountains and to the north by the city of Santa Rosa. The region receives a moderating effect on its climate from the Pacific Ocean through the coastal fogs and breeze that creep into the area from the southwest through Crane Canyon between Sonoma Mountain and Taylor Mountain.
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  13. Green Valley of Russian River Valley
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    Green Valley of Russian River Valley AVA was formerly known as the Sonoma County Green Valley AVA. Located at the southwestern corner of the Russian River Valley AVA, its close proximity to the Pacific Ocean makes it one of the coolest appellations within Sonoma County. The climate in the Green Valley is even cooler than other parts of the Russian River Valley, and favors the cultivation of cool climate grape varietals. Seeking to connect the region with the more commercially successful Russian River Valley name, the appellation formally changed its name on April 23, 2007.
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  14. Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak
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    The Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak Appellation is one of the highest elevation grape-growing regions in California. The AVA, which rises from 1,600 feet at its lowest point to 3,000 feet at the mountain’s peak, has grapes growing primarily at 1,800 feet and higher. The very high elevation of the mountain affects virtually every climatic element influencing wine grape production which includes fog cover, hours of daylight, daytime and nighttime temperatures, rainfall, and wind.
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  15. Links: Wine, Top Ten Wine Regions, Top Ten US Wine Regions, Top Ten Californian Wine Regions,

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Top Ten Californian Wine Regions

Top Ten Californian Wine Regions

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  1. Sonoma County, California
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    Although many associate premium California wines with Napa, Sonoma County is currently becoming a major wine destination in the world. Starting in 1812, Russian colonists planted grapes at Fort Ross on the Sonoma Coast. In 1823, Spanish Franciscan Father Altamira planted thousands of vines in Sonoma.  When the missions were taken over by the Mexican government in 1834, cuttings from Sonoma Mission vineyards were transported and planted throughout northern California. Today Sonoma County has 15 distinct AVAs with more than 250 wineries and 50 grape varieties including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel, and the sought after Russian River, Carneros and Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. It is estimated that the wine industry and related tourism contributes over $8 billion to the local economy each year, about 40% of the county’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Wine seekers love the laid-back, unpretentious atmosphere of many of the wineries.  The largest judging of American wines in the world, The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, is held yearly in Sonoma County’s quaint town of Cloverdale. In 2013, the event had over 5,500 entries from most of the wine regions represented in the United States.
    Links: Top Ten Sonoma County Appelations, Top Ten Sonom County Wineries, Top 100 Sonoma County Wines, http://sonoma.com/wineries/alphalistings.html, 
  2. Napa Valley, California

