Course: California Cabernet

Class 3: Sonoma County and the Central Coast


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 many crops grown among the rolling green hills.

But Sonoma County's more relaxed pace doesn't mean the wines can't be world class.

Winemakers say it won't be long before Sonoma begins to produce more Cabernets that will rival Napa Valley's elite, citing Peter Michael Winery's Les Pavots Knights Valley as one shining example.

The Race for Quality
The race for quality is increasingly the name of the game for Sonoma County.

As the costs of owning and farming a small vineyard soar, the only option is the pursuit...

Ready to enroll? First, you must register for a membership to 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 Member

Please log in using your email address and password for Wine Spectator School students who enrolled before 7.4.10, log in with your email address and school password or get more info here.

Forgot Password?

By clicking "Log in" you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Wine Spectator Online

Read our FAQ for more information

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


= members only

Keep me logged in      Forgot Password?

Job Opportunities

Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator magazine is looking for an enthusiastic copy editor in the New York office.

Email Newsletters

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences