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Encyclopedia > Wine Country (California)
Vineyard on Sonoma Mountain AVA with background of the Mayacamas Mountains

The Wine Country is a region of Northern California in the United States known worldwide as a premium wine-growing region.[1] Viticulture and wine-making have been practiced in the region since the mid-19th century. There are over 400 wineries in the area north of San Francisco,[2] mostly located in the area's valleys, including Napa Valley in Napa County, and the Sonoma Valley, Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Bennett Valley and Russian River Valley in Sonoma County. Wine grapes are also grown at higher elevations, such as Atlas Peak and Mount Veeder AVAs.[3] The region is defined not only in terms of viticulture, but also its ecology, geology, architecture,[4] cuisine,[5] and culture.[6] The majority of the grape harvest, in terms of both area and value, derives from Sonoma County.[7] The Mayacamas Mountains are located in northwestern California in the United States. ... Northern California, sometimes referred to as NorCal, is the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. ... For other uses, see Wine (disambiguation). ... wine grapes Viticulture (from the Latin word for vine) is the science, production and study of grapes which deals with the series of events that occur in the vineyard. ... Wine Barrels A winery is a facility where fruit, usually grapes, is processed into wine. ... San Francisco redirects here. ... Napa Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in Napa County, California, USA. Napa Valley is widely considered one of the top wine regions in California, and all of the United States, with a history dating back to the nineteenth century. ... Napa Valley redirects here. ... The Sonoma Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area located within the Sonoma County AVA and centered around the Sonoma Valley (also known as The Valley of the Moon). ... An American Viticultural Area (AVA) is a delimited grape-growing region distinguishable by geographic features, with boundaries defined by the United States governments Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). ... For the journal, see Ecology (journal). ... This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... This article is about building architecture. ... Cuisine (from French cuisine, cooking; culinary art; kitchen; ultimately from Latin coquere, to cook) is a specific set of cooking traditions and practices, often associated with a specific culture. ...


Communities associated with the Wine Country include Kenwood, Healdsburg, Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Napa, Yountville, St. Helena, Calistoga, Geyserville, Petaluma, Sebastopol, Guerneville, historic Fort Ross and Ukiah. Kenwood, California is a town along State Route 12 in Sonoma County. ... Healdsburg is a city located in Sonoma County, California, USA. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 10,722. ... Sonoma City Hall in the town plaza Sonoma is a historically significant city in Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA. It is centered around its historic town plaza, a remnant of the towns Spanish colonial past. ... Location in Sonoma County and the state of California Country State County Sonoma Area  - City 40. ... Napa is the county seat of Napa County, California. ... Center of town Yountville is a town in Napa County, California, United States. ... Coordinates: , Country State County Napa Incorporated 6 January 1886 Government  - Mayor Jack Gingles Area  - City  2. ... Geyserville is a CDP in Sonoma County, California, USA. The town has a population of either triple or quadruple digits. ... Aerial view of Petaluma, California. ... Postcard view of Sebastopol, Sonoma County, California over the orchards to the town Sebastopol is a town in Sonoma County, California, United States, approximately 52 miles north of San Francisco. ... Guerneville is a census-designated place in Sonoma County, California, USA. As of the 2000 census, its population was 2,441. ... Fort Ross is a former Russian fur trade outpost in what is now Sonoma County, California (United States). ... Ukiah is the county seat of Mendocino County, California. ...

Contents

Appellations

Wine Country proper is generally regarded as the combined counties of Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino. However, some reference works include part of Lake in the term Wine Country. These counties contain the following American Viticultural Areas (AVAs)[8]: Islands off Mendocino A Beach in the City of Elk Mendocino County is a county located on the north coast of the U.S. state of California, north of the San Francisco Bay Area and Sonoma County and west of the Central Valley. ... Lake County is a county located in the north central portion of the U.S. state of California, north of the San Francisco Bay Area. ... An American Viticultural Area (AVA) is a delimited grape-growing region distinguishable by geographic features, with boundaries defined by the United States governments Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). ...

