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Renowned for its hot and sunny climate and eclectic
selection of wine, California is considered the most
important winemaking region in the USA

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Wine vineyard in California

California's hottest regions

Napa Valley
Napa Valley vineyard

The most famous of California’s wine regions

Located above San Francisco on the north coast of California is the famed wine region Napa Valley, renowned worldwide for its wines. Like most of California, the region enjoys a temperate climate with sunny, warm days and cool breezes from the Pacific Ocean. Some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnays are made here.

Sonoma vineyard

Some of the best Chardonnay in California

Neighbouring Napa Valley, Sonoma also sits on the northern coast of California. Originally known for its Chardonnay, Sonoma Valley now grows more Pinot Noir than any other country or state thanks to its cool, foggy climate. You can also find some of the best sparkling wine that California has to offer.

Mendocino vineyard

From delicate whites to big, meaty reds

Mendocino County, to the north of Napa Valley, is 60% covered in redwood forest. The rest of the county is put to good use with vineyards located on the flood plains of the river Navarro. The region is known mainly for its white grape varieties which grow successfully in the slightly cooler climate, particularly its Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Californian wine

Video: Stéphane Sanchez presents Brazin Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi from California, USA

California is the most important winemaking region in the USA accounting for about 90% of the country’s overall wine production. The state is renowned for its excellent climatic conditions; long, sunny days produce grapes with rich, fruity flavours while chilly nights help them to retain their acidity, producing wines that are excitingly fruity, yet fresh and crisp.

The most famous vineyards are located on the north coast above San Francisco, including Napa and Sonoma Valleys. California is home to Zinfandel, a red variety producing full-bodied wines with blackcurrant flavours and a hint of pepper. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay are also successfully grown here. Explore our region guide below and discover a taste of the Golden state.


Just south of Sonoma and Napa and spanning across both counties is Carneros. The cool, foggy climate here nurtures the growth of sparkling wine varieties, resulting in some of the best sparkling wine in the state.

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A little further south on the Central coast is Monterey. With some of the oldest vines in the state, the region produces exciting examples of Pinot Noir but is most famous for its Chardonnay.

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Santa Lucia Highlands

Santa Lucia Highlands is California’s premier cool-climate winegrowing district. The region enjoys cool breezes from Monterey Bay and half of the vineyards grow Pinot Noir which flourishes in these conditions.

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Situated in the sunny inland valleys of California, the region Lodi enjoys high levels of sunshine and as a result, produces some of the country’s finest Zinfandel.

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Our Californian favourites