    The Napa Valley is undoubtedly the most famous wine region in the United States with more than 450 wineries producing outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, pinot noir, merlot and zinfandel. Commercial wine production in the region dates back to the 19th century. John Patchett established the Napa Valley’s first commercial vineyard in 1858 although Charles Krug is commonly cited as establishing the area’s first winery in 1861.  Inglenook Winery in 1879 was the first Bordeaux style winery in the USA winning gold medals at the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris. By the end of the 19th century there were more than 140 wineries in the area. Of those original wineries, several still exist in the valley today including Beaulieu, Beringer, Charles Krug, Chateau Montelena, Far Niente, Mayacamas, Markham Vineyards, and Schramsberg Vineyards. Viticulture in Napa suffered several setbacks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including an outbreak of the vine disease phylloxera, Prohibition, and the Great Depression. The modern era of winemaking in California began when Beaulieu hired André Tchelisticheff in 1938. He introduced key ideas which included aging wine in small French Oak barrels, cold fermentation, vineyard frost prevention, and malolactic fermentation. The wine industry in Napa Valley was cemented with the help of the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, establishing this region as a producer of quality wine equal to that of Old World wine regions. Within the Napa Valley AVA, there are sixteen sub-AVAs, Los Carneros, Howell Mountain, Wild Horse Valley, Stags Leap District, Mt. Veeder, Atlas Peak, Spring Mountain, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, Chiles Valley, Yountville, Diamond Mountain, Oak Knoll, Calistoga, and Coombsville.
    Links: http://napavalley.com/wineries/alphalistings.html,
  3. Temecula Valley, California
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    The Temecula Valley is a small, rural wine region in southern California with a climate similar to that of Spain and southern Italy. The region is one hour northeast of San Diego located in Riverside County. Over 200 years ago, winemaking began in California at Mission San Juan Capistrano fifty miles west of Temecula. The first modern commercial vineyards in Temecula Valley were established in 1968. There are over 40 wineries here. In addition to growing Chardonnay, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc, varietals such as Viognier, Syrah and Pinot Gris have recently been added. In addition, Temecula Valley’s hotter climate is particularly well-suited to grapes such as the Rhône varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel.  The Annual Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival occurs in late spring.
    Links: http://www.temeculawines.org/,
  4. The Sierra Foothills, California
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    Grapes were introduced to the area in the nineteenth century during the California Gold Rush in the 1850’s in the Shenandoah Valley in Amador County. The Sierra Foothills AVA, reorganized in 1987,  includes eight California counties: Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Nevada, Placer, Tuolumne and Yuba. The total area of the appellation is 2,600,000 acres, with nearly 6,000 acres of grapevines, one of the largest AVAs in the state of California. The most common grape variety is Zinfandel, but you will also find Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Barbera, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. There are over 100 wineries located within the Sierra Foothills AVA.
    Links: http://www.calwineries.com/explore/regions/sierra-foothills,
  5. Paso Robles, California
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    Paso Robles meaning Pass of the Oaks is located in the coastal mountain range of central California. In the County of San Luis Obispo wine grapes were introduced in 1797 by the Spanish conquistadors and Franciscan missionary padres of the Mission San Miguel where wine making artifacts can still be seen. There are over 180 wineries with 26,000 acres of vineyards in this region. Commercial winemaking was introduced to the Paso Robles region in 1882. The Paso Robles wine region gained notoriety when Ignace Paderewski, a famous Polish statesman and concert pianist, visited Paso Robles, became enchanted with the area, and purchased 2,000 acres. In the early 1920s, he planted Petite Sirah and Zinfandel on his Rancho San Ignacio vineyard that went on to become award-winners solidifying Paso Robles as a premier wine region. Now, in addition to the first plantings of the Rhône varietal Syrah in California, Paso Robles also has the largest acreage of Syrah, Viognier and Roussanne.  Some of the other 40 varietals are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and old vine Zinfandel.
    Links: www.pasowine.com/wineries/,
  6. Santa Cruz Mountains
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    The Santa Cruz Mountains region, producing wine for over 150 years, was the first wine growing area to be distinguished primarily by a mountain range. The 400,000 acre appellation is framed by Mount Madonna in the south and Half Moon Bay in the north. Vineyards encompass 1,500 acres with currently over 70 wineries.  Top varietals here are pinot noir, merlot, syrah, chardonnay, and pinot grigio.  Although this region might be overlooked as it does not produce large quantities of wine, numerous award winning wines have emerged from the area since the famous 1976 Judgement of Paris tasting.  David Bruce Winery was one of 12 California wineries to participate in this now famous event.  Since then, David Bruce wines have consistently taken top honors in competitive tastings.
    Links: www.scmwa.com/‎,
  7. Mendocino County
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    This region, one of the largest in California, is part of the larger North Coast AVA. The first vineyards were established in the 1850’s in the Redwood Valley by returning farmers who failed to find success during the California Gold Rush. Parducci Wines founded in 1931 during Prohibition, remained the only commercial winery in Mendocino until the late 1960’s. As of 2005, ten AVA’s have been designated: Anderson Valley,  Cole Ranch,  Covelo,  Dos Rios,  McDowell Valley, Mendocino, Mendocino Ridge,  Potter Valley,  Redwood Valley, and Yorkville Highlands. The majority of Mendocino County plantings are in the eastern side of the county, clustered around the cities of Redwood Valley, Ukiah and Hopland. The Anderson Valley is one of California’s coolest wine growing regions in the state. Since the 1980’s, the area has been associated with sparkling wine  due to the success of Louis Roederer’s California Roederer Estate. Chardonnay is the county’s leading planting followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot noir. Other varietals include Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane, Charbono, Chenin blanc, Gewürztraminer, Grenache, Malbec, Merlot, Muscat Canelli, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Pinot blanc,  Riesling, Roussanne, Sangiovese, Sauvignon blanc, Semillon, Syrah, Viognier and Zinfandel. Because the county is focusing on organic viticulture, it has been designated as “California’s organic wine Mecca.”
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  8. Monterey County
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    Currently growing in popularity, Monterey County was selected as one of the world’s top ten wine destinations by Wine Enthusiast Magazine in February, 2013. The Spanish mission in Soledad supported the first wine grapes in the region. In the early 1960′s, several successful wineries emerged including Wente, Mirassou, Paul Masson, J. Lohr and Chalone. The 9 AVAs with over 175 vineyards include Monterey, Santa Lucia Highlands, Arroyo Seco, San Lucas, Hames Valley, Chalone, Carmel Valley, San Antonio Valley, and San Bernabe. The northernmost region produces Pinot Noir and Chardonnay while the warmer regions support over 40 varietals. Monterey’s wine region expanded by 40 percent from 2012-2013, now producing 40,000 acres of grapes generating $630 million a year for the county. Popular varietals include Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and Syrahs. This regions is know as a “viticultural laboratory’ because there is continual experimentation with new clones, trellising, water management and harvesting systems.
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  9. Santa Barbara County
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    Santa Barbara County is unique as the coastal mountains, the Santa Ynez and San Rafael, lie east to west with valleys open to the Pacific Ocean.  The distinct microclimates, some of the coolest in California, create ideal conditions for growing grapes with ample acid, tannins and flavors. There are four official appellations: Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, and Santa Rita Hills. Within the broad Santa Barbara County designation are several other micro-regions: the Los Alamos Valley region, Ballard Canyon, the Los Olivos District and the Santa Maria Bench. Paso Robles is technically a part of the Santa Barbara wine growing region. Slightly less than half of the grapes grown in Santa Barbara County are used by local vintners and the rest are exported to wineries outside the area.  There are 110 wineries growing outstanding pinot noir and chardonnay.
    Links: http://sbcountywines.com/SBC.html,
  10. San Joaquin Valley
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    The San Joaquin Valley is an agriculturally rich area growing cotton, grains, vegetables, fruits and nuts.  In addition, the majority of California’s wine, table and raisin grapes are grown in this valley. The San Joaquin valley is comprised of four main American AVAs: Fresno County, Fresno Diablo Grande, Stanislaus County, Salado Creek, Madera County, and the Tracy Hills. The San Joaquin Valley was discovered by Spanish explorers in the 150s but remained virtually uninhabited until the 1849 California Gold Rush. The first grapes were planted in the 1850s to quench the thirst of the Forty-Niners who migrated to California during this period. When irrigation was introduced in the 1880s, the agriculture industry began to flourish. The San Joaquin Valley has the richest and deepest soils in the world. The combination of soil and regional weather creates growing conditions that are ideal creating vines that are naturally vigorous. Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon do very well and reds such as Grenache, Tempranillo and Zinfandel shine.
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  11. Livermore Valley
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    Livermore Valley is part of the larger Central Coast appellation. Livermore winemaking dates back to 1849, when Robert Livermore’s grapes, planted in 1946 produced the first vintage. Charles Wetmore brought recognition to California wines, starting Cresta Blanca Winery in 1882 and winning the grand prize at the 1889 Paris International Exposition with a sauvignon blanc-semillon blend. The Wente family claims to have planted the state’s first Chardonnay in 1916 and is still prominent in the valley today. There are 4,000 acres of grapes and 50 wineries in the valley today. Despite Livermore’s reputation for having a hot climate, temperature surveys show it to be similar to Napa Valley. Bold reds such as Petit Sirah, Syrah, Malbec, Barbera, zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon love this hotter temperature region. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are also grown in the cooler parts of the valley.  Livermore still needs a few blockbuster wines to reach the standard of great California wine regions but all the elements are in place for this to occur sometime in the near future if the current urban sprawl doesn’t consume the agricultural growth of the region.
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  12. Links: Wine, Top Ten Wine Regions, Top Ten US Wine Regions,