  • in Mendocino County: Anderson Valley, Covelo, Mendocino, and Potter Valley.
  • in Napa County: Atlas Peak, Los Carneros, Mount Veeder, Napa Valley, Oakville, Rutherford, Saint Helena, Stags Leap District, and Yountville.
  • in Sonoma County: Alexander Valley, Bennett Valley, Chalk Hill, Dry Creek Valley, Green Valley of Russian River Valley, Knight's Valley, Los Carneros, Northern Sonoma, Rockpile, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Mountain, and Sonoma Valley.
  • in Lake County: Clear Lake, Guenoc Valley, High Valley, and Red Hills Lake County.

The six-county North Coast AVA overlaps with the Wine Country as defined here. In addition, the names of the counties themselves are legal for use as appellation names[9]. Napa Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in Napa County, California, USA. Napa Valley is widely considered one of the top wine regions in California, and all of the United States, with a history dating back to the nineteenth century. ... The Sonoma Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area located within the Sonoma County AVA and centered around the Sonoma Valley (also known as The Valley of the Moon). ...


History

Yountville historic rail station, Napa Valley.

The earliest prehistory of the Wine Country involves habitation by several Native American tribes since approximately 8000 BC.[10] The principal tribes living in this region were the Pomo, Coast Miwok, Wappo and Patwin, whose early peoples practiced certain forms of agriculture, but probably not involving the cultivation of grapes. During the Mexican Colonial period and after, European settlers brought in more intensive agriculture to the Wine Country, including growing grapes and wine production. Some of the historical events that led to the establishment of California as a state transpired in the Wine Country. In particular, the town of Sonoma, is known as the birthplace of American California. Agoston Haraszthy is credited with being one of the forefathers of the California wine industry in Sonoma by his planting of grapes in the lower Arroyo Seco Creek watershed of Sonoma County.[11] Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1800x1441, 358 KB) Photo of old rail station, Yountville, California, taken September 2005 by User:Stan Shebs File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): User:Stan Shebs/Gallery... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1800x1441, 358 KB) Photo of old rail station, Yountville, California, taken September 2005 by User:Stan Shebs File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): User:Stan Shebs/Gallery... Center of town Yountville is a town in Napa County, California, United States. ... Stonehenge, England, erected by Neolithic peoples ca. ... This article is about the people indigenous to the United States. ... The term Pomo may refer to: The Pomo nickname for city of Pomona, California PoMo - a popular nickname for Postmodernism, an artistic movement emerging from and reacting to modernism. ... Bodega Bay as viewed from present-day Dillon Beach, was ancient homeland of the Coastal Miwok. ... The Wappo were a group of Native Americans who lived in the Napa and Russian River areas of Northern California. ... The Patwin (also Patween, Southern Wintu) are a Wintun people native to the area in Northern California. ... Mexican may have several meanings. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... Sonoma City Hall in the town plaza Sonoma is a historically significant city in Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA. It is centered around its historic town plaza, a remnant of the towns Spanish colonial past. ... Agoston Haraszthy (1812-1869), the “Father of Modern Viticulture in California,” was born in Hungary. ... California wine has a long and continuing history, and in recent decades has become recognized producing some of the worlds finest wine, matching the produce of the classic winemaking regions of France and, in some wine competitions, such as the historic Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, surpassing it. ... Middle reach of Arroyo Seco Creek Arroyo Seco Creek is a tributary stream to Schell Creek in southern Sonoma County, California. ... A drainage basin is the area within the drainage basin divide (blue outline), and drains the surface runoff and river discharge (green lines) of a contiguous area. ...


As home to both Buena Vista winery, California's oldest commercial winery, and Gundlach Bundschu winery, California's oldest family-run winery, the Sonoma Valley is known as the birthplace of the California wine industry. Vineyards of Sonoma Valley Sonoma Valley is the birthplace of the California wine industry. ...


Ecology

Pygmy forest along a popular Wine Country hiking trail of Hood Mountain. Note darker vegetation in upper right is a mixed oak woodland.

