American Wine, The Golden States Fine Wine.
California’s extensive and varying altitudes, aspects, soil types and climates have enabled it to become one of the most diverse wine producing regions on earth. Whilst the Napa Valley is perhaps the most famous region, with its world-beating Cabernets and Chardonnays leading the way, the nearby Sonoma and Russian River Valleys have become home to some truly legendary Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Further south below San Francisco we find the Santa Cruz Mountains (home to the only limestone mountain soils in California), home of the famous Ridge Monte Bello estate, and Paso Robles – where Rhone varieties find their natural homeland. Just north of Los Angeles we find the valleys of Santa Barbara and further expressions of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Whilst some parts of California are incredibly hot and produce wines of immense power and fruit depth, others are surprisingly cool and ripen later than those in Europe, delivering wines of great finesse, complexity and freshness.
Oregon is a relatively young wine producing state which is only recently being truly mapped and understood by winegrowers. However the capabilities are considerable, particularly for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, as evidenced by the growing number of Burgundy producers, including Drouhin, Louis Jadot and Meo-Camuzet, who are buying and planting vineyards in the Willamette Valley and its many sub regions which include Dundee Hills and Yamhill-Carlton.