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Top Ten American Wine Regions

Top Ten American Wine Regions

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  1. Sonoma County, California
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    Although many associate premium California wines with Napa, Sonoma County is currently becoming a major wine destination in the world. Starting in 1812, Russian colonists planted grapes at Fort Ross on the Sonoma Coast. In 1823, Spanish Franciscan Father Altamira planted thousands of vines in Sonoma.  When the missions were taken over by the Mexican government in 1834, cuttings from Sonoma Mission vineyards were transported and planted throughout northern California. Today Sonoma County has 15 distinct AVAs with more than 250 wineries and 50 grape varieties including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel, and the sought after Russian River, Carneros and Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. It is estimated that the wine industry and related tourism contributes over $8 billion to the local economy each year, about 40% of the county’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Wine seekers love the laid-back, unpretentious atmosphere of many of the wineries.  The largest judging of American wines in the world, The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, is held yearly in Sonoma County’s quaint town of Cloverdale. In 2013, the event had over 5,500 entries from most of the wine regions represented in the United States.
    Links: Top Ten Sonoma County AppelationsTop Ten Sonom County WineriesTop 100 Sonoma County Wines, http://sonoma.com/wineries/alphalistings.html,
  2. Napa Valley, California

    The Napa Valley is the most well known wine region in the US with more than 450 wineries producing outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, pinot noir, merlot and zinfandel. Commercial wine production in the region dates back to the 19th century. John Patchett established the Napa Valley’s first commercial vineyard in 1858 although Charles Krug is commonly cited as establishing the area’s first winery in 1861. Inglenook Winery in 1879 was the first Bordeaux style winery in the USA winning gold medals at the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris. By the end of the 19th century there were more than 140 wineries in the area. Of those original wineries, several still exist in the valley today including Beaulieu, Beringer, Charles Krug, Chateau Montelena, Far Niente, Mayacamas, Markham Vineyards and Schramsberg Vineyards. Viticulture in Napa suffered several setbacks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including an outbreak of the vine disease phylloxera, Prohibition and the Great Depession. The modern era of winemaking in California began when Beaulieu hired André Tchelisticheff in 1938. He introduced key ideas which included aging wine in small French Oak barrels, cold fermentation, vineyard frost prevention, and malolactic fermentation. The wine industry in Napa Valley was cemented with the help of the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, establishing this region as a producer of quality wine equal to that of Old World wine regions. Within the Napa Valley AVA, there are sixteen sub-AVAs, Los Carneros, Howell Mountain, Wild Horse Valley, Stags Leap District, Mt. Veeder, Atlas Peak, Spring Mountain, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, Chiles Valley, Yountville, Diamond Mountain, Oak Knoll, Calistoga, and Coombsville.
    Links: http://napavalley.com/wineries/alphalistings.html,
  3. Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    The Willamette Valley is located between Oregon’s Coast Range and the Cascades. Most of the wine grapes grown here come from vineyards located on bench-land hillsides in the western portion of the Valley. The three million acres of vineyards are divided into six- sub AVAs: ChehalemMountains, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills, McMinnville, Ribbon Ridge and Yamhill-Carlton. A cool climate, rainy winters and long daylight hours during growing season are ideal for growing pinots, both pinot gris and pinot noir. Some of the 400 wineries in this region also produce some Chardonnay, Rielsing, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot. Berry farms and hazelnut and grass seed fields are also found in the valley, as are pine farms where Christmas trees are grown. To the north of this region is the city of Portland, an attractive, ecofriendly tourist destination.
    Links:  http://willamettewines.com/wineries/,
  4. Finger Lakes, New York
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    The Finger Lakes region in upstate New York supplies 90% of the wine produced in the state. The Pleasant Valley Wine Company is the region’s oldest winery and has been winning awards across the world since 1867.  The area has nearly 100 independent wineries with more than 11,000 acres of vineyard mainly around Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake, two of the more prominent eleven Finger Lakes. The main varietals include Riesling, Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer. The beautiful hills, rivers and lakes here are also a draw for nature lovers exploring the regional network of trails after they’ve had their fill of wine tastings and vineyard viewing. This area is ideal for people traveling from East Coast cities such as Boston, Pittsburgh and New York City. The annual Finger Lakes Wine Festival is held each July. With a focus on sustainable growing practices, this area is producing high quality wines and is fast becoming one of the up-and-coming wine-producing regions in the U.S.
    Links: http://www.fingerlakes.com/wine,
  5. Long Island, New York
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    Just two hours from Manhattan, the North and South Forks of Long Island extend 120 miles into the Atlantic Ocean. Located here are the two winemaking regions, the North Fork and the Hamptons.  The first commercially grown grapes on Long Island were planted in 1973 by optimistic Harvard graduates Louisa and Alex Hargrave. Most vineyards are located at the East End in the counties of Nassau and Suffolk with over 50 unique wineries. The North Fork comprises approximately 3,000 acres of vineyards with about 40 wineries which produce wines from twenty different varietals. The Hamptons are notably cooler than the North Fork due to fog and ocean breezes; four wineries are located here. In little over a quarter of a century, the Long Island wine industry has grown from one small vineyard to 3,000 acres of vines and over fifty producers of world-class wines.  Family-owned farms, artisanal food producers and small-production winemakers coexist among Hamptonites, sharing the wealth of the region’s many gifts.   With similarities in maritime climate and northerly latitude with Bordeaux, Long Island  primarily grows outstanding Merlot. In recent years, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc have been added to the list. Some top producers are Paumanok Vineyards, Macari Vineyards, Shinn Estate Vineyards and Farmhouse, Lenz, Bedell and Sparkling Pointe all located on the North Fork. The South Fork is home to only three wineries, but they are equally impressive.
    Links:
  6. Temecula Valley, California
