Sonoma Wine Country [Infographic]

There are several wine producing regions in the U.S. whose winemaking history is arguably as long and interesting as Sonoma's, but few, if any, currently match Sonoma for overall wine variety and quality. The thirteen American Viticultural Areas (AVA) primarily located within Sonoma County - though slightly overwhelming for wine beginners - provide ideal growing conditions for several different varieties. Sonoma's northern and warmer regions, less influenced by cooling fog and ocean breezes, produce exceptional warm-climate varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Sonoma's southern and cooler regions produce exceptional cool-climate varieties such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The Sonoma map below identifies the top varieties by Sonoma AVA based on more than 17,000 ratings from the leading wine critics over the last several vintages. For example, Sonoma's highest rated Zinfandel is primarily produced in the central and northern part of the county in the Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Rockpile AVAs. Sonoma wineries using grapes from Green Valley, Sonoma Coast, Fort Ross-Seaview, Carneros and the cooler parts of the Russian River Valley have produced Sonoma's highest rated Pinot Noir. Across all of Sonoma County's AVAs, Syrah and Chardonnay hold the top spots more often than any other variety. While certain regions are known for one variety or another, most Sonoma wine regions excel with several different varieties. Add incredible views and great service, and it's no wonder that Sonoma is one of America's most visited wine destinations!

For additional Sonoma Wine Country information, please see our Sonoma winery map, Sonoma winery reviews, and Sonoma Wine Country page.

Published: July 10, 2013

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Carneros Chardonnay Map Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Sonoma Sonoma Valley Syrah wineries

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