California has been producing wine for over 200 years with European vines arriving via Central America. Abundant sunshine ensures a consistent and long grape-growing season, while the diversity of its terroir supports a multitude of grape varieties and surprising flavour variation within them. California’s 800 miles of rugged coastline expose nearby vineyards to natural “air conditioning” in the form of fog and breezes, making for exceptional Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and other cool climate varieties. Meanwhile, vines planted along hillsides get a fine mixture of cooling air and bright, unfiltered sun-conditions perfect for Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The coastal zones, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Monterey County and Mendocino, are responsible for the production of quality wines, while the Central Valley grows huge amounts of grapes that are largely destined for blending in everyday wines.
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