A diversity of aquatic and terrestrial organisms populate the Wine Country and its riparian zones. Winter-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tsawytscha), Delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) and steelhead (Onchorhynchus mykiss) are the most prominent fishes. Anadromous fish movements in Sonoma Creek and the Napa River as well as the Laguna de Santa Rosa have been studied extensively not only in the mainstems, but in many of the tributaries. These investigations have demonstrated a historical decline in spawning and habitat value for these species, primarily due to sedimentation[12] and secondarily to removal of riparian vegetation since the 19th century. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2816x1236, 1029 KB) Photographer: C.Michael Hogan Subject: Pygmy forest on northwest slopes of Hood Mountain, Sonoma County, Ca. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2816x1236, 1029 KB) Photographer: C.Michael Hogan Subject: Pygmy forest on northwest slopes of Hood Mountain, Sonoma County, Ca. ... A pygmy forest is a forest which, for geological reasons, contains only miniature trees. ... Hood Mountain is a mountain at the northeast of the Sonoma Valley that attains a height of 2730 feet above mean sea level. ... Aerial view of mixed aspen-spruce forest in Alaska Vegetation is a general term for the plant life of a region; it refers to the ground cover life forms, structure, spatial extent or any other specific botanical or geographic characteristics. ... California oak woodland is a plant community found throughout the California chaparral and woodlands ecoregion of California and northwestern Baja California. ... Rainforests are among the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth Biodiversity is the variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome or for the entire Earth. ... An estuary mouth and coastal waters, part of an aquatic ecosystem. ... Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land, as compared with aquatic animals, which live predominantly or entirely in the water (e. ... Domains and Kingdoms Nanobes Acytota Cytota Bacteria Neomura Archaea Eukaryota Bikonta Apusozoa Rhizaria Excavata Archaeplastida Rhodophyta Glaucophyta Plantae Heterokontophyta Haptophyta Cryptophyta Alveolata Unikonta Amoebozoa Opisthokonta Choanozoa Fungi Animalia An ericoid mycorrhizal fungus Life on Earth redirects here. ... A well preserved Riparian strip on a tributary to Lake Erie. ... Binomial name (Walbaum, 1792) The Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) (derived from Russian чавыча), is a species of anadromous fish in the salmon family. ... Binomial name Hypomesus transpacificus Delta smelt are slender-bodied fish, about 5. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Rainbow trout. ... For other uses, see Fish (disambiguation). ... Many types of fish undertake migrations on a regular basis, on time scales ranging from daily to annual, and with distances ranging from a few meters to thousands of kilometers. ... The Napa River, approximately 55 miles (89 km) long, is a river in the U.S. state of California. ... Looking northeast across the Laguna de Santa Rosa with the Mayacmas Mountains in the background The Laguna de Santa Rosa is a fourteen mile long wetland complex that drains a 254-square mile watershed encompassing most of the Santa Rosa Plain in Sonoma County, California, USA. The Laguna, whose principal...


