Although this is classified as one extremely vast and large AVA, Sonoma County can be thought of as a collection of many premium microclimates; a treasure trove for wine lovers. Sonoma is about 1.5x larger than the size of the Napa Valley (84km x 76km) with a vast array of terroir well suited for producing world class qualities of the many varietals. To the West lies the Pacific Ocean, which brings the cool ocean breeze and fog to the coastal vineyards and to the East lies the Mayacamas Mountain range, separating Sonoma County from the Napa Valley. The cool climate of Sonoma provides the perfect conditions for Bourgogne varietals such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, whereas the warmer middle sections are famous for the most 'Californian' wine varietal; Zinfandel. The most northern and inland area will be the warmest in the region and it is well-known for the elegant and silky Bordeaux varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Because the microclimates are all so unique and different, when it comes to wine varietals, Sonoma County is truly limitless. This has allowed for new wineries with invigorating energy and avant-garde winemaking to take root and we are all the better for it. With 18 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) within this region, Sonoma County is a viticultural Disneyland!
Sonoma Coast AVA
The largest AVA within Sonoma County, the Sonoma Coast AVA encompasses the entire length of Sonoma County along the coastline. This area is cool throughout the year due it's proximity to the Pacific Ocean and the fog from the sea blankets the vineyards allowing for a long and temperate growing season. This terroir creates the perfect condition for cool-climate varietals, specifically Bourgogne varietals such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. In fact, some of the most celebrated wines come from this area because of their pristine quality!
Alexander Valley AVA
Named after Cyrus Alexander, the pioneer who cultivated the land back in 1880s, Alexander Valley AVA is one of the northernmost regions in Sonoma County and much more inland than the coastal regions. Because of it inland location, the area is one of the warmest areas in Sonoma County, allowing for great Cabernet Sauvignon to be produced. Along with stellar Bordeaux varietals, Alexander Valley AVA is also known for wonderful Chardonnay, old vine Zinfandel, as well as Rhône varietals like Grenache and Italian varietals!