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    The TemeculaValley is a small, rural wine region in southern California with a climate similar to that of Spain and southern Italy. The region is one hour northeast of San Diego located in Riverside County. Over 200 years ago, winemaking began in California at Mission San Juan Capistrano 50 miles west of Temecula. The first modern commercial vineyards in Temecula Valley were established in 1968. There are over 40 wineries here. In addition to growing Chardonnay, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc, varietals such as Viognier, Syrah and Pinot Gris have recently been added. In addition, Temecula Valley’s hotter climate is particularly well-suited to grapes such as the Rhone varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The Annual Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival occurs in late spring.
    Links: http://www.temeculawines.org/,
  7. The Sierra Foothills, California
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    Grapes were introduced to the area in the 19th century during the California Gold Rush in the 1850’s in the Shenandoah Valley in Amador County. The Sierra Foothills AVA, recognized in 1987,  includes eight California counties: Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Nevada, Placer, Tuolumne and Yuba. The total area of the appellation is 2,600,000 acres, with nearly 6,000 acres of grapevines, one of the largest AVAs in the state of California. The most common grape variety is Zinfandel, but you will also find Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Barbera, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. There are over 100 wineries located within the Sierra Foothills AVA.
    Links: 
    http://www.calwineries.com/explore/regions/sierra-foothills,
  8. Washington State, Columbia, Yakima, Walla Walla and Horse Heaven Hills
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    Located on the same latitude as Burgundy and Bordeaux southern France, the Columbia valley is located about three hours from Washington’s largest city, Seattle. The valley lies in a rain shadow caused by the cascades creating a dry, continental climate.  Forty thousand acres of vineyards are planted here.  Within the ColumbiaValley is the Yakima Valley, Washington’s first AVA established in 1983. Forty percent of Washington state’s yearly wine production comes from the 12,000 acres of vineyards in the Yakima region. The most common grape varietals are Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon, Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. In addition to grapes, the Yakima Valley is  home to several fruit orchards growing apples, cherries, nectarines, peaches, pears, and plums. The area also grows nearly 80% of the U.S. hop production. There are more than 80 wineries in this area, making it a great choice for people who want to explore the winemaking industry in a rural setting. The Catch the Crush harvest festival occurs each October; wineries open their doors to music, grape-stomping and unique tasting events. An even more rural grape-growing area can be found in the Walla Walla Valley, a relatively dry region tucked in the southeast corner, where some of the West Coast’s best red wines are produced. Horse Heaven Hills is part of the much larger Columbia Valley and produces 25 percent of Washington State’s wine. It’s situated in between the Yakima Valley and the Columbia River. Horse Heaven Hills produced Washington’s first 100-point wines, as deemed by The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker, the 2002 and 2003 Quilceda Creek Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon.
    Links: WashingtonWineCountry.org, WineYakimaValley.org,
  9. Paso Robles, California
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    Paso Robles meaning Pass of the Oaks is located in the coastal mountain range of central California. In the County of San Luis Obispo wine grapes were introduced in 1797 by the Spanish conquistadors and Franciscan missionary padres of the Mission San Miguel where wine making artifacts can still be seen. There are over 180 wineries with 26,000 acres of vineyards in this region. Commercial winemaking was introduced to the Paso Robles region in 1882. The Paso Robles wine region gained notoriety when Ignace Paderewski, a famous Polish statesman and concert pianist, visited Paso Robles, became enchanted with the area, and purchased 2,000 acres. In the early 1920s, he planted Petite Sirah and Zinfandel on his Rancho San Ignacio vineyard that went on to become award-winners solidifying Paso Robles as a premier wine region. Now, in addition to the first plantings of the Rhône varietal Syrah in California, Paso Robles also has the largest acreage of Syrah, Viognier and Roussanne.  Some of the other 40 varietals are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and old vine Zinfandel.
    Links: Sculptures, www.pasowine.com/wineries/,
  10. Texas Hill Country
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    The wide-open spaces, forested hills and rugged landscapes of Texas Hill Country are attractive to anyone with a love of nature and an appreciation of uncrowded rural landscapes. Approved in 1991, it is the 2nd largest AVA in the U.S. covering 15,000 square miles. North of San Antonio and west of Austin, more than 30 wineries can be found in this region of the Lone Star State pouring mainly zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with lesser amounts of Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay. The historic town of Fredricksburg is the starting point for a vineyard tour that follows U.S. Highway 290 and includes a dozen quality wineries. The Austin Wine and Music Festival is usually held in April.  In all, the state of Texas currently has eight approved AVAs.
    Links: TexasWineTrail.com,
  11. Grand Valley, Colorado
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    The western slope of the Rockies has an ideal climate for growing certain grape varietals that produce quality wines. The vineyards are located around the towns of Palisade and Grand Junction along the Colorado River. Some wineries also grow peach and cherries. Many wineries make fruit wines using local stone fruit in addition to traditional grape vintages. More than 85% percent of Colorado’s premium wine grape vineyards are located in this area. Grape varietals include Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. Wines produced from these grapes are winning major national and international awards for their quality. Colorado is home to over 80 wineries. The Colorado Mountain Winefest is held in Palisade every September.
    Links: http://www.grandvalleywine.com/,
  12. Loudon County, Virginia
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    Loudon County, a winemaking region that sits just outside of Washington, D.C., has flourished in the past few decades. With the onset of wine making in the 1600’s at Jamestown Colony, wineries in this region today are situated amid some famous historic sites.  Despite its location near one of the world’s most important cities, this area has a very rural flavor. There are over 30 wineries in Loudon County with an overall 200 wineries in the state of Virginia. The main varietals include Chardonnay, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chamourcin, Merlot, and a native Virginia red varietal called Norton. Central Virginia also produces wine particularly in the Monticello AVA. This is the region where Thomas Jefferson grew grapes on his estate in the 1770’s before the Revolutionary War began. Wine Enthusiast magazine recently named Virginia one of its top 10 wine travel destinations for 2012.
    Links: http://www.virginiawine.org/,
  13. Links: Wine, Top Ten Wine Regions,

Enjoy!

American (USA) Wines

American Wines

California Wines

California Wines

Wines by Region

Wines by Region

Wine

Wine

Top Ten Wine Regions

Top Ten Wine Regions

       Wine has a rich history dating back thousands of years, with archaeological evidence suggesting that the earliest known production of wine took place from the late Neolithic or early Chalcolithic (6th Century BC), between the Caucasus and the Middle East. Tools used in the production of wine have been dated from 6,000 BC in Georgia, 5,000 BC in Iran, 4,500 BC in Greece and 4,100 BC in Armenia. Further research supports the theory that the spread of wine culture westwards was likely due to the Phoenicians who were centered on the coastal strip of today’s Lebanon, itself one of the world’s oldest sites of wine production. The wines of Byblos were exported to Egypt during the Old Kingdom (2686 BC–2134 BC) and throughout the Mediterranean. Evidence of these trade routes include two Phoenician shipwrecks from 750 BC discovered by Robert Ballard, whose cargo of wine was still intact. In ancient Egypt, six of 36 wine amphoras were found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun bearing the name “Kha’y,” a royal chief vintner. Traces of wine have also been found in central Asian Xinjiang in modern-day China, dating from the second and first millennia BC. The first known mention of grape-based wines in India is from the late 4th-century BC writings of Chanakya, the chief minister of Emperor Chandragupta Maurya. One of the lasting legacies of the ancient Roman Empire was the viticultural foundation laid by the Romans in the areas that today are world-renowned wine regions. In places with garrison towns (e.g. Bordeaux, Trier and Colchester), the Romans planted vineyards to supply local needs and limit the cost of long-distance trading. Monks in France made wine for years, aging it in caves.

  1. Burgundy, France

    Burgundy, one of France’s major wine producers, is located in the center of France. The production of wine began when the Romans invaded the region. During the 6th century, a king gave his vineyards to the church. At the time of the French Revolution most of the best Burgundy wines where produced by monasteries. One of the results of the revolution was that Burgundy vineyards were confiscated from the church and dismantled into smaller plots. The sunny hillsides in Burgundy contain nutrient-rich dried seafloor, giving character to famous vineyards like Domaine Romanée-Conti, Vosne-Romanée and Chassagne-Montrachet. The region produces two of the most popular wines in France, Beaujolais and Chablis. The most famous wines produced here are dry red wines made from Pinot Noir grapes and white wines made from chardonnay grapes. Other common varietals are gamay, pinot blanc, and sauvignon blanc. The most expensive wines are produced in the Côte-d’Or but other regions include Beaujolais, Chablis, the Côte Chalonnaise and Mâcon.
    Links: Top Ten French AttractionsTop Ten French WineriesTop 100 French Wines,
  2. Champagne, France

    Champagne is a province in the northeast of France, best known for its sparkling white wine . Its western edge is about 100 miles east of Paris. In the High Middle Ages, the province was famous for the Champagne Fairs. In France, the first sparkling Champagne was created accidentally; its pressure led it to be called “the devil’s wine” as bottles exploded. In the19th century there was an expansive growth in Champagne production, increasing from 300,000 bottles a year in 1800 to 20 million bottles in 1850. The trend towards drier Champagne began when Perrier-Jouët decided not to sweeten his 1846. The designation Brut Champagne, the modern Champagne, was created for the British in 1876. The primary grapes used in the production of Champagne are Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Perrier Jouët, Dom Perignon and Moet & Chandon continue to provide classic styles that define elegance, sophistication and celebration.
    Links: Top Ten French AttractionsTop Ten Champagnes, Top Ten Champagnes (Under $50)Top Ten French WineriesTop 100 French WinesTop Ten James Bond Films,
  3. Tuscany, Italy

