Great wine is produced from the best grapes and the best grapes are found in the best vineyards. Vineyards in sun-soaked California extend over 700 miles -from the Oregon border to San Diego in the south.
The excellent wines from this Golden state emanate from its diverse vineyards spread across the state and that's why it's able to produce wines to suit every palate. While the vineyards in the state's central coast area with its cooling fog and afternoon breezes is ideal for producing the slow-ripening Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and other fine varietals, the vineyards in the Sacramento valley extend over 7,300 acres of wine grapes of which Chardonnay and zinfandel are the most prominent.
The San Joaquin valley is often referred to as the “state’s fruit basket” because of its valleys with rich soils, its wonderful vineyards and the fruitiness of the wines, while the vineyards of the Sierra Foothills are at elevations of up to 3,000 feet serve up wines of various flavors and variety.
The vineyards in California’s northern coast are famous for their exquisite wines while those in Southern California uses the warm days and cool, misty nights to advantage to produce luscious, gorgeous grapes that result in some of the best wineries in the country.
Thus we see that the vineyard climate plays a very important role not only on the grapes but also the finished wine. California’s climate and soil vary from one part of the state to the other and with this difference in growing conditions, you see a dramatic change in the kinds of wines that are produced in the various regions.
California, unlike Europe, enjoys good weather conditions: just the right amount of warmth and sunshine and just the amount of rain required to allow its vineyards to produce grapes that are superior in taste and different in variety.
During winter, the vines in the vineyards are pruned so that they may produce good quality grapes. In fact, pruning is considered quite an art and vineyard workers and grape growers are very skillful while carrying out this task. Come Spring, and the moderate temperatures awaken the vines and the vineyards are full of green shoots and tiny buds. These are rather sensitive toward temperature.
With the onset of summer, the first grape clusters begin to adorn the vineyards and the sunlight helps the grapes to ripen, and during fall, the vineyards are full of juicy, ripe grapes that beg to be picked.
Once the grapes are ready to be picked, the vineyards have to be harvested quickly to ensure that the grapes don't ripen too much. The clusters of grapes are rushed off to wineries, where the perfect liquid starts taking shape. California’s expert vintners use various methods to convert the grapes into dessert wines, sparkling or red and white wines.
It's no surprise that California accounts for nearly 90 percent of American wine production.