West Sonoma Coast

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.

Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, vineyard, wine, beauty, California

The rugged West 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
West Sonoma Coast, Annapolis, Fort Ross-Seaview, Occidential, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Vineyard

West Sonoma Coast, Annapolis, Fort Ross-Seaview, Occidential

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
West Sonoma Coast Grape Growing, Freestone, Green Valley, Sebastopol, Hills, vineyard, wine, chardonnay, pinot noir

West Sonoma Coast Grape Growing, Freestone, Green Valley, Sebastopol, Hills

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

Baker Lane VineyardsBanshee WinesBenovia
Ceritas WinesClaypool CellarsCobb Wines
CrossBarnDuMolEmeritus Vineyards
Evening Land VineyardsFailla WinesFlowers Vineyard & Winery
Fort Ross Vineyard & WineryFreeman Vineyard & WineryThe Hartford Family Winery
Hirsch Vineyard & WineryJoseph Phelps VineyardsLittorai Wines & Estate Winery
Lynmar Estate
MacPhail Family WinesMarimar Estate
Martinelli WineryPeay VineyardsRamey Wine Cellars
Red Car VineyardsSenses WinesSiduri
Sojourn CellarsSonoma Coast VineyardsWayfarer Vineyard
And many more....
redwood, california, sonoma, coast, occidental

California Redwood

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