    One of the most famous of Italy’s twenty wine regions is Tuscany, located in central Italy. The hilly soil and the climate of this region are ideal for growing grapes. Long ago, wild vines were plentiful all over the sunny, rolling hills of Tuscany. The Etruscans are believed to have domesticated these early vines. There are 160,000 acres of vineyards; approximately 75 percent of the region produces red wine. In modern times, Chianti and Chianti Classico are two of the best known Italian wines in the world. Nowadays, the most prominent varietal is Sangiovese, which is often combined with small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon, and other grapes into notable blends such as the Brunello, Carmignano and Super Tuscan wines. Tuscany produces the third highest volume of quality wines after Piedmont and Veneto. It is Italy’s third most planted region but eighth in production volume partly due to its poor soil, emphasizing low yields but higher quality wines.
    Links: Top Ten Italian AttractionsTop Ten Italian WineriesTop 100 Italian Wines,
  4. Bordeaux, France

    Bordeaux is located near the Atlantic coast, in the south west of France. Two major rivers, the Dordogne and the Garonne, run through the center where most of Bordeaux’s vineyards are located. The city of Bordeaux, France’s 4th largest city, lies in the center of the region. Vineyards were introduced here by the Romans during the 1st century. Bordeaux now has nearly 300,000 acres of vineyards, 60 appellations, and10,000 wine-producing châteaux . With an annual production of approximately 950 million bottles, Bordeaux produces large quantities of everyday wine as well as some of the most expensive wines in the world. Merlot is the reliable grape here and adds texture to historic wines like Pétrus and Château Ausone. Red Bordeaux is generally made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carménère. White Bordeaux is made from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle. Sauternes is a popular sweet, white, desert wine; a popular label is Château d’Yquem. The five premier cru are some of the most renowned wines in the world: Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Margaux, Château Latour, Château Haut-Brion, and Château Mouton-Rothschild.
    Links: Top Ten French Attractions, Top Ten French Wineries, Top 100 French Wines,
  5. Sonoma County, California, USA
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    Sonoma County is located in northern California. Sonoma County is one of California’s largest producers of wine grapes, out producing even the Napa Valley. Russian colonists planted and cultivated grapes at Fort Ross in the early 1800’s. In 1824 a Spanish Padre planted thousands of vines at San Francisco Solano in Sonoma. Years later, cuttings from this mission were dispersed throughout northern California to start new vineyards. Up until the early 1900’s, Sonoma County was a major producer of hops in the United States, and several of the local drying barns can still be seen today. Because of the wide variety of climate and soil conditions, the area has established worldwide recognition in the past few decades. In 2005, the 55,000 acres of vineyards in Sonoma County produced over 230,000 tons of grapes valued at $430 million, the highest region second only to Napa County. With over 350 wineries, the Alexander Valley, Russian River, Sonoma Coast, Dry Creek, Los Carneros and Rockpile are some of the various renowned appellations. Each encompasses their own distinct terroir, exceptional climate, and soil combinations. The most common varieties planted here are Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir, as well as Merlot and Zinfandel.
    Links: Top Ten US Attractions, Top Ten Californian Attractions, Top Ten Californian Wine Regions, Top Ten Sonoma County Appelations, Top Ten Californian Wineries, Top 100 Californian Wines, Top Ten Sonoma County Wines, Top Ten Cheeses,
  6. Napa Valley, California, USA

    The first of the wine regions in the United States to gain international praise and attention, Napa, California, is home to some of the world’s greatest wineries. With a tradition that spans from early settlers to finding a “legal” way around prohibition, the American “cowboy” mentality comes through in the determination to make a world-class wine when they were told they never would. By the end of the nineteenth century there were more than one hundred and forty wineries in the area. Of those original wineries, several still exist in the valley today including Beaulieu, Beringer, Charles Krug, Chateau Montelena, Far Niente, Mayacamas, Markham Vineyards, and Schramsberg Vineyards. In 1976, the region got a boost from the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, which featured a Napa Valley Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon beating several famous French labels in a blind tasting. The results of this tasting cemented the region’s reputation as a producer of world class wines. The outstanding Mediterranean microclimate and a mixture of decomposed oceanic fossils and lava ash give the rich grapes bold and elegant flavors. Though it produces only 4% of California’s wine production on 43,000 acres, Napa Valley is recognized as America’s greatest collection of wineries. Bound by mountains on both sides, the 30-mile long region is literally blanketed with grapes. There are close to 300 wineries present here, from family-owned businesses to big companies with an annual output of a million cases or more of mainly Cabernet Sauvignons, Pinot Noirs, and Merlots, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandels and Chardonnays.
    Links: Top Ten US Attractions, Top Ten Californian Attractions, Top Ten California Wine Regions, Top Ten California Wineries, Top 100 California WineiresTop Ten Train Routes,
  7. Piedmont, Italy

    Piedmont is located in northwest Italy bordering both Switzerland and France. It is surrounded on three sides by the Alps, with the highest peaks and largest glaciers in Italy. About ninety percent of the vineyards are in the southern part of this region. Although the regions of Piedmont and Bordeaux are very close in latitude, only the summertime temperatures are similar; Piedmont has a colder, continental winter climate, and significantly lower rainfall due to the rain shadow effect of the Alps. Native vines are abundant and were once cultivated by the Romans. In the 14th century winemakers in this area experimented with “Greek style” sweet wines by allowing grape clusters to hang longer on the vine to dry out. Barbera is the most widely planted variety. However, the notable grape in Piedmont is Nebbiolo, which produces both Barolo and Barbaresco wines. Their aromas have notes of tar, violets, roses, ripe strawberries, and often truffles. Dolcetto is the lightest-bodied. Sweeter wines such as Moscato d’Asti and Asti Spumante are also made in this region.
    Links: Top Ten Italian AttractionsTop Ten Italian WineriesTop 100 Italian Wines,
  8. Douro, Portugal

