Wine Writing Team on September 14, 2020 1 Comment If you are looking to learn more about California’s wine regions, then you have come to the right place. When you think about wine in California, everyone thinks about Napa Valley. This is among the best wine regions in the world; however, California is also home to a number of other fantastic wine regions that you cannot miss. These include Sonoma, Mendocino, and the Santa Cruz Mountains. How can you make sure that you enjoy everything these beautiful regions have to offer? Let’s take a closer look at California’s top wine regions. Napa Valley Of course, everyone wants to start with Napa Valley. When you visit Napa Valley, you need to know what the climate is like. Napa’s climate is relatively dry and resembles the Mediterranean region, which is why many of their wines have similar flavors. The result of this climate is a beautiful balance between sugar and acidity that has come to define Napa wine. In the northern part of the valley, temperatures are usually a bit warmer. There is also more rainfall in the north. This leads to more variation in the north and more consistency in the south. Some of the most popular wines in this region include: Cabernet Sauvignon Chardonnay Merlot Pinot Noir Chenin Blanc Riesling Zinfandel Sauvignon Blanc Some noteworthy producers of wine in Napa Valley include: Screaming Eagle Eisele Schrader Scarecrow Harlan The most popular wine in Napa Valley is Cabernet Sauvignon. Therefore, if you are visiting this area or are ordering wine from this region, this is the place to start. If you decide to visit Napa Valley, then try out some of their tasting events and dinners to learn more about what makes this region so famous in the world of wine. Sonoma The Sonoma region has a rich history when it comes to wine. Similar to Napa Valley, the climate in Sonoma can vary. The evenings tend to be cool and during the day, the temperatures remain relatively temperate. This allows the grapes to mature steadily over time until they are plump and ripe during the summer. The central area of this valley tends to be a bit warmer; however, there is a strong oceanic fog that is relatively persistent, keeping the heat index from climbing. As a result, the climate is relatively predictable, meaning that the quality of the wine is consistent. Some of the most popular wines from the Sonoma region include: Chardonnay Pinot Noir Syrah Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Zinfandel Sauvignon Blanc Some noteworthy wine producers in the Sonoma region include: Cirq Verite Aubert Marcassin Peter Michael Try to find a few early-drinking vintages, particularly in the Pinot Noir category, as their wines are among the best in the world. Mendocino Mendocino sits on the north coast of California. This makes it one of the coolest and foggiest wine regions in all of California. Because the temperatures tend to be a bit cooler here, this area is perfect for producing Pinot Noir. At the same time, the climate can vary from vineyard to vineyard. There are some locations that experience less fog and spend more time in the sun. As a result, they produce more Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah. Some of the most popular styles of wine in Mendocino include: Chardonnay Pinot Noir Riesling Gewürztraminer Pinot Gris Pinot Blanc Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah Sauvignon Blanc Some noteworthy wine producers in the region include: Rhys Arista Copain Littorai Williams Selyem If you happen to visit this region, try to locate at least one of their sparkling styles. In addition, think about swinging by Roederer Estate. They provide aromatic white wine that is popular throughout the world. The Santa Cruz Mountains Finally, the Santa Cruz Mountains tend to feel like enormous islands. You might not see a winery for miles and then, all of a sudden, a giant estate pops up. The mountains lead to a diverse array of climates, leading to a wide variety of vineyards. The Santa Cruz Mountains provide a unique and varied tasting experience. Some of the top styles include: Pinot Noir Chardonnay Cabernet Sauvignon Some of the most popular producers include Mount Eden Brand and Family Thomas Fogarty Rhys Ridge This is a good place to buy wines and store them for several years, letting them mature. In particular, try to hold bottles of Rhys and Ridge for five years before you drink them. Your patience will pay off! These are a few of the most important points that you should keep in mind if you are visiting California’s beautiful wine regions.