Thursday, April 17, 2008

Going back to Cali, Cali, Cali

Ok, so no black corvette but winemonkey and I are on a mission to discover some interesting new wines from Sonoma for our store, California Wine Merchants, due open this summer in lower Manhattan. There are a lot of great things going on out there and it is not easy to find the true treasures sitting behind your computer in New York City.

The Sonoma County AVA is more vast and sprawling than Napa with practically every possible grape variety growing and plenty of different terroirs, or grape growing environments, to choose from. On the southern end, in Carneros, cool climate grapes such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay excel. Further north in Knights Valley the Pacific Ocean has much less of a cooling influence and the area is better known for grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma Mountain, with its high altitude and steep hillsides, can be successful with everything from Cabernet, Syrah, and Zinfandel to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. There are currently fourteen defined AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) in Sonoma County each with a unique character.

So, off we go to see what Sonoma has got to show for itself. With only three days it should be a dizzying array of sunshine, fruit, tannins and purple teeth! Stay tuned...

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