    Douro is a Portuguese wine region centered along the Douro River. It is sometimes referred to as the Alto Douro (upper Douro), as it is located some distance upstream from Porto, sheltered by mountain ranges from coastal influences. The earliest known mention of “Port wine” dates from 1675. With the establishment of British Port lodges in Porto, port wine became the primary product of the region, increasing its economic importance to Portugal. It was the world’s first wine region to have a formal demarcation in the western part of the present region. Over time, the vineyards have expanded to the east into hotter and drier areas. The region has Portugal’s highest wine classification (Denominação de Origem Controlada -DOC). While the region is associated primarily with Port wine production, the Douro produces as much table wine as it does fortified wine. The style of wines produced in the Douro range from light, Bordeaux style claret to rich Burgundian style wines aged in new oak.
    Links: Top Ten Portuguese Attractions, Top Ten Portuguese WinesTop Ten PortsTop Ten Portuguese Ports,
  9. Barossa, Australia

    The Barossa Valley, one of 16 distinct wine regions in this part of the country, is one of the most well known of the South Australian wine regions. The area consists of softly rolling hills forming shallow fertile valleys which combine with the Mediterranean climate to produce one of the best wine producing regions in Australia. Grapes in the Barossa Valley were originally planted by German Lutheran farmers in the 1830’s who also brought with them their wine making knowledge and unique and rich culture. The Eden Valley, falling under the jurisdiction of Barossa but much cooler, produces amazing Rieslings and Semillon while the Barossa Valley produces some of the world’s best Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre blends. Cabernet Sauvignon is also widely planted. Wines from Australia are known for their intense flavors, many being made from unirrigated vines that are over 100 years old. The well balanced wines are jam-packed with intense fruitiness. In addition to the Barossa, excellent vineyards and wineries can be found at McLaren Vale, the Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills, and Coonawarra.
    Links: Top Ten Australian Attractions, Top Ten Australian Wineries, Top 100 Australian Wines,
  10. Alsace, France

    Alsace is located on France’s eastern border and on the west bank of the upper Rhine adjacent to Germany and Switzerland. The Alsace region, along with the area northwest of Alsace called Lorraine, was once part of Germany. The Alsace region has passed from France to Germany and back again several times throughout history. The most important factor in the Alsace landscape is the Vosges Mountains, which border the vineyard area on the west and block rain. The foothills also provide slopes that are ideal for vineyards, and a variety of soil types also adds to grape diversity. The region is approximately 37,000 acres, one of the smallest wine growing regions of France. The Alsace region in France produces primarily white wine. Along with Austria and Germany, this region produces some of the best dry Rieslings in the world as well as highly aromatic Gewürztraminer wines. Alsace’s wide range of wines also includes Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Gris.
    Links: Top Ten French AttractionsTop Ten French WineriesTop 100 French Wines,
  11. Loire Valley, France

    The Loire Valley, often referred to as “the Garden of France” and the Cradle of the French Language is renowned for its architectural heritage, and world-famous chateaux (castles), including Châteaux Amboise, Azay-le-Rideau, Chambord and Chenonceau. The gorgeous scenery of the Loire Valley evokes the ideals of the Renaissance and the Age of the Enlightenment on Western European thought and design. One of the best ways to tour this stunning valley is by bicycle and luckily many of the towns rent bicycles by the day, offer maps of the area and can suggest wonderful sites to visit. Upon visiting one will enjoy delicious foods, extensive gardens and during the summer months, extravagant wine festivals. The Loire region produces some of the world’s best wine, which are distinctive, high-quality, fruity and well-rounded.
    Links: Top Ten French Attractions, Top Ten French Wineries, Top 100 French Wines, Castles, Top Ten Castles, Top Ten European Castles, Top Ten Gardens,
  12. Mosel, Germany

    Mosel is one of Germany’s thirteen wine regions. Two rivers cut through the German landscape and converge into the Mosel River, creating a gorgeous backdrop for some of the most complex wines in the world. Viticulture was brought to this area by the Romans who planted vineyards along the Mosel and the Rhine in order to have a local source of wine for their troops stationed in the area. The steep south-facing slopes gather as much sun as possible as the delicate Riesling grapes gain a deep minerality from the rich slate soils. Riesling, the soft wine grape, is king here. Before Bordeaux took the world by storm, it was the Rieslings produced here that basked in the world’s attention. Because of the northerly location of Mosel, the Riesling wines are often light, low in alcohol, crisp and high in acidity, often exhibiting “flowery” rather than “fruity” aromas.
    Links: Top Ten German Attractions, Top Ten Germain Wineries, Top Ten German Wines,
  13. Ribera del Duero, Spain

    Ribera del Duero sits on the northern plateaus of Spain along the Duero River. This region is home to the vines that give birth to the most expensive wine in the world, Vega Sicilia. Wine has been produced here for thousands of years dating back to the time of the Romans. With over 50,000 acres of vines, one third of them are over 50 years old, and three percent are over 100 years old. The main grape is Tempranillo also referred to as Tinto del País and Tinto Fino. Garnacha, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and the white grape, Albillo are also allowed by the strict DO standards. The large difference in day and night temperatures is responsible for creating wines of notable depth and balance. Top vineyards include Pesquera and Pago de Carraovejas. In 2012, Ribera del Duero was chosen as Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast magazine.
    Links: Top Ten Spanish Attractions, Top Ten Spanish WineriesTop 100 Spanish Wines,
  14. Marlborough, New Zealand