A variety of salamanders, snakes and frogs are also present in the Wine Country. The federally listed as threatened California red-legged frog is present in the northern reach draining the south slopes of Annadel State Park.[13] Several endangered species (mostly associated with the Napa Sonoma Marsh) present include California clapper rail (Rallus longirostris), California Black Rail (Laterallus jamaicensis), California brown pelican (Pelicanus occudentalis), California freshwater shrimp (Syncaris pacifica), Salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris ), Suisun Shrew (Sorex ornatus sinuosus), Sacramento splittail (Pogonichtys macrolepidotus). The above are endangered species with the exception of the splittail, steelhead and black rail, which species are federally designated as Threatened.[14] For other uses, see Salamander (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Snake (disambiguation). ... Genera See text. ... Binomial name The California Red-legged frog (Rana aurora ) is a sub-species of frog within the family Ranidae also known as the true frogs. It was earlier classified as a subspecies, Rana aurora draytonii, of the Red-legged Frog, but in current times is considered a recognized species in... Annadel State Park, Sonoma County, California, USA is situated at the northern edge of Sonoma Valley and offers many recreational activities within its 5,000 acre (2,000 ha) property. ... The Siberian Tiger is a subspecies of tiger that are critically endangered. ... The Napa Sonoma Marsh is a wetland at the northern edge of San Pablo Bay, which is a northern arm of the San Francisco Bay in California, USA. This marsh has an area of 48,000 acres, of which 13,000 acres are abandoned salt evaporation ponds. ... Trinomial name Rallus longirostris obsoletus Ridgway, 1874 The California Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) is an endangered subspecies of the Clapper Rail (. It is found principally in Californias San Francisco Bay, and also in Monterey Bay and Morro Bay. ... Binomial name Laterallus jamaicensis (Gmelin, 1789) The Black Rail is a mouse_sized member of the Rallidae family of birds. ... Binomial name Pelecanus occidentalis Linnaeus, 1766 The Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) is the smallest of the eight species of pelican, although it is a large bird in nearly every other regard. ... Binomial name Holmes, 1895 Syncaris pacifica is an endangered species of freshwater shrimp in the family Atyidae that occurs only in a limited range within the northern San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA. Specifically, this species occurs only in 17 stream segments within Sonoma, Napa and Marin Counties. ... Binomial name Reithrodontomys raviventris Dixon, 1908 The Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris), also known as the Red-bellied Harvest Mouse, is an endangered rodent endemic to the San Francisco Bay Area salt marshes in California. ... Trinomial name Sorex ornatus sinuosus The Suisun Shrew (Sorex ornatus sinuosus), is a subspecies of the Ornate Shrew that occurs in the tidal marshes of the northern shores of San Pablo and Suisun Bays (northern arms of the San Francisco Bay, as far east as Grizzly Island and as far... Binomial name Pogonichthys macrolepidotus (Ayres, 1854) The splittail, or Sacramento splittail, Pogonichthys macrolepidotus, is a cyprinid fish native to the low-elevation waters of the Central Valley in California. ... The Siberian Tiger is a subspecies of tiger that are critically endangered. ...


Upland ecosystems drained include mixed California oak woodland, chaparral and savannah woodland.[15] In these upland reaches one finds plentiful Black-tailed Deer, coyote, skunk, raccoon, opossum, wild turkey, turkey vulture, red-tailed hawk and occasionally bobcat and mountain lion. Prominent higher elevation trees include: Coast live oak, Garry Oak, Pacific madrone, California Buckeye, Douglas fir, whereas Valley oak is prevalent on the Wine Country valley floors.[16] California oak woodland is a plant community found throughout the California chaparral and woodlands ecoregion of California and northwestern Baja California. ... Chaparral is a shrubland plant community found primarily in California, USA, that is shaped by a Mediterranean climate (mild, wet winters and hot dry summers) and wildfire. ... Savannah redirects here. ... Limber Pine woodland, Toiyabe Range, central Nevada Biologically, a woodland is a treed area differentiated from a forest. ... Trinomial name Odocoileus hemionus columbianus Richardson, 1829 Like all deer, black-tailed deer are herbivores. ... For other uses, see Coyote (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Meleagris gallopavo Linnaeus, 1758 For other uses, see Wild Turkey (disambiguation). ... Binomial name (Linnaeus, 1758) Approximate range/distribution map of the Turkey Vulture. ... Binomial name (Gmelin, 1788) Synonyms Buteo borealis Buteo broealis (lapsus) The Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) is a medium-sized bird of prey, one of three species colloquially known in the United States as the chickenhawk. ... Binomial name Puma concolor (Linnaeus, 1771) The puma (Puma concolor) is a type of large cat found in North, Central and South America. ... Binomial name Quercus agrifolia The Coast live oak, Quercus agrifolia, also called the California live oak, is an evergeen oak, highly variable and often shrubby, found in the coastal regions of southwestern North America from Mendocino County, California south to northern Baja California in Mexico. ... Binomial name Quercus garryana The Oregon White Oak (Quercus garryana), also known as Garry Oak, has a range from northern California to British Columbia. ... ... Species See text Douglas-fir is the common name applied to coniferous trees of the genus Pseudotsuga in the family Pinaceae. ... Binomial name Quercus lobata Nee The Valley oak is the largest of North american oaks and arguably the most majestic of its genus. ...


