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Wine Spectator School

Class 7: New World Model: California

sonoma county


A More Relaxed Pace

In contrast to the glitz and glamour of Napa Valley, Sonoma County seems bucolic. This is farm country and wine grapes are just one of the many diverse crops grown among the rolling green hills.

Although life progresses at a more relaxed pace in Sonoma County, the wines themselves can be world-class.



Diverse Growing Areas

Sonoma County sprawls from the Pacific Ocean and coastal mountains on the west to Napa Valley and the Mayacamas on the east.

Unlike Napa, where the vineyards carpet one long valley, diverse growing areas are sprinkled throughout the county.

The most important AVAs are described below. In addition, Sonoma County is home to many smaller appellations, such as Chalk...

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