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A Quick Look – The West Sonoma Coast
The Sonoma Coast Appellation is one of the larger Appellations in Sonoma County ranging from the coast to far inland, east of Petaluma. For this article we are going to follow the old saying, “Go west young man…”, and focus on the Western Sonoma Coast.
Others might call this area the true Sonoma Coast Appellation while some aficionados would say there are multiple sub regions. One thing is for sure, the Pacific Ocean, rugged coastal range, towering redwoods, and penetrating fog create challenging but very rewarding conditions for growing world class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. All of the areas contain a variety of well drained soils that stress the vines and create concentrated fruit.
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First we will identify the different sub regions and then describe what makes them unique. You may find the information intriguing.
Annapolis – Fort Ross / Seaview – Occidental
The different sub regions of the western Sonoma Coast include Annapolis to the north, located just south of the Mendocino County border. Next up is the Fort Ross / Seaview area and finally the Occidental growing zone. What makes these three subregions similar and unique is that they are all located relatively close to the coast, most of the vineyards are located at high elevation above the fog line and experience warmer temperatures than their counterparts located just slightly inland.
- Close Proximity To Coast
- Higher Elevation
- Ridgetop Locations
- Above Fog Line
- Warmer Location In Cool Climate Area
Freestone – Green Valley – Sebastopol Hills
Next we have three regions located just slightly inland including the Freestone zone, the Green Valley and Sebastopol Hills. Even though these areas are further away from the ocean, they tend to be cooler due to a lower elevation with many rolling hills and valleys that are more influenced by fog.
- Further Inland (Still Major Coastal Influence)
- Lower Elevation
- More Fog Influence
- Rolling Hills / Valleys
This is a quick glance at a complex region with many nuances. That said the wines created from this region are complex and stand out on the world stage. Thanks to pioneers like Hirsch Vineyards, Flowers and Martinelli we have a number of premium wines to choose from. Peay Vineyards is doing a great job in Annapolis and small brands like Senses in Occidental are making their names known. Below is a brief list of Sonoma Coast producers, be sure to give them a try.
A Brief List of Sonoma Coast Wineries
|And many more....|
|Baker Lane Vineyards||Banshee Wines||Benovia|
|Ceritas Wines||Claypool Cellars||Cobb Wines|
|Evening Land Vineyards||Failla Wines||Flowers Vineyard & Winery|
|Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery||Freeman Vineyard & Winery||The Hartford Family Winery|
|Hirsch Vineyard & Winery||Joseph Phelps Vineyards||Littorai Wines & Estate Winery|
|Lynmar Estate||MacPhail Family Wines||Marimar Estate|
|Martinelli Winery||Peay Vineyards||Ramey Wine Cellars|
|Red Car Vineyards||Senses Wines||Siduri|
|Sojourn Cellars||Sonoma Coast Vineyards||Wayfarer Vineyard|