    Marlborough is situated on the north-eastern tip of the South Island. This region today is the Sauvignon Blanc capital of the southern hemisphere! Marlborough made winemaking history in the 1970’s although there has been commercial activity since the 1860’s. Marlborough is one of New Zealand’s sunniest and driest areas. Marlborough is split into two main areas, the Wairau and Awatere Valley. Notable estates include Hunter’s, Jackson and Cloudy Bay. Many estates blend the two area’s harvests in order to build complexity in their wines. The other main varieties grown in Marlborough are Pinot noir and Chardonnay, but Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris and some very good sparklers are also produced here.
    Links: Top Ten New Zealand Attractions, Top Ten New Zealand Wineries, Top Ten New Zealand Wines
  15. Western Cape, South Africa

    The Cape Winelands are a region in South Africa containing some of the most stunning landscapes in all Southern Africa. Located in a majestic landspace of rolling hills and striking mountains, the region was first colonized by members of the Dutch East India company in 1652. With the later arrival of settlers from Germany, France and the Netherlands, winemakers soon discovered an ideal vine growing climate. Some of the best lands for growing the grapes included the Borrosso Valley and Breede River Valley, as well as what has become the cities of Franschhoek, Paarl, Somerset West, Stellenbosch, Tulbagh and Worcester. The fertile soil and Mediterranean climate of the Western Cape, makes the Cape Winelands one of the most renowned wine producing areas in the world, growing a range of noble vine varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Pinot Noir. Although Cape Town and the nearby Boland basin is best-known for it’s superb Bordeaux-style red wines, the wine-producing region of the province extends further north- and eastwards and has established itself as producer of world-class red, white, fortified and sparkling wines from a wide range of varietals. Visitors will enjoy regular wine tastings and delicious on site winery restaurants, which creates an amazing wine tasting experience.
    Links: Top Ten South African Attractions, Top Ten South African Wineries, Top Ten South African Wines,
  16. Rioja, Spain

    La Rioja is the most famous wine region in Spain located in the north. Winemaking in this regions dates back to Roman times. Many Rioja wines are varietal blends and can be either red (tinto), white (blanco) or rosé (rosado). Eighty-five percent of the wine produced in this region is red. The soil is clay based with a high concentration of chalk and iron. There is also significant concentration of limestone, sandstone and alluvial silt. Among the Tintos, the best-known and most widely-used variety is Tempranillo. Other grapes grown here include Garnacha Tinta, Graciano, and Mazuelo. Each grape adds a unique component to the wine. With Rioja Blanco, Viura is the prominent grape (also known as Macabeo) and is normally blended with some Malvasía and Garnacha Blanca. Rosados are mostly derived from Garnacha grapes.
    Links: Top Ten Spanish Attractions, Top Ten Spanish WineriesTop 100 Spanish Wines,
  17. Maipo Valley, Chile

    The Maipo Valley, surrounding the capital of Santiago, produces 7000 acres of high quality, affordable reds, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Carmenere grapes and two white varietals, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. European vines were brought to Chile by Spanish conquistadors and missionaries in the 16th century. The climate has been described as midway between that of California and France. Pais was the most widely planted grape only recently been overtaken by Cabernet Sauvignon where it is the star in Alto Maipo at the foothills of the Andes. Other red wine varieties include Merlot, Carménère, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Cabernet franc, Pinot noir, Syrah, Sangiovese, Barbera, Malbec, and Carignan. White wine varieties include Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Sémillon, Riesling, Viognier, Gewürztraminer. The number of wineries has grown from 12 in 1995 to over 70 in 2005. Chile is now the fifth largest exporter of wines in the world, and the ninth largest producer.
    Links: Top Ten Chilean Attractions, Top Ten Chilean Wineries, Top Ten Chilean Wines,
  18. Victoria State, Australia

    Australia has become the 7th largest producer of wine in the world. Victoria has more wine producers than any other Australian wine-producing state with over 600 wineries. Viticulture has existed in Victoria since the 19th century and experienced a high point in the 1890’s when the region produced more than half of all wine produced in Australia. Single varietal wines include Shiraz and Chardonnay as well as Viognier, Pinot noir, Graciano and Tannat. Yarra Valley, Victoria’s oldest vineyard region, also offers numerous sparkling wines. Kiwifruit wine can also be found in some locations throughout the state!
    Links: Top Ten Australian Attractions, Top Ten Australian Wineries, Top 100 Australian Wines,
  19. Baden, Germany

    Baden, in the south west region of Germany, lies between the Black Forest and Rhine River. It is Germany’s third largest wine region with 40,000 acres of vineyards. Baden is in close proximity to Alsace, France, so similar grape varietals are grown in both regions. Wines coming out of the Baden region are unique as they are recognized for their strong flavor and low acidity. Although wine was made in the region since the 2nd century, Baden began exporting wines to other parts of Europe in the 16th century. Dominant among the numerous grapes grown here is the Pinot grape – Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder), Pinot Gris, and Pinot Blanc. Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc comprise 55% of the vineyards. This region is also home to the Spätburgunder Weissherbst, a popular rosé wine. Riesling, once the hopeful star, plays a smaller role with 8 % as the region was found to be too hot for a grape that loves cooler climates.
    Links: Top Ten German Attractions, Top Ten German Wineries, Top Ten German Wines,
  20. Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada

    Niagara-on-the-Lake (2011 population 15,400) is a Canadian town located in Southern Ontario where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario in the Niagara Region of the southern part of the province of Ontario. It is located across the Niagara River from Youngstown, New York, USA and boasts a thriving wine culture.
    Links: Top Ten Canadian Attractions, Top Ten Canadian Wineries, Top Ten Canadian Wines, Top Ten Waterfalls,
  21. Links: Travel, Wine, Top 100 Wineries, Top 100 Wineshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wine,

Enjoy!