Tourism

The Wine Country has undergone a relatively recent boom in tourism. In 1975 there were only 25 Napa Valley wineries; today there are well over 400 wineries in Napa and Sonoma Counties.[2] Tourists come to the region not only for wine-tasting, but also for hiking, bicycling, hot air ballooning, and historic sites, as well as the extensive culinary choices. Numerous notable chefs and restaurateurs are present in the Wine Country, including Thomas Keller, John Ash, and Sondra Bernstein.[17] Besides the obvious winery attractions, the Wine Country is known for its hot springs baths, petrified forests and other natural areas. Two hikers in the Mount Hood National Forest Eagle Creek hiking Hiking is a form of walking, undertaken with the specific purpose of exploring and enjoying the scenery. ... For other uses, see Bicycle (disambiguation). ... This article is about hot air balloons themselves. ... This article is about the chef. ... John Ash is a name shared by several people: John Ash (1724 - 1779), lexicographer and minister. ... Green Dragon Spring at Norris Geyser A hot spring is a place where warm or hot groundwater issues from the ground on a regular basis for at least a predictable part of the year, and is significantly above the ambient ground temperature (which is usually around 55~57°F or... Petrified tree with Painted Desert background Newspaper Rock petroglyph site Petrified trees Petrified Forest National Park is located in northeastern Arizona, along Interstate 40 between Holbrook and Navajo. ...


The Wine Country tourism boom has its downside, exemplified by traffic congestion on State Route 29, particularly on summer weekends, when the number of tourists often exceeds the carrying capacity of the road. The Napa Valley is also experiencing pressures for increased urbanization and roadway upgrading.[18] State Route 29 is a state highway in the U.S. state of California that travels in a north-south direction from State Route 20 in Upper Lake to Interstate 80 in Vallejo. ... The equilibrium maximum of the population of an organism is known as the ecosystems carrying capacity for that organism. ...


References

  1. ^ Fodor's Escape to the Wine Country: California's Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino, Publisher: Fodor's ISBN-10: 067900918307 (2002).
  2. ^ a b Fodor's California Wine Country Online (2006)
  3. ^ Appelation America.com
  4. ^ Mary Whitesides, Wine Country: Architecture and Interiors, Gibbs Smith Publishers, Layton, Utah (2004).
  5. ^ Michael Chiarello, Michael Chiarello's Casual Cooking: Wine Country Recipes for Family and Friends, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, California.
  6. ^ Molly Chappellet, Gardens of the Wine Country, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, California.
  7. ^ Sonoma County Indicators: 2007
  8. ^ Code of Federal Regulations, Title 27, Part 9: American Viticultural Areas.
  9. ^ Code of Federal Regulations, Title 27, Section 4.25(a).
  10. ^ Stewart, Suzanne B., Time before Time: Prehistory and Archaeology in the Lake Sonoma Area. Sacramento, CA: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1985.
  11. ^ Charles Sullivan, Zinfandel: A History of a Grape and It's Wine, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California: University of California Press, 2003.
  12. ^ Sonoma Creek Watershed Limiting Factors Analysis, Sonoma Ecology Center, with support from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, December 2004.
  13. ^ San Francisco Bay Area Conservancy Program Fifth Year Report pg 19
  14. ^ Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals
  15. ^ California's woodlands
  16. ^ Wildlife:The Importance of Hardwood Habitat for Wildlife in California, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1987
  17. ^ Sondra Bernstein, The Girl & the Fig Cookbook: More than 100 Recipes from the Acclaimed California Wine Country Restaurant
  18. ^ Trancas Road/Calfiornia State Route 29 Intersection Improvements

United States Army Corps of Engineers logo The United States Army Corps of Engineers, or USACE, is made up of some 34,600 civilian and 650 military men and women. ... Logo of the U.S. Forest Service. ... The U.S. Department of Agriculture, also called the Agriculture Department, or USDA, is a Cabinet department of the United States Federal Government. ...

External links

See also

  • Napa County wine
  • Sonoma County wine

 
 

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