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Wine Spectator School

Class 7: New World Model: California

class 7 review
The topics covered in this class include:


  • Experimentation with varieties, grapegrowing and winemaking
  • Minimal regulatory limitations
  • Varietal labeling

  • Large size of state and wide range of climates
  • Many major varieties:
    • Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc
    • Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Syrah
  • Uniting factor is sunshine and fruit-forward character

  • Exposure to Pacific Ocean is key to counteracting hot sun
  • Chilly Pacific Ocean breezes and fog blow through gaps in Coastal Range
  • Latitude is less important



Napa Valley

  • Long, narrow valley north of San Francisco, east of Sonoma County
  • Maritime breezes and fog in south closer to San Pablo Bay
  • Warmer further north
  • Altitude cools and lifts some vineyards above fog line
  • Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir
  • Up the Middle, from South to North >...

Ready to enroll?

First, you must register for a membership to WineSpectator.com. Your membership benefits include:
  • FREE enrollment in any course at Wine Spectator School
  • Over 230,000 searchable ratings and tasting notes
  • FREE mobile access so you can research wines wherever you are
  • E-newsletters with advance ratings
  • Editors’ blogs
  • Food and wine matching tool
  • And much more
Log In If You're Already a WineSpectator.com Member

If you have questions about Wine Spectator School, please contact us.

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